Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cookies

This year, I thought Jon might be old enough to help me decorate Christmas cookies. (More on that later). So I invited some friends to a casual Christmas cookie decorating open house.

Then Jon was diagnosed with a respiratory virus, and all of our friends stayed home. I don't blame them, since who wants to expose their kid to germs four days before Christmas?

But we still had the party all to ourselves, and I think I will give my neighbors all of the cookies!

(My Memphis friends may notice the Swanky's cups holding my icing bags).

So Jon didn't quite get the concept of decorating. He ate one un-iced cookie that I set in front of him, and then ate another cookie immediately after I had iced it and offered sprinkles for him to add. Oh well...maybe he just needs to be a bit older. One of my friends told me that her almost-3-year-old licked off the icing on all of the cookies she tried to get him to decorate! Is this a boy thing or a toddler thing??

Jonathan decides to join in on the fun!

The finished product!

I also think I have finally found my go-to sugar cookie and icing recipe! I have been searching for one for years - most everything I try is dry, tasteless, and not very appetizing. When I made snowman cookies for Jon's first birthday, they were adorable but nearly inedible. The cookie recipe I used this time around is from America's Test Kitchen - the roll-out butter cookie recipe. It is basically a shortbread recipe, but it has a little cream cheese for better flavor and texture. Then for the icing, I made the basic royal icing recipe from the Wilton meringue powder container, but added vanilla. The end product was a sweet, lightly flavored cookie and icing that I can definitely see myself making again. I am interested to try them flavored with citrus (maybe zest in the cookie and juice in the icing) or cinnamon/cardamon.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I titled this update simply "Jon," because that is what I hear a lot of these days. Jon has his name down, and he also understands possession. So this is a taste of his ramblings:

"Jon plate, Jon sippy cup, Jon fork" (at meal times, pointing to everything on the table)

"Jon ball?
"No, sweetie, not your ball."
"Jon ball?" (now reaching and grunting a little bit)
"No, sweetie, that is the store's ball."

He has also fused the words "please" and "Mama" into one, so whether he is talking to me or not, this is what he says:

"More Elmo pleasemama?"
"More banana pleasemama?"
"Up pleasemama?"
"Come pleasemama?"
"Go in Daddy car pleasemama?"

At least the kid is hopefully learning some manners : )

Speaking of manners, we are definitely in full-on testing mode at home and at school. The past week or two at school, Jon has been put in time out for not following directions or trying to wake up his friends during nap time. The teachers always say that he is not be malicious or mean, just doing his own thing and not following directions. At home, Jon responds pretty well to time outs, although sometimes it does take two in a row for him to either follow directions or discontinue negative behavior. I know he is too young to have rewards or consequences at home for his behavior at school, but I'm looking for suggestions to help him follow directions when I'm not around. We talk about obeying teachers like we obey Mama and Daddy, and his teachers are on board with counting/timeouts like we do at home. Thankfully his teachers have kids of their own and (at least to my face) tell me that they understand that testing is age appropriate and he is not really a trouble maker.

To end on a funny note, we thought maybe Jon didn't understand what "No" meant, because he would answer "No" for questions which it seemed obvious the answer was "Yes," for example:

"Jon, do you want to come inside?"
"No." (always said in a nonchalant, 'I'd really rather not,' tone of voice)
"Jon, do you want to stay outside?"

But the other day, Jonathan and I were trying to figure out who would change the last diaper of the day, and this made us laugh:

"Jon, do you want Mama to change your diaper?"
"Do you want Rar (the name of his dinosaur stuffed animal) to change your diaper?"
quick head turn and smile "Yes!"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Moms are awesome!

Get through the first paragraph, and you will see why I think moms are awesome : )

So this time last week, I was a bit of a wreck. I was emotionally checked out because I felt like everything I did was a failure: trying to raise my son, trying to keep my apartment in working order, trying to get my actual paying part-time job done, etc. My husband was a huge encouragement, but I was just feeling bad and he couldn't help me snap out of my funk. The sermon on Sunday was wonderful - about Jesus' genealogy and how anyone who was in the midst of the Old Testament may not have understood how certain unpleasant events would lead to redemption...but they did! Moral of the story: God has the long view, and we need to trust him even when we might not understand what is going on in the present. I was basking in the glow of being reminded of God's love and faithfulness, then I fell (while trying to step over a baby gate holding my 30+ pound not do this) and twisted my knee. I kind of lost it. I was in pain, Jon was screaming and crying, and I started crying and just could not stop. Monday I was doing a little better, but still felt a bit of a cloud hanging over me. mom called : ) And suggested that she come visit : ) So she came down for about 24 hours, just Thursday to Friday afternoon. She helped me put up Christmas decorations, made some chicken noodle soup, entertained Jon in the cart while we went grocery shopping, helped me rearrange some furniture, and just all around made me feel loved. It's sometimes just nice for someone to come in from out of town for the day and spend time with you. Especially your mom.

Jonathan noted on Friday afternoon that I was in a much better mood than I had been the previous week. I agreed, knowing that it took some good reminders from Scripture, a little time to myself, and a visit from Mom.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Favorite Quote of the Day

"To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the internet. It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere."

- Ray Bradbury, 91, to Yahoo, when asked to put one of his books online.

Yesterday it was reported that Fahrenheit 451 will be published in eBook form. Kind of makes me want to reread it now that I'm not being forced to by my English teacher. I will, however, pick up the paperback on my bookshelf, because that's the way Mr. Bradbury wanted it to be.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick notes!

