Monday, November 27, 2006

A good Christmas song is "Celebrate me Home".

A bad Christmas song is "Christmas Shoes" .

Friday, November 17, 2006

They must have read my blog

After karate yesterday we decided to go to Braum's but I warned the kids not to play in the playland. When I pulled the car up I could see that the entire playland had been ripped out. There were visible stains on the concrete floor. "Look at all that whiz." I commented to the kids. Ben cracked up.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And speaking of odors...

On Thursdays after karate, I usually take the kids somewhere for a treat. A few times we went to Braum's which is a fast food/ice cream shop. They have the filthiest playland I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of playlands. The playland does not have tables inside, just a bench, so I was sitting at our table outside with Abe, while the other kids played. When it was time to go I went in to the play area to tell the kids and had to immediatly cover my nose. Inside there was this weird sickly sweet smell, but terrible, I couldn't put my finger on what it was. As we were getting in the car I said,
"It smelled in there. What was that smell?"
"Melted ice cream mixed with whiz." was Ben's prompt reply.
Yeah, that sounds about right. Needless to say, now we go to Baskin Robbins.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Inconvenient Smell

For the last week, a mystery odor has taken over my kitchen. I'm not really sure what it smells like, but it is not good. My first thought is that it was coming from underneath the oven, but there was nothing under there that would cause it. Different members of the family smell it in different places. Sometimes it seems the smell has gone away for 1/2 a day but it always comes back. I thought perhaps an animal died in the kitchen somewhere. I cleaned under the major appliances, even disconnecting the dishwasher and pulling it out from under the counter so I could see if something was behind there (nothing). The smell is actually making me a bit crazy. Two days ago while sitting on the kitchen floor investigating, I decided I couldn't take it anymore and used a hammer to pry the front baseboards off of 2 of the cabinets. No, there was no dead mouse in there as I had hoped to see, but there was plenty of disgusting crap. Cobwebs like I had never seen before, sawdust, construction dirt etc., and thousands of dead bugs - mostly ants and rolly pollys. Despite the fact that there were about 500 of those egg sacs that spiders make, I did not see one single spider. There were no animal droppings or any evidence of larger animals being down there. Yesterday, while lying on the floor trying to vacuum it all out with the attachment hose, my hair got sucked into the main part of the vacuum where the brush spins around and some of it got ripped out. Today the smell is still there. Oh odor gods, why must you torture me?!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spongebob Squarepants Pumpkin

This is from a few years ago, but we have such fond memories of this pumpkin.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I pity the poor fool

Whose car is next to mine during the trunk or treat. I went with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme this year. Ben made a replication of Jack's scientific method on his white board. We hung halloween socks as stockings, had a halloween wreath, and lights, and we even played the music from the movie. The kids reported that it was the best car there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Weight loss

This is what I have been working on since school started. It is not "pregnancy weight". It's going Ok although some days are harder. Like today when I bought $40 worth of candy. That's about 400 pieces. It's for the Trunk or Treat at the kids school. I always figure for about 350 kids. So far I ate 2 pieces. Stupid Halloween!

Monday, October 16, 2006

House of Vomit

Yep, that's where I live right about now. Some sort of stomach bug is making it's way through the family. The kids are still learning about appropriate places to throw up. Unfortunately (for me) I found out after the first "accident" on the carpet, that my Spot Bot was not working.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Little Girl Lost

"Little Girl Lost" is the name of the first Twilight Zone episode I remember watching. It scared me so much, but in a good way. It is about a girl who ends up in another dimension after going through a portal of some sort that is in her bedroom wall. I've only seen the episode one time but I remember everything about it. There is a synopsis of it on Wikipedia, and it is just as I remembered. The Simpsons even did a take off of this episode once, which I recognized right away. When anyone ever asks me what my favorite Twilight Zone episode is, I always say this one. My local TV station started playing reruns at night. Checking the listings, it seems like they are playing them in order. Hopefully sometime next month I'll get to see my favorite.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

McDonald's Friend (again)

Well, I saw her again. This time it was at Meet the Teacher night at the middle school. First I saw her sitting several rows in front of me in the cafeteria, where everyone had to start. After a brief meeting there, we had to visit each of our child's classes. While entering the 4th class on Ada's list, there she was again, about 4 or 5 people ahead of me, waiting to sign in. I was pleased that I might figure out what her name is, but when I got to the sign in sheet, it was just a list of the students names and a place for parents to initial.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ahh, back to school!

Here are the boys on their first day back to school.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I was reading a post on another blog about someone's church confirmation and it reminded me of my own. The experience was actually quite meaningless to me, which in turn had a bigger effect on who I am now.

Let me back up and tell you that I was not baptized in a church, my parents did it themselves in the ocean. I actually love that, however I grew up thinking I was not "really" baptized like everyone else at church. One time at church I read in the service leaflet, "All baptized Christians are welcome to join us for communion." Having taken communion for several months I was a bit scared that I wasn't supposed to have done it and worriedly showed my mother, who reassured me I was fine. At our church (Episcopal), most people are baptized as babies, only very rarely would an adult be baptized. As a girl, my mom told me that if I wanted to I could participate in the church ceremony. I declined, but had thoughts of doing it someday in the future.

