Monday, July 31, 2006

caught a rainbow in our backyard today

Houston "holding" Brody

Brody and Layla

Houston's friend Layla came to visit him today. They were very good with Brody.

Houston was so hungry and so tired after a days work ... and a bit dirty too. I couldn't resist snapping this picture as he was falling asleep while trying to eat. poor thing!

look at the beautifully rounded edges of that ladder board! :-)

Houston was "helping" me sand bunk bed boards

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I should be sanding ...

Yes, I should be sanding but Brody once again absolutely refuses to stay outside. I think he is just like me and loves the A/C and Houston is just like his dad and would rather be outside even though the heat index is about 110 degrees.

Brett had to go to Lowe's today to get a new board for the bunk bed since he goofed on some hole drilling. (read: i now have an extra board to sand) Well Houston had a fit because he wanted to go outside. Brody wanted to eat again and I wanted to take a shower and get dressed. Since i'm the mom what I want to do obviously goes to the bottom of the list. So here's how my day has gone down so far ... Houston is old enough to handle himself for a little bit even though he is extremely unhappy at the moment. Brody is not and since he is also screaming I pick him up so he can nurse and get happy. Brody gets his belly full but Houston is still bugging me to take him outside. So we go outside into the heat. About five minutes later Brody is once again fussing because it's hot and he is sweating. I can't seem to get him calmed down so I have to make Houston come back inside. Now Brody is happy because he is cooling off and Houston is once again having a breakdown because he wants to go back outside. So we sit inside for a few minutes to cool off and then we head back outside. We make it for about ten minutes this time and Brody has had enough. So back inside we go. Do you see a pattern here? All the while I am thinking "Brett better hurry up!" because this is getting really old. No matter what I do, one of the boys is letting me have it.
Brett made it back home so now Houston is outside with him running around doing what he does. Speaking of which, talk about entertainment ... we sometimes sit on the back porch and just watch him go out there. He is seriously out there doing some work! He turns on the hose and gives the dogs water, waters the plants and sprays anybody who walks by. Then he gets up on the mower, puts on the earmuffs and glasses and pretends to start the mower. Whatever he has seen somebody do, he is out there mimicking it. And he will go on for hours without stopping.
While all that is going on outside Brody is in the house with me enjoying the A/C and taking a nap on the couch. He is blissfully oblivious to the fact that there is a lot of work to be done out there. (must be nice) So I sit here relieving my stress by typing to the world my "ramblings from a ______ mama" as Brett is out there trying to set Brody up a spot in the shade with a fan blowing on him. I hope it works. I really wanted to have these bunk beds done by Christmas. Ha ha. (i've realized that one week was not a reasonable goal ... i'll now be happy if they are done by houston's birthday)
By the way, i'm trying to fill in the blank above with a good word. Once descriptive of me, my life at the present time, and my ramblings. I guess it could be any number of words if it works. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Okay, i'm off to see what Brett has come up with out there for Brody. Keep your fingers crossed for me. It seems that we have entered a weather pattern that includes a thunderstorm every day is it starts to cool down a bit ... which just so happens to be the time of day that Brody decides he will stay outside for a little while. Not getting much done on the bunk beds that way! I think i've managed to sand an average of three boards per day this past week. Not at all what I had planned but better than nothing.

temper tantrum pic 4: oooh ... mama turned on the tv so Houston is now distracted by cartoons ... tantrum over ... maybe mama can get dressed now

temper tantrum pic 3: biting himself didn't work so now he's crying into his hands while kicking his feet wildly

temper tantrum pic 2: now he has thrown himself on the floor and turned to the "i'm so frustrated i'm going to bite my own hand" routine

temper tantrum pic 1: daddy left without him so he was not happy. i was trying to get dressed to go out and do some sanding while trying to calm Houston down and get Brody full enough that he could take a nap. note: not very successful at any of these things until about an hour later

the storm damage. almost got the three-wheeler. you can't see it in this picture but the car is parked just to the right of the three-wheeler. all in all we were lucky with this one. there is also a big pecan tree that fell onto the road from the fence row in our front yard.

i took this after we had to rush in from the storm last night as we were trying to work on the bunk beds. the satellite was out because of the storm so we sat down and watched a baby einstein video (baby noah) so Houston could work on saying his animal names and sounds. he is getting really good at his animals noises and he even popped out a "kangaroo" (sounded more like kangawoo). his grandma brought him the book "Brown bear, brown bear, who do you see?" which he also hears at the library program we go to on fridays. it's a great book for working on animal words and sounds. and it's fun to read and Houston loves it so i would definitely recommend it to other parents.

got into mama's lipstick ... and almost got it on his lips

aye-aye sir

caught red-handed! or white-powdered. i knew he was being too quiet to be up to anything good.