Wow! So much has been going on lately! I'm too lazy to post pictures, but I'll get some up soon. We were in Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago for Jonathan's sister's wedding, and it was a lot of fun. I possibly pushed myself a little more than I should have, but I was having a blast creating decorations for the wedding, cooking, baking, and spending a small fortune at Hobby Lobby! Back at home, we were just back to 'normal' when Jon came down with his first ear infection (almost made it 2 years!) and croup : ( And now we are getting ready to go up to my parents' home for Thanksgiving - ALL of the kids and their spouses will be in one place at one time, and we are excited.

Here are some quick, fun facts about Jon these days:
* Loves giving hugs and kisses! To us, his teachers at school, his friends, our cat, his stuffed animals, his blocks, the furniture, his food, the car...everything
* Eating much better with a fork and spoon. It usually lasts the first half of the meal, then he gets tired of it and just goes back to eating with his fingers
* "Up, please" is one of his favorite phrases, and I have had to start telling him that he is sometimes getting to big to be picked up.
* Speaking of being a big boy, Jon made it through the first half of the worship service on Sunday sitting in his own seat and standing up next to me during the standing parts (singing songs, responsive readings, etc.) He usually sits in one of our laps and we hold him while standing, but we've started putting him in his own seat (partly because he is soooo big), and he is doing really well : )
* Loves singing his ABCs, the Wheels on the Bus, 10 Little Pumpkins, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat
* I am trying to teach Jon how to say his name. He refers to himself as "baby," but recently he has been saying "Jaawww" when I ask him what his name is. Sometimes I'll get a "Jaaawww-nah" Super cute!

Okay, that's all for now! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 4, 2011

long week

Hello Friends,

It has been a long week for our family. This time last Friday, I was bleeding and cramping, starting to miscarry our 9-week-old new baby. Although I had a slight warning - an ultrasound 12 days earlier that showed a slow heart rate - I had been hoping and praying that our little one would grow and gain strength. Seeing my baby on the ultrasound monitor without any movement was the saddest thing I have ever witnessed in my life. Although it did not take away our grief, I did have some relief that if there was something wrong with the baby developmentally, it died early and not half way through the pregnancy or two days after he/she was born. Jonathan and I have been leaning on our faith, that God is the creator of all life, and that he has a good plan for our family. I am thankful for our church family that has been praying for us and supporting us, my mother who came down for four days this week to help us with Jon while I had a procedure at the hospital to finish the miscarriage, and I am thankful for my sweet little boy who has been the source of many smiles this week. Jonathan and I both do not know how we would have gotten through this if it had happened when we were pregnant with Jon. My heart goes out to women who lose their first babies, without the joy of a son or daughter at home for comfort.

Right now I am still deeply sad. Not angry. Not bitter. Not hopeless. Just sad and tired. If you are a praying person, I would ask you to pray for our family over these next few months, that our sorrow would be turned to joy. I hesitated to share about the miscarriage in such a public arena, but I have taken comfort from those I know who have been through this before, and I hope that someday I can be a comfort for another going through this. Since anywhere from 1 in 5 to 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, I am sure that some of you reading this have gone through this.

Speaking about our little energy-ball of joy, Jon is wanting to play so I need to wrap this up! Thank you for your support.

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. - Ecclesiastes 11:5

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another great fall day

Am I going on too much about how much I love this weather? I love days when I can be outside and not sweat : ) As I was walking today, I thought about how thankful I am for where we live. I am not a huge fan of our apartment, but it is three blocks away from Jon's preschool, two blocks away from the grocery store, about a half mile away from our town square, post office, bank, and about a mile away from the library, park, and recreation center. So even though I don't have a car during the week, I can get pretty much everything done that I need to. Over the summer, I just got used to being drenched in sweat, and now I am really, really enjoying walking around this little town. Jon has also learned the word 'outside,' and understands what 'we'll go outside after your nap' means, so we are frequent visitors to the park. This time last year I was still depressed about not living in Memphis, so I didn't enjoy myself very much. But I'm making up for lost time now. When we first moved here, I think I felt that I had lost my little neighborhood in Midtown, and how could I ever get that back. I just needed to rethink my definition of neighborhood. The same amount of space that is Midtown Memphis is pretty much the entire town of San Marcos. As I walked home for the grocery store this afternoon - having to take a couple of breaks, because I really bought more than I could comfortably carry - I had a flashback to lugging groceries from Schnuck's to our apartment in Memphis the year we didn't have a car. So this post started as a note about how beautiful it outside and came around to another realization that San Marcos is becoming home.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Definition of Regressive Tax and why Megan does not like it

With the 2012 presidential election season upon us, I thought I'd just chime in a bit on the ridiculousness that seems to be catching on, namely Herman Cain's regressive tax plan. Let's review the difference between a regressive and a progressive tax. A regressive tax, also known as flat tax, or "fair" tax, taxes all income earners at the same rate. A progressive tax taxes income earners at different rates based on their level of income. A lot of people say that progressive taxation is not fair because you are punishing success. May I explain how I see regressive taxation as being unfair, or at least harmful to those who we really need to try to help?