Once a year the older teens would participate in a confirmation ceremony. I was never really sure what that was for, but watched it for several years growing up. The teens would be dressed up in even nicer than church clothes, and would receive small gifts, (usually a bible) afterwards. It turns out, it is sort of a renewing of the baptismal vows, a more mature statement of faith. When I was probably around 15 it was decided by the church that I would be confirmed. Unlike the writer of the above blog, I had no studying to do or preparation, other than shopping for an outfit to wear. In our church, a bishop was the one who did the confirmations and it was a really big deal when any of the "higher ups" came to the local church. I don't think I had to say anything during the ceremony. There were a series of statements that the bishop read and the congregation had set answers that they replied. That was it. There was no one else being confirmed that day, so unlike the ceremonies I had seen in the past, I was standing alone, not with a group of my peers.

Afterwards my mother simply gushed about how wonderful the bishop was and how magical it was when he looked at me.
"Do you feel different?" she asked me.
"No." I said, feeling rather disappointed "Should I?"
She said something like "That's up to you."
I thought about it. It seemed ridiculous to me that the bishop could be so special that he could change a person just by looking at or touching them. After all, he was just a regular man, just like everyone else.

As we were getting ready to leave, a few of the church leaders came over and spoke to us. Apparently one of them had told the bishop after the ceremony about my special situation of not being baptized at church. It was told to me rather casually something like, "by the way, he baptized you too." Yes that's right, apparently even though the ceremony was over, and even though it was only a confirmation ceremony, and even though I was already baptized, and even though I did not consent, the bishop still was able to baptize me. Now that really is magic!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You know what sucks?

David: "It sucks to be cold."
Shannon: "It sucks to be hot too."
David: "You know what doesn't suck? Just right."
Shannon: "Yeah, just right is the best."

Scary Bed - part 3

Recurring nightmares! When I was little I had the same few nightmares over and over. There was one in particular that stuck with me though. It involved a puppet-like character, sort of like the characters on Sesame Street. In my dream, just like on Sesame Street, it was perfectly normal for puppets to talk to people. This puppet was sort of horse-like, with a long face/nose, the way a horse is. In each dream this horse puppet would come over to my house and ask if I could play. I didn't want to, but my mom would always tell me to anyway, to be polite. So I would go, and in each dream we would start to play but then the puppet would eat me. The way he would eat me would be the way Cookie Monster eats a cookie; loudly grunting and pieces flying all over the place. The pieces flying about looked like bits of styrofoam and that's when I would wake up. To this day when I see horses or anything else with a long face like that (some dogs have it, cartoon characters, etc.) it gives me a weird irrational feeling.

Another dream I had frequently had a few variations but it always involved any weird creatures that I had seen that week on Star Trek (the original). One time they were flying pancake-like things; another time large balls of hair. The story was this: I would be at my school in my pajamas and the Star Trek creature would be there attacking me and the other children. Most of the time I would startle awake, but I distinctly remember one time that the paramedics from the TV show Emergency! came and rescued us. So I guess my nightmares were not all bad after all!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Anti-circus, anti-zoo

I didn't used to feel this way. Not so very long ago I used to love both of these places, especially the circus. When I was little we visited the LA Zoo all the time. Sometimes there would be people outside picketing. They would shout, "Boycott the zoo!" over and over as we went past. "What weirdos!" I would think to myself. Now I wish I could join them.

My feelings began after a trip to the Fort Worth Zoo about 2 years ago. It's actually a very nice zoo - one of the better ones I've been to. They have a very large gorilla exhibit. The gorillas have a place where they can play outside or come inside. Zoo guests can see them in both places too. On this visit the gorillas were inside. One of them was sitting right up against the glass. A lot of people were gathered around, all pointing, shouting and knocking on the glass. The gorilla looked sad to me (I know, they always look like that), but I felt so bad for him. The gorillas humanoid features got to me. I started to wonder if he was really happy living at the zoo.

A few weeks later we visited the circus. I have many happy memories of going there as a child and I wanted to share that with my kids. We had already been when Tommy was a baby, and I loved it, but the other kids were too young to remember. I was so excited to take them there. The tickets were about $25 each, and as it turned out they were for balcony seats. I was disappointed we were up so high, but the kids didn't seem to mind. Before the show started, I went to get cotton candy - it was $10! So with $30 worth of cotton candy we started to watch "the greatest show on earth". I started to see the show with different eyes. Did the elephants really want to be here? Did they want to be dressed up and hold each others tails? Many of the acts are animal acts. One of the acts involved horses running in one of the rings. They ran faster and faster and made their circle smaller. Then, one of the horses fell to the ground and we all gasped. The trainer cracked his whip and the horse got up and the act continued. I noticed some of the horses wobbling a bit, as clearly they aren't meant to be running so tightly. I started to feel sad again. I was ashamed that I had spent money to support such a place. As we left David commented that we should wait a few years before going again to which I replied, "I wouldn't be sad if we never went again!"