hmmm ... mama likes sleeping crazy-because-i'm-almost-two-year-old

i love sleeping baby pictures ... can you tell?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rained Out

Well I thought I was going to be able to finish sanding the bunk bed boards today. Unfortunately for me, someone had other plans. I did manage to get several boards done but then came the lightening and the sky opened up. We had the worst lightening i've seen here since we moved back to Florida. It was pretty scary. Also, a big tree limb fell in our backyard and broke the fence. That's a big bummer. We've only had the fence up for a year and now it's messed up. Hopefully Brett can fix it without it being too much work.
On a happier note, we have to decided to go on a vacation ... yay! We are going to stay on the beach in Bradenton for a few days and with some of my family for another few days. We haven't left the house for that long since we've lived here. I've got a little anxiety about taking the trip with the boys but i'm hoping the stress relief of beaching it for a week will outweigh that. Staying somewhere that has not been child-proofed just turns into more work than it's worth most of the time. I end up feeling like I need a vacation from my vacation. The little place on the beach should be fine, it's the family houses i'm afraid of.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Brody started smiling at us about a week ago. It is the sweetest thing in the world when your baby starts smiling back at you. I just want to eat him up!!!

looks like trouble

Houston prefers to wear the earmuffs this way


Please take a moment to visit this website:

A fellow knitter is in Houston for cancer treatment and the knitting community has stepped up to help her out. Donations will be accepted until Tuesday August 1st at 11 pm. You can donate through PayPal by clicking on the butterfly on the right hand side of the page. Even if it's only a few dollars, every little bit counts. And they are giving away great prizes too through a drawing from everyone who donated. Even if you don't have any money to donate it's a neat site to look at, especially if you are crafty.


One more thing before I go to sleep

I have got the worst case of hiccups i've had in a very long, long time. What are hiccups anyway? How do you explain that one to the kids when they ask? Hmm ... something to think about ...
So I was sitting here purusing the web and reading some other mommy blogs (didn't know there was a term for that before tonight) and I had a bit of a "moment". You see, i've always secretly wanted to be a writer. I think up ideas for articles that I would like to write. Sometimes these things even make their way out of my head onto paper. I have a notebook where I write all my latest and greatest ideas ... thoughts, inventions, story lines, business ideas, crafts, etc. I like to take it out and look through it occasionally. It becomes an interesting journal-type-thing of where i've been and where I am in life. Most things stay right there on that paper and have yet to amount to anything. Some things i've gotten into a little bit. One of my great ideas was to start a dog bakery. While I have no operating dog bakery, I do occasionally turn my kitchen into one and I have actually sold a good number of bags of dog treats at a few craft fairs. Another thought of mine is that I would like to write articles that people would like to read. No specific topic to stick to except that they would be about things i'm passionate about or at least interested in. Maybe for a local newspaper or a magazine. Not your run-of-the-mill (where does that saying come from anyway) articles with facts and figures but something interesting. Something maybe a little zany at times. A bit witty or even comical at times. Kind of like Sarah Jessica Parker's character in Sex in the City ... but not quite ... after all this is Lake City, not New York City ... and let's face it, my dating days are long gone thank goodness. Well it dawned on me tonight that I guess I can put a little check by that page of my book of Celena's ideas. I started this blog as a way for me to express myself and reach out to the world a little bit and it seems to have taken hold. If you look at the hit counter at the bottom of the page you can see that this blog has been viewed over 1400 times in 5 months. While that's not going to put me at the top of Yahoo! or anything, it is pretty impressive to me. I'm writing and people are reading. Mission accomplished. Now if I could only work on the getting paid for it part ... hmmm.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Difficult Day