So, if we all pay the same percentage in income tax, let's just say...oh...9.1%, that means that a family who earns $200,000 a year will pay around $18,200 in taxes, leaving them around $181,800 disposable income to spend on health care, housing, food, utilities, fun, etc. Now look at a family who earns $40,000. They will pay $3,640 in taxes, leaving them $36,340 disposable income to spend on health care, housing, food, utilities, etc. As someone in the latter category, I can tell you that $3,640 would be a significant tax increase compared to the present tax code. We spend our disposable income on our health coverage, rent on an 800 square foot apartment, food, utilities, gas for our one used car, and student loans. Our luxury spending would probably be preschool for our almost 2 year old and fancy cell phones. I'm not including internet as a luxury, because I work from home, so internet is a work expense. All that said, I think that when it comes to the impact on daily life, a "fair" tax impacts the lower income negatively compared to the higher income, since raising taxes on low-middle and low-income families affects their ability to buy adequate food, health coverage, and housing. I may go out on a limb and say that raising taxes on millionaires affects their ability to buy vacation homes, pass wealth on to their heirs, and...I honestly don't know what the rich do with their money. A gallon of milk costs the same for someone making $7.50 an hour and someone making a million dollars a year, however, it is a greater percentage of the former worker's disposable income.

Cain's plan would also get rid of all tax deductions except charitable giving. The charitable deduction benefits basically the wealthy, since many low income and low-middle income families who give an equal percentage of their income away to charitable organizations do not give the minimum amount to qualify for the tax deduction.

Herman Cain admits that some would see their taxes increase with his plan, although he seems to think this is only based on what they spend. This tax policy would increase the income tax rate that low-middle and low income earners pay as well as most likely double their sales tax. Cain's answer to this is to tell people to buy more used goods instead of new goods. My husband asked if restaurant food is considered used goods... Our family could not buy more used goods than we already do. We cannot buy used food, used diapers, used soap, used health care, used internet service, or used gas. We already live in a used condo and drive a used car.

Jonathan tells me not to get so worried, because he doesn't think Cain will move forward, and even if he did happen to win the election, there is no way this tax plan would pass. What worries me is that so many people seem to think that a slick campaign message is more important than the substance of that message. I have mentioned to many friends that I am more than willing to pay more in taxes if it means that public programs and safety nets are kept in place. I will say that I am willing to pay more in taxes, but not if it means that the wealthy get a tax break while I get a tax increase. That is what seems unfair to me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Jon and I were reading a book yesterday, and I counted out five birds for him. When Jonathan came home from work, Jon wanted to show him how he could count:

"Two, three, two, three, two...two birds!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hello Fall!!

After a long, hot, dry summer, I cannot tell you how excited I am that Fall is finally here! I took three walks today! Well, one to drop Jon off at preschool, one to pick him up, and then one early in the evening just 'cause the weather is so beautiful : ) I have had all of the windows open today, and I am even wearing a long sleeved shirt. Yes, I wear long sleeved shirts when it is in the 80s! That is what a summer of 100+ degree days has done to me. To put it in perspective, I have a new friend who just moved here from New Jersey, and she has commented on how excited she is to get to still wear shorts in October...and I think it's cool : ) I cooked pork tenderloin with apples and onions for dinner last night, and the whole apartment just smelled like Fall.

Hope everyone is enjoying Fall where ever you are!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One firefighter

In my last blog post, I wrote about Jon's new words. I think I'm just so happy, because I thought this kid was never going to start talking! It seems like everyday he says more new words, and I am very excited to see him learning. Of course, it is also much easier to communicate when both of us talk! His newest words are 'yay,' 'hi,' 'no,' 'now,' and 'bye,' although he pronounces it 'die.' Jon hasn't so much gotten down the 'b' sound - all of his 'b' words come out as 'd' words. Normal, anyone? So throughout the day, I hear "die tar" (bye guitar), "two cat yay!" and much more. He has the number two down, and sometimes three, but that's about it. Today he was playing with a car, and here was our conversation:
Megan: One car, Jon (holding up one finger)
Jon: Two car? (holding up two fingers)
Megan: No Jon, one car.
Jon: Two car? (holding up two fingers)
Megan: No sweetie, one car.
By that time, he just gave up. A little later he did indeed have two cars in his hands, at which point he exclaimed, "two car, yay!"

So here is one firefighter: (eating a cookie)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated Jonathan's birthday last night with dinner out and a birthday cake! (Note: eating actual birthday cake with birthday cake ice cream is TOO MUCH!) We tried out a new restaurant for us, Japaneiro Latino. I had to take a picture because I thought the name of the restaurant was hilarious. I was expecting some Japanese Latin fusion, and they did have some interesting sushi rolls. The one I picked out was topped with crawfish, something I had never experienced before. Jonathan ordered two rolls that were almost too beautiful to eat, but he ate them anyway ; ) Jon pretty much ate rice. We ordered some tempura for him, but he wasn't really interested. He spent most of the dinner coloring.

Now Jonathan's entry is going to be overcome by proud mom news. Jon's vocabulary has really blossomed lately! I was a bit worried about his words, and I was hoping that preschool two days a week would help. He has added 'shoes,' 'bye,' 'two,' 'orange,' and 'nose' to his vocabulary just in the past week or so. This morning while I was changing his diaper, he pointed to his nose and said nose for the first time. I gave him two high fives for that, and of course he had to say 'two.' At his last pediatrician visit, she asked if he was putting two words together, and he wasn't : ( but now he says "two shoes" and "Mama shoes" or "Dada shoes" so we think that he is headed in the right direction. Of course his favorite word is 'guitar' - or as he says it 'tar.' I really wanted to get him an IKEA kids kitchen for Christmas, but I think we might be getting him a guitar.