Friday, July 07, 2006


We tie-dyed shirts as a summer project. As I learned, the dying part doesn't take that long. Waiting overnight to see how they would turn out was difficult, but it was worth it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Disney dilemma

Every once in awhile I get this urge to go to Disneyland. Sometimes the urge is so strong that I feel like if I don't go soon I will die! I am in the middle of one of those times now. I spend some part of each day trying to figure out how I can get there. I fantasize about my ultimate Disney vacation and how great it will be. I discuss plans with David about retiring near Disneyland in the future. Yesterday I did some calculations on how much it would cost to live at one of the Disney hotels and go to the park 365 days a year. I presented the number to David. He told me that going there everyday would get old after awhile and suggested that when we retire we can go once a quarter for a week each time. My first reaction was "Wh-what?? Disneyland... get OLD?? Does not compute!!" But when I pondered it further I suppose he is right. It would be a bit like Christmas everyday, and in all the cartoon shows I've seen on that subject, it never works out.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I see London, I see France...

I am so sick of looking at underpants. This trend of ladies having their underwear sticking out of their pants is driving me crazy. I used to see it all the time last summer, but not so much anymore. I would especially notice it at restaurants or other places where people were sitting. Once Ada and I were walking through the mall and a lady was in a shoe store near the window. As she crouched down to try on some shoes we had full view of her underwear. I was glad that the boys were not with me! What is wrong with these ladies? Can't they feel that their butt is sticking out? I realized I hadn't seen that in awhile but a few nights ago at Wal-Mart there was a lady wearing some sort of wrap around skirt. As she passed me I could see that she had the skirt tied in the back - just below her underpants.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

4 cute kids

Scary Bed - part 2

"My bed tipped last night!" That is what I would say to my parents when I was very small when I was sick. I still sort of remember what it felt like. It seemed that one of the legs on the bed frame was shorter or broken and that the bed was constantly shaking or tipping. I'm not quite sure what made me feel that way. Was I just dizzy? Feverish? Have some sort of inner ear problem? I know it wasn't the bed because one time the "tipping" was really bothering me and I got up to tell my parents. On the way to their room I felt the whole house tipping and I fell down in the hallway.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Orange juice connoisseur

Growing up I drank orange juice every single day with breakfast. It was the frozen kind that has to be mixed with water. We often would go camping during my youth and during those trips my mom would pack small cans of orange juice with a pull-top lid, (the kind they don't make anymore). The canned orange juice tasted a lot different; so sour, horrible really. As a kid I was so used to having oj with my breakfast that I got used to the taste. When I grew up I still had such fond memories of those camping trips. I started college right after high school and I was delighted to find that the cafeteria sold orange juice in cans. The taste of it transported me back to a happier time and place. I would buy a can on my class break and bring it back to the room.
"Eww, how can you drink that?" the other students would ask me. "It's so sour!"
"I like it." I would say.
Now I have moved several times in my life, and every state or city has different stores with different brands. I have tasted many kinds of orange juice and the kind I like the best come in cans. The juice itself tastes bad, but the memories are good.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wipe hands on pants.

Hand dryers are loud and take too long to dry your hands. In a crowded bathroom ladies sometimes have to wait to use the dryer. Using paper towels is faster and works better.

Once I was using a hand dryer that had directions printed on a metal plate on the top. The directions read:

1. Press button.
2. Place hands under dryer.

3. Rub hands briskly.

Underneath, someone had scratched into the metal:

4. Wipe hands on pants.

That was a long time ago but I still laugh when I think of it. I don't think I have ever seen a more appropriate piece of graffiti.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The pendulum - 10 years later.

My comments have requested to see the "advice" from Abe's doctor. Let me start by saying that even the doctor visits for Abe are different than they were for Ada. Now it feels more like an interrogation. These "check-ups" are actually just a barrage of questions to make sure I'm following all the current parenting rules. He begins with reminding me that Abe has to sit in a carseat and it has to be rear facing. Nevermind the fact that Abe is sitting in said carseat while he's telling me this. Then he goes on with things like:

"Does anyone smoke in your house?"
"Do you have any guns?"
"How many smoke alarms do you have?"

I've been going to this doctor for 5 years and he asks me this each time. Write it down for Pete's sake!

Then on to more personal questions that seem to try to judge my mental state.

"How do the other kids like the baby?"
"Do they help you out?"
"Are you getting any sleep?"
"How often do you get out alone with your husband?"

Then the questions actually about Abe:

"He is sleeping on his back?"
"How often does he eat?"
"How many diapers does he go through?"
"You're not feeding him any solid food, right?"

Abe's infant care sheets are actually very general compared to Ada's. There's nothing on there about not giving your baby water, however I had heard of it before he was born. It has just recently become taboo to do so. Weird how something that was recommended less than 2 years ago is now considered poison. Double weird since your body is made mostly of water. Apparently the baby could get water intoxication from having too much water and possibly die. Well so can adults! A little water never hurt anyone, and I mean that literally, 1 ounce of water!