Well unfortunately we did not make it to Gainesville today to visit our friends like I had planned. We got up around 8 this morning and by noon I was extremely frustrated and still nowhere near ready to leave the house. Brody was feeling like he needed to be held every second, which is fine unless you want to say ... take a shower, get dressed, pack the diaper bags, etc. And Houston ... oh where do I begin?!?! He was in a very trying mood all day. The only good thing about his behavior today was that he decided to start using the potty all by himself ... he peed on the potty five times today without any urging on my part. I read a book that scared me away from pushing him to use the potty and since i've stopped trying to make him go he has decided to start going on his own. Yep ... that's my son alright. He likes to do things on his own, his way. Just like he now insists on dressing himself and picking out his own food. Which is all cute and stuff but if you are planning to leave the house anytime soon (or at all) then it can be not so cute because it takes forever! Which is what happened today. In the first four hours of my day all I managed to do was feed Houston breakfast and give the boys a bath. That's it in four hours ... I had not even eaten anything yet and my cup of hot tea that I made when I got up was still sitting on the stove four hours later. I about had a breakdown and so I called Joy and told her we were not going to make it ... which turned into a nice phone conversation so at least I did manage to have a little friend time. Minus all the times I had to turn my attention away from the phone and back towards Houston. I finally got Brody down for a good solid nap around 4 o'clock. I tried to get Houston to nap with us so we could all sleep but all he wanted to do was sit on Brody or kick him in the head or whatever else he could do to keep him from sleeping. I decided a nap was not going to be in my future today so after I finally got Brody good and sleeping without Houston waking him up right away we outside to play. Actually Houston went outside to play and I went outside to work. I got five more boards fully sanded and about five more boards halfway sanded. Then I had to wash some stinky dogs. Marzbar got sprayed by a skunk last night so I had to try and wash some of that off of him ... yummy. Tiki just finally stopped smelling from when she got sprayed a few weeks ago and then Marz goes and gets sprayed. Seems to be a theme around here ... at least one of our dogs usually has a bit of a skunk smell to them when. One of these days i'm gonna get that skunk. Until then i'll just complain about him.

On a happier note, i've started thinking about my Christmas list for this year. I've got some great handmade gifts planned ... if only I find the time. I always start thinking of Christmas gifts this time of year because July 25th is one of my dearest friends birthdays (Happy B-Day Rachel) and I always remember it by thinking "Christmas in July" (thanks to another mutual friends suggestion many years ago). Then I go to Hallmark to pick out a card and I see they have the ornaments out already, which I collect ... so I start thinking "how many can I buy this year if I start now and stick to my 'one oranment per paycheck' rule". Then I start yearning for the fall and cooler weather and the holiday festivities (is it hot out or what!). Which leads into the need to start thinking about this years halloween costumes, which I usually make myself. I am really feeling the need to be crafty right now (obviously) but i'm finding it extremely difficult to find the time. The boys are a handful and then some ... and then there is project bunk bed ... which is pretty crafty in itself I suppose ... so my Christmas gifts will have to wait. Good thing it is only July. And part of having the bunk beds done requires me to have my craft room organized and in good working order so the guest bed can be moved into that room. So I suppose in a way the completion of the bunk beds will help me get to all those crafty things I want to do. A month ago you couldn't even walk into that room. Now you can walk in and even all the way across (which is not far b/c it's not a big room) and it is really starting to look like a craft room and not a messy room full of stuff. I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as far as that cleaning/organizing project goes. I don't even know when i've had time to work on it much. I just do it here and there even if it's only for five minutes. It definitely adds up because I can tell a major difference. Hopefully by the time the bunk bed boards are sanded, stained and drilled i'll have it to a point where we can move the guest bed (Houston's bed) in there and be able to put the bunk beds together. And then .... finally ... project Christmas Gift can begin! I don't want to go into much detail about my gift ideas because I don't want to give them away to those of you who may be recipients of said gifts but I am looking forward to making some new things this year.

Well it is now midnight so I better get back to work and stop rambling. This is what happens when I drink coffee, which I don't do anymore except when I absolutely need to so that I can get some work done. I have a project to turn in in the morning ... gotta pay for all those craft supplies somehow. :-) Brett made me an iced coffee so I could do this zero rise project and I got halfway through it and got distracted with thoughts of what to type on my blog for all my dedicated readers (ha ha). So here I sit, many ramblings later with way too much caffiene surging through me remembering that I should be working on the computer and not playing around. It's nice though because the house is quiet and I finally have some time to myself. Well not really since i'm sitting here working ... but after I finish this job I will have some time to myself and since i've had this coffee I will be wide awake. Maybe I will get some more done in the craft/guest room tonight. Or maybe I will work on Houston's birthday party invitations and menu. Or maybe I will work on the baby blanket I am crocheting. Or maybe I will read through my new knitting pattern book (Exquisite Little Knits ... great book!). Or maybe I will go sand some more boards (good thing we don't have neighbors). Oh if only there were more hours in the day ... or if only I could find a way to make money without working ... now there's a good idea ... alright ... back to work!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Project Bunk Bed update

I now have 13 boards fully sanded and ready to be drilled. The drilling is Brett's job. Once he drills the holes then I can stain the boards ... after I finish sanding all the other boards of course. I was really hoping to be able to assemble the bunk beds this weekend but that's looking less and less possible as the week goes on. Today I managed to fit in a trip to the grocery store along with getting the final sanding (fine grit) done on the 13 boards I sanded (coarse grit) over the weekend ... AND we all took a two-and-a-half hour nap! Before kids that would have been a pretty uneventful, even lazy day. With two little ones that's pretty impressive if I do say so myself!!! Tomorrow I am taking Houston to play with his friend Layla in Gainesville and I get to visit with her mom, my friend Joy. I probably will not get much done on the bunk beds because of our trip but that's okay because we both need some friend time and i'm looking forward to it.

i'm ready ... where's my sander

Confucius say ...