Back to Jonathan now! Big Happy Birthday to the best husband and daddy in the world : ) We love you very much!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of MDO/Preschool

Jon started Mother's Day Out/Preschool yesterday! I only cried a little bit as I walked out of the building. The director was standing out there greeting parents, and she assured me that Jon would be okay and I could call later in the day if I needed to. I told her I wasn't worried about him, I knew he would have fun. It's just another one of those steps closer to growing up. Jonathan reminds me that Jon will leave one day, and I try to tell him that I'm not going to bar the door or anything. I don't want to be one of those parents who never wants her kids to be out on their own, but I do think it's okay to get a little sad about your baby getting bigger.

He - of course - had a great time, ate all his lunch (the teachers wrote in bold, underlined script that I need to pack more for him to eat), got very dirty (why did I send him in a white shirt?), took his nap, and didn't hit/bite/push anyone (yay!).

And I think I got a great picture for his senior yearbook : ) (...sniff, sniff)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last month of summer

While it feels like we had a pretty laid back summer, the past few weeks have been busy! We were trying to fit in lots of stuff before Jonathan went back to work and Jon started preschool, and there were also fun events to attend. Here is a brief look at what's been up with us!

G-Ma & Papa D Visit:
Jonathan's parents came in town for a long weekend, and we had tons of fun! We played in the river, went to the outlets (yes, it is a tourist attraction here!), visited Gruene (a cute village with Hill Country antique stores), visited Austin, ate lots of good Central Texas food, and played around our apartment. We miss you, and can't wait to see you in November!

Walking to our favorite Mexican restaurant for some tacos!

Looking at the fish and turtles at Aquarena Springs with G-Ma. When Jon is older we'll go out onto Spring Lake in the glass-bottom boats to see the water coming up out of the aquifer.

Had to make a burger stop at Centerpoint Station!
They make homemade potato chips, and Jon got his first taste.

First ER visit:

Right after church one Sunday, Jon was running around and face-planted on the tile floor. We thought he was okay, but after brushing his bangs back, we saw a huge goose-egg! So, newbie parents that we are, we took him to the ER to make sure he was okay. He was fine - no concussion - and he did amazingly well while waiting for the doctor. (With the help of Sesame Street on Jonathan's iPhone)

Time for a 'big boy' bed?
We've introduced a pillow at naptime and bedtime. Jon seems to like it. Since he is sleeping on a nap mat at preschool, we are considering converting his crib to a toddler bed and seeing how he does...

Trip to Cedar Hill/Denton for Scott's graduation:
My brother graduated from the University of North Texas this month, and Jon and I were able to make it to the celebration! Since Jonathan had to work, he stayed in San Marcos with the car, and Jon and I took the train.

Waiting for the train in San Marcos

Enjoying the view - doesn't he look so big!!

Playing on the hammock at Grammie & Gramps' house.
He is signing "more" for Gramps to keep pushing him.

At the graduation ceremony
(Gramps/Dad in background, Aunt Katie holding Jon, Aunt Peajay in front)

Playing 9-ball pool (or whatever it is called) after the ceremony. My dad and grandparents went home with Jon, while Scott, Peajay, Katie, Navy Scott (Both my brother and brother-in-law are named Scott), my mom, and Peajay's mom went out to a bar to celebrate and play pool. I don't know that the rules of 9-ball pool are very fair. I won two games when I did significantly worse than my opponent...I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

The day after graduation, my parents hosted a party for Scott. It was fun to see a lot of old friends and meet some of Scott & Peajay's new friends! Here are my grandparents enjoying the unseasonably cool August day on the back porch.

Waiting for the train in Dallas on Sunday.

Enjoying the view from the observation car. We saw lots of cows : )

Finally napping!

That was our whirlwind end of the summer! The fall is going to be pretty busy as well, with school, a wedding in Memphis over Labor Day weekend, Jonathan's sister's wedding in November, and everything in between : )

Monday, August 8, 2011

My toddler's taste in music

I must admit, I don't play a lot of music for Jon. We mostly have NPR and podcasts going during the day, because I need to hear other adults talking ; ) I have learned that he likes classical music and opera. Yes, he likes opera music. He will stop and look in awe at my iPhone when opera comes on.

I learned today he's not a fan of rock, or I suppose alternative rock. I was listening to "All Songs Considered," NPR's music podcast. The songs featured had a rock feel, and Jon kept going over to my iPhone, docked on the kitchen counter, and would hit the 'next' button on my playlist. He did it twice, and now is playing happily while we listen to the news.

Maybe he'll come around to rock music one day : )

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stress, Disappointment, Anger and Sadness

I thought I would be completely honest in the title of this blog so that those who don't want to read about it don't have to!

Stress: Looking at houses is stressful! I realize this is a 'buyers market,' but I have lost more sleep over this whole house buying thing than I have for anything. But the stress is short lived, because...

Disappointment: What we thought was going to be a long term (and I mean long term...we considered the possibility of sending Jon to this school when he reaches 7th grade) job for Jonathan at a private school here in San Marcos looks like it will only be for one year, because...

Anger: The school board of old, white men has decided that men with long hair are unfit to teach Jr. High and Sr. High students. And yes, they just expected Jonathan to cut his hair because they told him to. (He isn't). Which leads me to...