Abe's sheet does say: "Sleeping on the back or side only, not on the stomach. However, this is a good time to work on 'tummy time', putting your child on the stomach for 5-10 minutes twice a day while awake in preparation for rolling and crawling."
I simply hate the phrase "tummy time". So you can't put your baby on it's tummy to sleep, even though it is obviously more comfortable that way. But now twice a day you have to put it on it's tummy while awake. Some babies hate "tummy time" and who could blame them? But now there are a whole line of mats and other products to get babies to tolerate "tummy time". Ridiculous. What ever happened to trusting your instinct?

There is nothing on Abe's sheet about staying out of the sun, which seems to be common knowledge now. I don't think anyone in their right mind would give a baby a sunbath nowadays.

Although I disagree with some of these new rules, all these changes are done with safety in mind and that I can support. I feel kids these days are safer now than in the past. I sometimes think I go overboard in trying to protect my kids. I don't allow them to do some of the things their friends can do and I don't feel guilty about it.

When Tommy was a baby we visited some relatives. While eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast with them one of them asked me, "Did he have some cinnamon roll?"
I looked around, "He who? You mean Tommy? He's only 4 months old!"
"Well he could gum it." was her reply. She laughed and said, "Mothers these days! So cautious!"


Friday, June 16, 2006

And the pendulum swings.

The following are direct quotes from information sheets given to me by Ada's doctor at her infant checkups 11 years ago.

1. Warm tap water may be offered between feedings if the baby is awake.

2. Juice may be offered if the infant does not like water.

3. Let the baby sleep on it's abdomen, back or side as it prefers.

4. Baby may sleep outdoors if weather permits.

5. Sun baths may be started at 6 weeks of age. Expose front and back each one minute and, if tolerated, increase one minute a day up to 15 minutes each back and front.

6. Do not let strangers handle your baby.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Before I became a skeptic.

When I was about 5 years old, my sister and I would play with a boy named Jeremy who lived at the corner of our street. He was the same age as my sister (about 7 years old) so they played together more often. Jeremy had a swing in his front yard, and a treehouse in the back. One day we were all playing together and I think we were playing hide and seek. I was looking for my sister and Jeremy and I was pretty sure they were in the treehouse. I climbed up the ladder and tried to push the door up, but someone was holding it closed. I could hear them laughing inside. My sister shouted "We're not in the treehouse! We're by Jeremy's swing!" I stopped pushing on the door. All logic told me they were in the treehouse, however, I listened to my sister and pictured in my mind that they really were by the swing. I happily ran to the front yard and was shocked to see the swing empty, with no one around. I ran back to the treehouse and this time they were looking over the side, laughing at me. I couldn't believe it! I went to bed that night a little wiser.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

2nd generation.

My sea monkeys had babies! I started a sea monkey kit just after Christmas and have been faithfully feeding them and aerating their water. There were a lot of monkeys that hatched originally. When they got bigger, pairs of sea monkeys seemed to be "mating" all the time. I waited and waited for babies to come but none ever did. Occasionally, one or two of the sea monkeys would die. Last week I counted only 5 left. I was hoping they would have babies before they all died out. A few days ago I saw three of the sea monkeys stuck together, instead of the usual two. I guess that did the trick!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I am a ruler.

Here is a note that Ben gave me for Mother's Day. I love it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What the...?

This picture hangs at the Dallas Zoo. They don't have the actual animal there. I looked it up and it turns out that it is not a cross between a turkey and chicken as the name would imply. I'd like to see a real one someday.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My religion comes from a coloring book

Recently, David has been doing a lot of research. He is working on defining his beliefs and putting those beliefs into a religion. He has spent countless hours reading, discussing, defining and redefining these beliefs. All the work he is doing is exhausting to me. Every variation in beliefs has a different definition and a different name: Agnostics, Atheists, Existentialists, Extropians, Freethinkers, Humanists, Igtheists, Materialists, Naturalists, Objectivists, Optihumanists, Positivists, Rationalists, Secularists, Skeptics, Transhumanists, Universal Immortalists, Universists and more! It's too much for me to absorb.

I told him I don't think it should be that hard. How I want to live my life is quite simple. I showed David a coloring book that I purchased two years ago to celebrate HumanLight. It has simple statements and illustrations on each page describing good ways to live, like the above "Hurting people is wrong and helping people is good.", and "Be nice and fair to everyone, including people who are different from you." and "Be kind and careful with animals." It also has reminders of the importance of Art and Science.

I don't know the name for what I believe, but I believe everything in this book.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm full of have fun

There once was a commercial for Levi's (I think) that was on MTV a long time ago. It was full of people saying random things including a lady saying, "Fine. It's over." two times. My favorite one was a boy saying "I'm full of have fun."

Sometimes when I'm full of rage and I think that, my brain automatically adds on the "to have fun" part. Then I crack up.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Why I don't want to try Netflix

It seems that everyone I talk to is using Netflix instead of Blockbuster. I don't get it. Even though my closest Blockbuster is closing, the next closest one is 1.7 miles away. I can go there WHENEVER I WANT.

Kids want a movie? We can go.
They go to bed and I want my own movie? I can go.
Something wrong with the movie? I can go back.
Don't like the movie, want to change it? Problem fixed within 10 minutes.

New releases come out on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday at 10am, I can watch the latest movies. I'll bet I couldn't do that if I used Netflix.

Netflix recently settled a class action lawsuit against them regarding limiting their rentals to those who watched a lot of movies:

"Subscribers who signed up for "unlimited" DVD rentals found that shipments were slowed down if they watched large numbers of DVDs and returned them quickly. Heavy renters, who use more of the postage-paid envelopes provided by Netflix, provided lower profits; critics called the approach "throttling.""

Someone who rents as much as I do would be affected by this practice.

Blockbuster now has an online rental service as well. It seems better than Netflix since you get 2 free in store rentals per month. That would help you get a new release without waiting, but there still is the problem of getting a broken DVD. Once I was in Blockbuster and a customer was speaking to the manager. She said that she was an online customer and several of the movies she received recently were damaged and unplayable. She further commented that was disappointing and also that it rarely happened when she rented the movies from the store. She asked if there was anything the store could do about it. The manager sadly told her no.

After about a year of being on the Blockbuster movie pass, I am used the instant gratification I get from it. There's no way I can stop.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

McDonald's Friend

Do you ever see the same people over and over? Last summer, I was a frequent visitor to McDonald's playland. Each time I went, I saw the same woman there with her kids. One time was even on a Saturday morning for breakfast. After about the 4th or 5th time, I went over to her and said,
"I guess you like this place as much as I do."
She seemed puzzled.
"I've seen you here the last few times I've been here." I explained. She told me they come on Wednesdays after going to the library. I did not mention seeing her on Saturday too. She did not seem interested in talking further, so I went back to my table.

The very next time I went to McDonalds, she was there. I was in line and she got in line behind me.
"Hi, McDonald's friend!" I said to her.
She looked at me blankly.
"We met last time, remember." She smiled, but that was all, so I turned back around.

After summer was over I didn't go there in the afternoon anymore, so I haven't seen her there. However, since then I've seen her twice at Wal-Mart. Today I saw her for the 3rd time at Subway. I don't say anything to her, but perhaps I should change her name to "Subway friend".

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bye Bye Blockbuster

We have a monthly movie pass and a game pass to Blockbuster. We are allowed 3 movies out at a time and 1 game. We have a Blockbuster close to our house, only .2 miles away. Sometimes if it's a nice day we even walk there with the kids. Since having Abe, it has become my ritual to go everyday and pick a movie to watch during the evening and night feedings. If there is ever a problem with a DVD or game, it is nice that the store is so close. Today I found out that my local Blockbuster will be closing on June 15th! I am devastated.

Friday, April 28, 2006

What's a Hoodie?

While shopping for clothes online, I noticed quite a few tops now have hoods on them and are called "hoodie's". When I was growing up it was called a "sweatshirt", but whatever. This particular one had the description of being a "romantic hoodie". Romantic.....hoodie.......hmm, they just don't go together.
When I think of clothes with hoods, I think of jogging, boxing, rappers, or the unibomber. Definitly not romantic.

This one is called "Dress with Hood". Again, it's a DRESS with a HOOD on it. Why? Am I just not getting the fashion statement here? What is the point of having a hood on a dress? I guess you will be prepared if you need to go jogging in the rain, punch someone in the face, or bomb something.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Something Unexpected

On Monday afternoon, David and I decide to go to lunch and run a few errands beforehand. I needed to fax some papers so we went to the UPS Store. I ran in to use the fax while David waited in the car with Abe. I had only been in the store a minute and I thought I heard quite a few alarms outside. I looked out toward the parking lot but didn't see anything. About a minute later a man entered the store carrying a large duffle bag. He headed straight for the back of the store, walking very quickly and he seemed upset. I could hear him panting as he got close to me. The man went behind the counter. I glanced at the employees of the store it was clear they did not know him. Just then, about 4 or 5 policemen and a police dog came running in the store. One of the policemen jumped over the counter right next to where I was standing. I wanted to get out of the way of the police, but I was afraid if I moved I would be more in the way. The other police ran around the counter, including the dog. "Where did he go?!" they shouted. "Out the back door!" They all ran out with one of the UPS Store employees.

A lot of employees from nearby stores, like Blockbuster came running in to see what happened. It turns out that the man was in a stolen vehicle along with a woman and police had been chasing them for awhile. One policeman had actually got into an accident a few blocks away. The man in the stolen car drove up the curb in the Blockbuster shopping center and hit a parked car with someone sitting inside. The man and woman ran out of the car and the woman was caught right away. After the man exited the UPS Store he apparently ran through someone's house who lives behind there. The homeowner was interviewed on the news and said the house had several children inside at the time, but they were watching TV and the man ran right past them.