Sadness: My husband is the sweetest guy I know, and he has worked soooooo hard to be a good teacher, and I feel like he just keeps hitting ridiculous road blocks. I am just sad that he now has to start the job search process all over again, for the third time in three years.

If I didn't have faith that God has what is best for us in his plan, I would be taking this much worse than I am right now. I recognize that I am so upset because life is not going according to my plan - the way I want things to be. Yes, I want a house for the stability, equity, creativity, and vanity that comes with owning my own home. Yes, I want my husband to have a long term, stable job where he can teach kids mathematics. Yes, I want my son to follow directions (I know that has nothing to do with this post, but the 'terrible twos' have come early to our home). Jonathan reminded me today that there are no perfect houses, perfect jobs, or perfect children! I suppose this lesson in faith and contentment is one I still need to learn.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back in the game!

I ran a 5k this morning in North Austin to support a local foster care/adoption agency (! Since it was an hour away and at 8 a.m., Jonathan and Jon stayed at home in bed and I headed out at 6:30 by myself. It was a mid-sized race with a lot of very energetic supporters. I actually recognized a guy from San Marcos there - he is one of the elite runners sponsored by our local running store, so I don't actually know him, but I recognized him from the group runs. I didn't stick around for the race results, but my guess is that he placed. My goal for the race was to finish it without walking and to enjoy myself! I haven't actually run 3 miles straight since sometime in early May because I am a complete pansy when it comes to running in the heat!! I took a few mini breaks to grab water at the water stations, and overall I was pleased with myself. Not my best, but not my worst 5k. I ran the first two miles at the same pace, and was looking forward to finishing the last mile a little faster, but as I rounded the turn that took us into mile 3, I saw a long, steady, ridiculous incline ahead of me. Pretty much the last mile was uphill...and I kind of bonked. Someone in a walker probably could have passed me at how slow I was jogging up that hill. In the back of my head, I told myself, "Just keep running, just keep running, just keep running" a la Dory in Finding Nemo. When I finished, I dumped a bottle of water over my head, and it was the most glorious feeling in the world!

Now I need to motivate myself to get up at 6 a.m. three times a week to run in my neighborhood and build my base back up for Fall half marathon training. I think I might be able to do it, since the past few months have been full of motivating myself to do things: do the dishes every night, help Jon pick up his toys before nap and before dinner ever day, generally keep my apartment in better shape, go to the gym four times a week, and eat more reasonable food. About six weeks ago after talking with a friend on the phone, I realized that I needed to quit talking about all of the stuff I wished I was better at, and just do it. Just take responsibility and do it. Since that mentality has helped me in other areas of my life, I think it should work with running too.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mom/Grammie visit

My mom (known to Jon as Grammie) came in for a quick visit from Thursday through Saturday. We had a great, relaxing time, although I did not take ANY pictures!! Jonathan caught one of Jon playing in Grammie's 'floaty' while I was getting ready to go down to the river.

Note that our idea of 'childproofing' is covering things Jon shouldn't get into with various sheets!

We had a lot of fun at the river - Jon was much more adventurous, and wanted to go into the parts that are too deep for him. That's where Grammie's floaty came in very handy! She and Jon also played a game of 'up/down,' which Jon loves because he can say "up" and "down." We left when cloud cover and a bit of a breeze were making us chilly and turning Jon's bottom lip blue. Who knew that could happen when it was 100 degrees outside?

Thursday afternoon, we just chilled while Jon napped, and then Mom and I went to a friend's house for sangria and hang-out time with new friends. Thankfully my mom didn't mind hanging out with a bunch of 30 somethings who talked about their toddlers!

On Friday, we brought out the sewing machine for a bit of a tutorial and a project.

I sewed a bit when I was little - making doll clothes and helping my mom make stuff for me. The last project I attempted was quilted pillows in college, and I failed miserably. I begged my mother for a sewing machine a few years ago when I switched jobs and thought I would have more time on my hands. Hah! At Youth Villages, you never have time on your hands : ) Then when I became a stay-at-home-mom, I was too afraid of the machine to try it out on my own. But with my mom here to guide me, I successfully made the world's simplest seersucker romper for Jon. Seriously, it took a combined total of about 3 hours to make - world's most simple romper. My mom brought a pattern straight from the 70s that she had used for my sister, brother and me. Below is Jon modeling his new outfit.

He wore it with a simple white onesie to church today, and I thought he looked great : ) It is also nice and cool, and very easy to move around in. Maybe I'll try to be brave and make a couple more in different colors.

Thanks, Mom, for the fun visit and helping me overcome my fear of my sewing machine!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cooling off

Last week when the walls were closing in of our little (but air conditioned) apartment, we slathered on sunscreen, changed into swimsuits, grabbed Jon's life jacket, and headed to the river. The San Marcos River begins on the Texas State campus as a spring, so it is very clean, very clear water. Due to our drought, there are sections of the river shallow enough for Jon to walk around in, with the water hitting at about his waist. Although I, along with all of Central Texas, would really love some rain, it was really fun to let Jon run around in the river. There were a lot of other families with little kids at the river, and a few dogs, so we had a lot of fun! My mom is coming for a visit this week, and we're planning a trip down to the river again on Thursday.

We had a picnic in the park by the river on Saturday, and watched all of the toobers going by. The weekend is not a good time to actually get in the river, because all of the 'out of towners' are here en mass, taking up precious water real estate, but pumping funds into our local economy : ) Tubing and outlet shopping: that's what people come to San Marcos for!