On the way to the UPS Store we were passed by a police car with its siren on. I mentioned to David that we don't normally see that kind of thing in Carrollton. I wondered what happened and where they were going. Little did I know I would have a front row seat!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The problem with PTA

I love PTA. I love being an officer and being part of the board. That is where you get all the insider information about the school. You get to see how decisions are made and be a part of it. Information given out at a PTA board meeting is oftentimes never repeated outside the meeting. I supposed that might be where PTA gets it's reputation for being "cliquey". I don't consider this a problem though since everyone has an opportunity to serve as an officer or chairman. What is a problem is that most parents at the school don't care about PTA business. Why? Because it's kind of boring. Most people don't care about discussing budgets, fundraisers and bylaws.

Tonight my son Ben was in a show at the school singing international songs. This was a show that the 3rd and 4th graders were performing. All the 3rd and 4th grade parents were there waiting. I had to stand at the back with Ada, Tommy and Abe due to inadequate seating. But before the show could start there was a PTA meeting. We voted in the new officers for next year. I watched the parents faces as the voting occured. Several seemed annoyed that we had to vote so much. Especially those with small children seemed to just want to "get on with the show".

As much as I like and respect PTA I always feel tricked when there is a meeting like that before a show. Is the show just a ruse to get us to the meeting? I recall the plays and shows I was in as a child and how happy and proud I was to be a part of it. Did my parents have to sit through a PTA meeting before seeing the show? I don't think so, but I'm not sure.

Thinking back on events attended my 6 years so far at this school I can only think of two events that were fun and I was glad I went. These are the Fall Carnival and the Ice Cream Social. Hmm, what is different about these events? There is no PTA meeting.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


This is what Abe does most of the time, and I do too. David has been taking care of the house and driving the kids around. It's easy to rest when the kids are at school. I'm glad I do not have a preschooler here to take care of too. I'm not quite sure how I did it before.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Abe is here!

On Wednesday I was still feeling quite a bit of contractions after my appointment, but since the ones the day before were false, I just told myself that these were too. At around 11pm they were getting very strong. David and I watched "Capote" until I couldn't stand it any longer (the contractions, not the movie). I called my friend at 1:40 am to come stay with the kids. We got to the hospital around 2:15 am. It took about 40 minutes for the nurse to hook up the IV and monitor. By the time she was done and ready to give me pain medication, I was pushing! My doctor was not there yet so the nurses asked me if I could hold off on pushing. I screamed "No!" at them. (I fell for that one when Tommy was born...terrible). So the nurses delivered the baby. He was born on Thursday March 23 at 3:05am, and was 8lbs 3oz. A good size, good thing he wasn't born any later. This was my first delivery without any medication. I actually felt nice and alert afterward which was different. Here I am a few minutes after the birth.

Abe is so cute and sweet. He stayed in my room most of the time. The next night he started snorting quite a bit because of some fluid in his sinuses or something. The Dr. said not to worry, since it is not in his lungs. He is still doing it occasionally, but it is much better today. Here is what it was like:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baby, I've been waiting, I've been waiting night and day...

Despite me being SURE that I was going to have the baby yesterday, I am still pregnant today. I had light contractions all day yesterday, which apparently did NOTHING on the inside. I had a Dr. appointment today which confirmed that news.
The Dr. is letting me go until April 3, and I will be induced then if needed. Until then, I have to have another ultrasound on Tuesday next week and be put on the monitor on Wednesday, also I have to count how many times the baby kicks each day. All this work and extra tests just because I requested to "let nature take it's course".

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Scary Bed - part 1

Night time was a very scary time when I was little. I remember many bad dreams and restless nights. It did not help either that the monsters under my bed were REAL! Here are two examples of that...

Growing up, there was a house around the corner from my family that had a lawn of clovers instead of grass. I used to enjoy walking around the corner and sitting on it. I wish I had one of these lawns now. It was so soft, no prickles or dead spots. One night I was dreaming of myself on this lawn, when I fell out of bed. I sat up on the floor and started to get up when I noticed the carpet I was stepping on was actually the clover lawn, and from under my bed I could distictly hear the sound of snakes. I scrambled back into bed, petrified.

When I was little my family often would go to the park to feed ducks. Mostly we just threw little pieces of bread in the water and watched them eat it. But sometimes there would be larger goose-like birds there that would just run up to us, excited to get the bread. I was always afraid that one of these birds would bite me in their haste to get the bread, although none actually did. One night I woke up and I could hear the sound of ducks quacking under my bed. I started to get out of bed, to tell someone. I sat up, and my legs dangled down the side of the bed, not touching the floor. All of a sudden I felt one of these "ducks" bite my foot! Not hard, just enough to scare me into not letting my legs dangle off the side of the bed for the next decade or so! True story!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Interurban Railway Museum

Today we went to a park in Plano that had this railway museum on the property. It is a small museum but had a lot of information about the history of the railway in this area of Texas. Admission was free and we got a personal tour. Our tour guide kept the kids interest, engaging them in questions. We ended with a tour of an old train car that is kept outside the museum. This car had a post office inside as well as a passenger area. There were old advertisements inside the passenger area. I noticed that among the few food ads were ones for Campbells and Heinz. These were among the first commercialized foods in America. I had learned that while doing research for a speech I gave on the history of American food.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Will it be 8 days or 18??