Friday, June 17, 2011

How can it be 100 degrees and not yet Summer?

June is half way over, and time just keeps flying by! A number of people have asked if we have anything planned for the summer. Since Jonathan is not working over the summer and we are living on savings, our plans for the summer include not. spending. money. There are tons of free things to do around here, and I really need to get my butt in gear to enjoy them! Free concerts, free movies, library story time, the river, etc. I wish we had a sprinkler park here in town - the closest ones are about 30 miles away in Austin. Or I suppose the new term is 'splash pad.' We will definitely start working on fun, free stuff soon! In the meantime, here is what I'm up to:

1. Working! I work part time as our church's office administrator. It keeps me sane, brings in a little buffer income, and I really do love helping out the church. As the office administrator, I am also webmaster. Although a self-titled technophobe, I have had to learn my way around a little html. The first full page that I made for the site, start to finish (almost...our bookkeeper made the Paypal button...I did not), is Granted, I just duplicated another page and used iWeb, but I am pretty darn proud of the outcome. Feel free to visit the site : )

2. Shedding SAHM pounds! Now, I know not every stay-at-home-mom gains weight, but good grief I did! Something about living in a 700 square foot apartment in rural Texas with a fully stocked refrigerator and constantly filled cookie jar will do that to you. My previous job entailed giving lots of tours, regularly playing kick ball, and generally being more active, so switching to SAHM actually was a bit more sedentary. In the past three weeks, I have shed 9 pounds, thanks to revamping what I eat (i.e. no full cookie jar anymore) and going to our activity center at least three days a week. According to Weight Watchers, I have 26 pounds to go to get to my 'goal weight.' Let me tell you, I haven't been at my 'goal weight' since I was 15 years old! We'll see how well I continue to do. I wish I could say I am running again, but I'm not. It is sooooo hot! Uggh...can't bring myself to do it. Jonathan and I ran early in the morning one day last week, but haven't continued the trend. If I have any hope of running a fall half marathon, I need to start running now!

3. House Dreaming! Not quite house hunting, but house dreaming. We would like to buy a house in the next 6 months or so, but we have to wait for all the financial stuff until Jonathan starts getting paid again. So we have spent a good bit of time on real estate web sites, walking around our neighborhood, and day dreaming. One of my college friends once told me that you are not a real adult until you are a) married, b) a parent, and c) a homeowner. I have been putting off real adulthood for a while now, but since Jonathan has a job with long term potential, we feel the need to invest in a house instead of giving our money to a landlord.

And for your enjoyment, I stole Jonathan's iPhone and sent myself some pictures:Link

Mother's Day 2011

My Mother's Day gift from Jon:
Diet Dr. Pepper, Peanut Butter M&Ms, and a hand addressed card

Jon riding the carousel on a moving horse for the first time.

(note: this is his second haircut in his 16 month life and he kept his curls. Will they come back?)

Post-haircut trip to Target. Soothing himself with those fingers after the trauma.
I will also note that his hair line pays homage to his middle name.
That is definitely the Pollock hair line.

An unscheduled (is that a real word?) nap a few days ago after we had been swimming in our apt complex pool. My selfish goal in the swimming trip was to wear him out, and I suppose it did the trick.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Week in Review

We had a pretty full week around here! It started with Jon having a fever, rash, and then awful blisters around his mouth, palms of his hands and finger, and all over his feet and toes. Welcome Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease! It is a very common virus for babies and toddlers, and two of Jon's little friends had it at the same time, caught from the big brother of a friend. Jon was a trooper, and did very well as the virus ran its course. The worst was sleeping - he woke frequently during the night for several nights and wouldn't go back to sleep unless I was with him. I pretty much just slept in Jon's room for about three nights to help him settle back to sleep each time he woke up. The picture below doesn't really do him justice (note the blisters around his mouth), but he looks pretty pathetic.

He's healing up pretty well now, and his rash and blisters are fading. So glad we have a chicken pox vaccine now! I don't think I could go through chicken pox after dealing with HFMD for a weekend!

I have learned not to leave crayons lying around...

Thankfully my 80's dishwasher was very easy to clean off and no longer has Jon's red crayon masterpiece on it.

We took a quick trip to Dallas Thursday through Saturday to see my parents and also give Jonathan some time to help my brother prepare for an Algebra test next week. Since we have season passes to Six Flags, we couldn't pass up a trip to the original Six Flags Over Texas. Jon's favorite ride was the log flume; he actually smiled and giggled on the ride. Jon usually has a very concerned look on his face while on rides at amusement parks. Below is a picture of Jon taking a nap while Jonathan and my mom are riding the Texas Giant.

My dad recently got an iPhone, and he spent a bit of the trip talking with Jonathan about apps, settings, HD video, etc. Here they are playing with their toys in my parents' living room.

There is a new fountain/sprinkler area at a shopping center in Cedar Hill, and it is quite the hang out for young families in the town. We didn't bring a swim suit for Jon, but he was able to have fun in a onesie! He loved it, and unfortunately left crying...well, we couldn't stay ALL day : (

On the way home last night, we stopped in Round Rock for dinner and frozen yogurt. As I looked down at Jonathan's cup, I had to take a picture. Can you tell which one of us is trying to lose weight??

I also shared mine with Jon, and this counted as Jon's serving of fruit with his dinner. Speaking of losing weight, one of my sweet little friends at church came up and gave me a hug today, and then asked if I was having another baby. She poked my tummy and said it looked like I was having a baby. In her defense, she is 6 years old, and I have gained weight since becoming a stay-at-home mom : ) I wish I could blame my weight gain on a baby, I actually weigh as much as I did when I was about 3 months pregnant with Jon, but I can only blame myself, eating too much sugary and fat stuff, and not exercising enough. So now I'm tracking what I'm eating and making myself exercise everyday. It certainly helps that it is the summer and Jonathan is home to watch Jon while I go to the activity center to go to classes.

So that was the past week in our family! Hopefully this week we will all sleep well, get plenty of exercise, and have a ton of fun : )

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Farmer's Market

We finally went to our farmer's market today in San Marcos. It is teeny tiny - about 10 vendors in all. I bought peaches and tomatoes, and almost bought a chicken, but I decided I would use the already-paid-for-and-industrially-raised chicken in my fridge for dinner tonight. The vendor explained that the chickens are slaughtered the day before the market, and they are good for six days. I usually don't like imagining my food being slaughtered...but I know these chickens get to run around in the grass and eat bugs and stuff before they die, instead of living in a tiny pen with thousands of other chickens, eating who knows what and having their beaks and claws cut off while they are still alive. Once I actually purchase one of these chickens, I will report back on how it tastes : ) This vendor also sells eggs, so I guess we'll start getting our eggs from him.

On our walk back from the farmer's market, we stopped in at our local taco place and each got a taco and drink for an afternoon snack. We may live in a small town without big city amenities, but it is nice to be able to walk from our apartment to the farmer's market that is pretty much on the complete other side of town in about 10 minutes and get to swing by our favorite Mexican place on the way home.

I also made it to yoga at our community center last night. There are wall to wall mirrors in the work out room, so I got to see what a fat piece of lard I have turned into over the past several months...but maybe it will be motivation to walk away from the cookies and -ahem- tacos in the future. There is a boot camp class offered tonight, and I think I'll go to it too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Felt the need for an update, but nothing is really going on. I've been in a funk which I attribute to a cold, hormones, and lack of exercise. I tried to go to a yoga class at our community center today, but when I got there I saw on the schedule that the yoga class is on Fridays, not Saturdays. As I walked to my car, I had to physically fight back tears. Hopefully next week will be better! The biggest thing going on is that I bought free range nesting eggs at the grocery store. They were only about $.50 more than my normal eggs, since I already bought vegetarian-fed eggs before. What was kind of funny is that I am making about 3 meat-free dinners a week to save money, but now I'm buying more expensive eggs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Last night, Jonathan and I went out on a see a documentary. One of our friends is about to start an internship in organic and sustainable farming, and he was hosting a screening of FRESH last night. We met with a lot of friends, ate decent pizza and drank amazing beer, then watched an informative and uplifting documentary about the food industry and the growing movement of organic and sustainable agriculture. I told a friend before the viewing that I am still lazy and just buy the meat my grocery store sells because it is easy. After seeing FRESH, I want to do whatever I can to help out sustainable farmers. We don't have a great farmers market in San Marcos, but there are several farmers markets in towns near us, and of course I can buy grass fed beef and cage free chicken at Whole Foods in Austin (a 40 mile drive...). We also have a community garden, and now that I know we will live in San Marcos for a few more years, I have more motivation to look into renting a plot and growing some stuff! I have read about several of you in Memphis who have plots out at Shelby Farms - I would love to learn more about how you researched how to grow your food.

Most documentaries I have seen about agriculture leave me very depressed, but FRESH was encouraging and positive. I highly encourage you to seek out (or even host) a screening!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quick Update! (and a soap box that you can skip)

Just wanted to post a quick update about some new stuff!

a) I am slowly getting into a bit more of a cleaning routine. Bed is made every morning, I refuse to put clothes in a pile, dishes are completely done before going to bed each night, Jon's toys are picked up (nearly) every night after dinner, and bathroom is getting cleaned once a week. My next big things to tackle are keeping my work space organized (I work part time from home), figuring out when to vacuum on a regular basis. Your comments have been very encouraging : ) My brother and I talked about how we are having to figure out how to do daily chores as adults since we didn't have daily chores as kids. Wouldn't trade my childhood for anything, but there are some downsides to not being made to keep your room tidy. : )

b) Jon is eating his vegetables!!! Thanks to his new skill of using a spoon and dipping, we are packing the veggies in. Today he ate an entire helping of semi-pureed vegetables without any problem at lunch. He was so excited to be using a spoon and feeding himself : ) He also ate an entire ham and cheese sandwich (well, a toddler sized sandwich) at lunch! I am very thankful for this good week of eating. Last week was...shall we say...unpleasant.

c) Jonathan has a job! We had some drama with health insurance options earlier this week, but I think things are going to work out. I'll report more on the job once Jonathan gives me the okay. (He hasn't officially signed any paperwork yet).