According to my ticker, I have only 8 days left until my due date. Too bad I can't just go with that. None of my babies have been "on time". Each one has been progressively later with my last one being born 10 days late. My current Dr. said that 10 days is her limit. Fine with me! It's also ok with me if Abe wants to be different and come early too.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Movies to sleep by.

About once a month I try to take the kids to see a movie at the dollar theater. About half the time I fall asleep during the movie. Today we saw "Chicken Little", and as hard as I tried, I could not keep my eyes open or my attention on the story. The same thing happened in "Home on the Range", "Madagascar", "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie" and a few others. They're just so boring!

Last month we saw "Zathura" which I stayed awake for and I would recommend. I also enjoyed "Series of Unfortunate Events" and "The Road to El Dorado".

I think it's funny that before I had kids, I would go out with friends to see "Beauty and the Beast" or "Aladdin". Now if I have a chance to watch a movie on my own, I would never waste it on a kids film.

Friday, March 10, 2006

We are past the TAKS test, and the kids passed.

Both Ada and Ben had to take the reading TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test this year. Children in certain grades have to take the test of a certain subject and pass it in order to pass onto the next grade level. However, it's not a normal test. There are all kinds of "tricks" built in to test thinking skills as well. Ben got stuck on one of these trick questions during his practice test and did not finish, and therefore did not pass. They took the real test a few weeks ago and we got the results today and both the kids did GREAT! I'm so proud of them.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The little red purse

This is a picture of my brother about 20 years ago, but it was the best photo I had that showed my little red purse (hanging on the closet door). This is a story about that purse that happened when I was about 7 or 8 years old and my sister was 9 or 10...

I had that little red purse but rarely used it, it just hung on the closet door. My sister and I each had our own marble collections. My sister had a few marbles that I liked and wanted for myself. I took them out of her bag, wrapped them in a tissue and stuck them in my purse. My plan was to leave them there for a while (I thought that maybe she would forget about them) and then I could "find" them later and they would be mine. Genius, I know!

Well imagine my shock and surprise a few days later when she picked up the red purse and brought it to me.

"Shannon, what's in this purse?" she asked me.
"I don't know, how should I know?" I answered defensively, not looking at her.
"Well open it."

I opened it slowly and still saw the wadded up tissue containing the marbles, but also a note. I pulled out the note, and read it. I don't remember anything of what it said, but it was a friendly note from my sister, signed and dated the previous year. She knew nothing of the marbles. For fun she was trying to make it seem like she had put a note in there a year ago and I had never received it until now.

Of course I knew she must have put that in there that day, since I had just been in the purse to hide her stolen property. I played along with her though so I would not have to confess. I don't really remember what happened next. I may have told her what I did or more likely, just snuck the marbles back in her bag. Either way, I knew I couldn't keep them. My sister taught me a lesson with her note without even meaning to.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

While flipping through a magazine last night I came across this ad for some sort of family vacation package. As you can see the catch phrase at the top is "Family Values" and there is a part near the bottom showing "Elmo & Friends". Ok, nothing wrong so far... Then at the VERY bottom there is a line of photos. Here is a close-up of one that disturbed me...

What does this have to do with a "family" vacation? I'm guessing that guy is not her husband. He appears to work at the resort. Now, I've never been to a spa, but are are you really supposed to take a bath in front of men you've never met? How is that relaxing?? When it comes to this vacation, count me O-U-T!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Donating Cord Blood

This is something new we are trying this preganancy. There is plenty of companies that would like you to think that you must privately bank your babies cord blood in case of illness in the future. The cost is over $2000 plus an annual fee to keep the blood. The truth is that unless there is some sort of risk in your family you probably will not need to use it, and even if your child did get sick and need stem cells, there are other ways to get them, such as bone marrow. David and I discussed it and decided to look into donating the cord blood to a public bank instead. We chose a company that accepts donations from anywhere and it is free. They even had a short quiz on their website to help you decide if you are at risk and should privately bank or not a risk and donate. It is sort of a lot of paperwork though. I had to fill out an extensive health questionaire, sign it several times and get my Dr. to sign it. Then it had to be approved by the center. Once approved they sent me a kit with all the medical equipment in it to take to the hospital during the delivery. We are responsible for calling the center during labor and after delivery. Then filling out more paperwork afterward and ensuring that the kit is picked up by courier. We don't get anything out of it, but it is nice to think that the cord blood could save someone's life.

Baby Shower

Even though this is my 4th baby, I had my FIRST baby shower over the weekend. It was so fun! Abe got a lot of very cute clothes as well as other baby supplies and his very own baby/scrapbook! Only 3 weeks or so left until we meet him. We are working each day to get the house ready for him. I have been feeling less tired the last few days but more impatient with the pregnancy. Mostly with the fact that I can't feel my fingers due to pregnancy related carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, the hands/feet/face swelling. I'm sick of looking at my fat face. I have outgrown a lot of my maternity clothes too. These things are not a big deal though, and will all disappear the second I get to look at that sweet baby face!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Life Member Award

A few years ago I was VERY active in Early Childhood PTA, including being president for 2 years (very unusual for someone to take a second term). I also did the jobs of Historian, Parliamentarian and Newsletter. Well, the PTA usually invites a past president to come to their February meeting for a "Founders Day" celebration. This year they invited me for Founders Day and surprised me by presenting me with the Texas PTA Life Member award. It is a real honor to get the award.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mommy and Tommy

Yes, I do spend a lot of time in bed, but hey I have only 40 more days and then I will not be allowed to sleep for 2+ years.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

*!#@&% Science Fair!