Soap box of the week: HEALTH INSURANCE
Most of you are probably insured through an employer, and probably have a large pool of people on your insurance plan. That is what I had at Youth Villages. Let me tell you: all of the 60+ hour work weeks, getting cursed out by the occasional kid or parent, and crying every now and then was TOTALLY worth it for the rock star health benefits. I don't think I will ever have an insurance plan like I had with YV. Low premium, low co pay, low deductible...very nice! Our current health plan is good, I think probably on par with most folks. What Jonathan was offered with his future job was simply not affordable at all. Our monthly budget just would not have been able to manage. So I started looking into purchasing individual coverage. There are actually several very good individual plans out there for families. IF you are not going to have any more children. Apparently insurance companies only used to offer maternity coverage as a rider, or add on, to individual plans. I suppose this makes sense, since anyone can get cancer or get in a car accident, but only women can get pregnant. (Does it really make sense though?) However, due to a loop hole in the health care law, insurance companies are not mandated to offer maternity riders, so guess what? Since they don't have to do it, they aren't! There is no way in the state of Texas to have pregnancy and delivery covered by an individual insurance plan. No way. It is not offered. At all. So if you are self employed, or your employer doesn't offer group insurance, or your group insurance is crazy expensive because one colleague has a family member with cancer and you can't afford your have to pay out of pocket to have a baby. I always thought of maternity coverage as basic, and maybe...maybe...quality medical care while pregnant and delivering your baby might help lower our infant mortality rate. But apparently only those who have employer coverage or Medicaid should be offered insured medical care while pregnant. Does this not make you want to throttle both insurance companies and politicians? What makes me more mad is that politicians are arguing over federal funding for abortions, and no one has even mentioned that individual insurance plans do not even offer the option of a maternity plan. If you have an unplanned pregnancy and are facing either paying $15,000 out of pocket to carry your baby to term and deliver it in a hospital or have an abortion...what do you think people are going to choose? If you do not want people to have abortions, please make carrying a baby to term and delivering it affordable. Please : ) I had no idea that this maternity rider issue was there until it affected me**, and I am sure there are many other aspects of our health care system that are equally as unimaginable, but I am just not aware of them because they do not affect my every day life. So now I am telling everyone I know that this is out there. I think I'll even write to my legislators.

** Note: I am not pregnant. Just didn't want to confuse anyone ; )

Friday, April 29, 2011

15 months!

Someone replaced my baby with a little boy!

He is a super sweet little boy, so I shouldn't complain : ) Here are some random bits about my kiddo after one and a quarter years:

  • He loves to give hugs. This positively melts my heart. He hugs me, Jonathan, his stuffed animals, his blocks, the furniture, the cat (or tries to), and his friends. Earlier this week, he hugged one of his friends who is a bit smaller than he is...and he knocked her on the floor : ( She recovered quickly, thankfully. I get a hug when I pick Jon up in the morning, when I change his diapers, when we sit next to one another on the couch, while I'm doing the dishes, while I'm working at my desk...pretty much all the time. He really is a sweetie.
  • He loves to read. Jon has started to 'read' on his own, i.e. opening his books and babbling, then turning the page and babbling some more. He is actually behind in his language skills - should have 6 distinct words and he pretty much calls everything 'dada' but with different inflection. The dr. said we'll just see how he is at 18 months go from there. I came home from his check up yesterday wanting to buy flashcards and start drilling him on words. Jonathan says we should probably just keep talking to him, reading to him, and correcting him when he calls everything 'dada.' Jonathan is probably right.
  • He can now point to his belly button when you ask him to.
  • He loves emptying the dishwasher. He's actually quite good at it, and I have started waiting until he's up and about to unload it because he has so much fun handing me the dishes and flatware. Jon has actually become so good at unlocking, opening, and climbing on the dishwasher door...that we have purchased a baby gate to keep him out of the kitchen when he is not supervised.
  • He is on a vegetable strike again, unless said veggies are pureed. Step back unfortunately, but I am willing to puree his peas and carrots to get him to eat them. Mealtime has become a bit messier, because although the veggies are now mush, he insists on self feeding. Still not a fan of meat, so we're going to have to put him on a multivitamin to make sure he's getting enough iron and B12 and all that fun stuff. He is eating sandwiches, quesadillas, mac n' cheese, pizza, and other 'big kid' food. He wants to eat his sandwiches and pizza like a big person, no more little squares. I think that if I gave him only fruit at all of his meals, he would love me forever.
  • We continue to add to our rock collection every day. Jon loves playing in the dirt, chewing on sticks, and picking up rocks. He inadvertently squeezed a caterpillar the other day : (
  • He has started saying "Dah!" after we pray...kind of his Amen? See above note about slow language. It is pretty sweet, though.
  • We watch one episode of Sesame Street every day. I told you I was going to be one of those moms who didn't let her kids watch tv until they were 4 or 5. I am actually a real mom, so Jon watches Sesame Street while I get work done. Thanks to our small apartment, I am getting work done in the same room as he is watching Elmo and Big Bird, so I can still interact with him. Before we got the baby gate for the kitchen, Sesame Street was the only way I could redirect Jon from wanting to empty the dishwasher of its dirty dishes.
  • He is down to one nap a day. I still put him in his crib for a little while in the afternoon for 'rest time.' He will lay down, sing to himself, and play with his toys. This also allows me to take a shower if I didn't get one earlier in the day, clean up a bit, or do some work uninterrupted. He always seems super happy, so hopefully this is not child abuse.
  • His 15 month stats are:
33.5 inches (97%)
29 lbs, 4 oz (95%)
20.25 in head circumferance (off the charts, >100%)
This last stat was not helpful when I was trying to buy a sun hat for him earlier today....

That was probably more than you wanted to know, but I wanted to share anyway! Although we are now starting to deal with disobedience, temper tantrums, and some terrible twos possibly coming early, Jon is a super sweet, loving, and generally obedient child. He truly is a gift from God, and I am so glad I have him : )

Here he is showing you what he does most of the day - run around!