Our school has started an annual science fair for 3-5th grades, and a smaller one for the other grades. It has all the makings of being a competition among the parents. There are so many rules! The whole thing is to be done at home, no pre-made kits, no demonstrations at school, you can't just do an experiment, everything must be in the form of a problem or question. Ok fine, now imagine you are 8 years old. Try coming up with something that is actually possible to do (no building bombs or time machines) or where the answer isn't blatently obvious. The last 2 years this has meant David and I had to listen to potential problem/questions for approx. 2 days before steering the children toward one they can actually do. Then *I* have to go purchase materials. This year I had to buy WORMS and a soldering iron (not for the same project, haha!) among other things. Science boards have to be purchased from the school and all the info from your project glued on. Remember, you can't bring your actual project to school only photos or drawings can be glued on your board. This is where the scrapbooking moms are separated from the non-scrapbookers (me). Scrapbooking moms have fancy paper, their own paper cutter, unique stickers, borders, etc. I don't have any of these things, but luckily Ada knows a lot of good clip art sites. It is important to me that the kids do their own work. Ada finished her board last night and Ben will finish today just in time for the Friday deadline. Then we will be done, that is, until next year!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Someone is walking in my head.

When I was little and would lie down in bed to take a nap, I often remember being able to hear the sound of my heartbeat in my ears. (thud, thud, thud) It's a sound I don't hear now. As a child I would close my eyes and imagine someone walking on an endless sidewalk in my head, usually a cartoon character from Sesame Street.

David walks on the treadmill in the morning. Our treadmill is in the garage, which shares a wall with our bedroom. While trying to get a few more minutes sleep in the morning I could hear the familiar (thud, thud, thud) from so long ago. Only this time it's not in my head - someone really is walking on a path that never ends.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

So sick of hearing about bird flu.

It seems you can't turn on the news or radio without hearing a story of how to prepare for the inevitable bird flu pandemic. Now I've been hearing from people around here who are going to begin stockpiling food which I think is ridiculous. I'm all for disaster preparedness, but this just seems like Y2K all over again. (I did not prepare for Y2K either.)

I was listening to a story about bird flu on NPR a few days ago, and I couldn't help but wonder if this whole thing is just a cover up for something else. I remember during the Clinton years, when the Monica Lewinsky story broke, all of a sudden it became a big deal that one of our embassies was attacked; it was top news for several days.

What bothers me the most about the bird flu scare is that all the stories say that pandemics routinely happen and so there is no way that another one won't happen. Each story then goes on to say that the last pandemic was in 1918. Seriously, that was almost 100 years ago. We have made quite a few medical breakthroughs since then. I don't think there were flu vaccines in 1918 like there is now. There is even a vaccine for birds being used now.

A point that is not emphasized in the stories is that the virus is only transmitted from bird to human, not human to human. There is just a chance it could mutate into a virus that could be spread among humans. The NPR story said that "when" not "if" the pandemic breaks out that it will spread quickly and tens of thousands if not millions will die. I do believe that it is possible for an outbreak to be disastrous for third world countries, but it's hard for me to imagine an outbreak in the U.S.

One news article I read said a way to protect yourself from getting bird flu is to stay away from sick or dead poultry. Ok, will do!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It's Girl Scout cookie time!

Yes, it's that time again. This year I've decided not to sell cookies, but rather, just give a financial donation to my daughters troop.

Why, you ask? Many reasons, the most important one being that the troop only receives $0.50 per box sold. That's right 50 CENTS. Cookies are selling for $3.50 per box this year which means the cookie fundraiser yields just 14% for the troop. Who gets the other 86%? Good question.

My second reason... Notice I said I'VE decided not to sell cookies. The girls are actually discouraged from going door to door. Parents are the ones who bear the brunt of the work in the cookie sales. First, selling at work or to friends. Then, pick up, deliver and collect money. Parents are financially responsible for any cookies that couldn't be delivered.

Booth sales can be a good way to sell a lot of cookies fast, but are risky. It can be hit-or-miss if the sale will be successful. Many factors play a role: location, bad weather, time etc. Last year I showed up for a booth sale, only to find another troop already selling there. Time had to be spent convincing them that our troop had signed up at that location and they needed to leave. I think we sold about 40 boxes at the sale. That equals $20 for the troop. Hardly worth all the effort of dragging the cookie boxes, tables and signs out there. Plus dealing with cash and making sure to bring enough change.

In years past I've usually been able to sell about 50 boxes. (Only making $25 for the troop). This year I will make a $50 donation to the troop and unlike in years past, 100% of my donation will benefit the girls.