... not wise for woman with two-year-old and new baby to start big project

Celena say ... confucius wise man, very wise indeed

Monday, July 24, 2006

My New Challenge ...

... getting Houston to stop waking Brody up from his nap so that I can do something other than change diapers, nurse, and clean! His prefered method of waking up his brother is to climb on top of him and give him big wet kisses on the face. I know how annoying it is because he does it to me every morning. It's more of a sucking/licking thing than a kiss ... and with morning breath it is especially unpleasant.
I haven't been able to sand a single board today between the two boys so it looks like i'll be out there in the dark again tonight as project bunk bed continues...

Project Bunk Bed ... the boards are cut, now the sanding begins ... three pieces down, a bunch more to go!

Project Bunk Bed ... the wood

i finally figured out how to get Brody to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time during the day ... he wants to sleep on his belly!

Houston loves to dress himself in bright colors. I think he even got this t-shirt on the right way. They usually end up backwards or with his legs through the arm holes like a pair of shorts.

all clean!

Brody & Gizmo

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Project Bunk Bed

Well it's official ... "project bunk bed" has begun. I purchased a set of plans and the hardware kit from last week. Yesterday we went to Lowe's and bought the lumber. Today Brett cut all the boards and I began the long and tedious task of sanding everything down. What a chore! I hope to be finished sanding and staining by next weekend so we can start putting things together. It's going to take me quite a while to finish this since I have to keep stopping to feed a hungry baby, change a diaper (or two), or take something dangerous away from Houston (today it was an axe). Brody doesn't seem to want me to work on his new bed. This afternoon I resorted to holding him with one hand while holding the power sander with the other. Definitely not the ideal way to be going about things. Houston was actually very well behaved around the power tools today which was surprising due to the week we've had. Houston has been a handful and then some this week. Tuesday he climbed over the side of the tub and ended up sending his bottom tooth all the way through his chin. That same day he figured out how to take the gas cap off of my truck ... lucky for me I found the gas cap. Wednesday he found the heating element (to light charcoal) in the grill and took it to an outlet on the porch and started to plug it in just as I realized what he was doing. Lucky for all of us that I caught that. Would have been a very bad burn and possibly a burned down house. Friday he changed his brothers diaper all by himself .. well almost. Brody was on the couch in his cloth diaper and diaper cover and I was running around the house trying to get us all ready to go get dinner. Next thing I know I look at Brody and he is not wearing a diaper or a cover anymore. I found them in the diaper pail in the laundry room and when I went back to look at Brody, Houston had a new daiper that he was very persistantly trying to get folded up under Brody's rear the same way that I do it.
So back to the bunk beds ... I ended up outside sanding bunk bed boards until about 10:30 tonight. I was finally able to really get into it once Brody and Houston fell asleep. I'll be posting pictures of our progress with the bunk beds so you can all see how they are going.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

i think i have a yarn addiction. i've been cleaning/organizing what is to be our "guest room"/"my craft room" once we build the boys bunk beds. i knew i had a lot of yarn but when i put it on display like this i realized just how much. i think i need to do some knitting/crocheting ... ya think? i actually started something for someone last night. don't want to say to much in case that someone reads this. i'll post a picture when i'm done. then i decided to start another blanket for Project Linus ( with some baby yarn i have using a new crochet stitch my grandma taught me over the phone. it's something she came up with and it looks really neat! the top shelf in the picture is all of my wool sock yarn. one of these days i'll teach myself how to knit socks so that i can actually use it!

i need to scan this picture so i can put a better copy up here. i don't know if anyone can tell or not with this grainy photo of a photo but i found one of my baby pictures and it looks just like Brody! scroll down to the photo i posted on June 27th of Brody napping and you'll see what i mean. Houston looks just like Brett's baby pictures and Brody looks just like mine. pretty neat.

the little big man

he was so worn out after a little temper tantrum that he fell asleep right there were he was on the kitchen floor


sleeping boys

Friday, July 14, 2006


Does anybody else's two-year-old insist that everything in the house belongs on the floor? I'm gonna go crazy. I walk from one side of the house to the other, picking things up on my way and putting them back up where they were. A minute later as I head back to the other side of the house I find myself picking up the same darn things! It always looks like a small tornado has come through. Tornado Houston!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Good Day

Brody had his one month check-up today. He weighs 14 lbs 1 oz and is 23 5/8 inches long. They said he is the size of the average four-month-old. They have these "charts" they use to graph babies growth at the pediatricians office and he is off the charts. The nurse just laughed and said "he still doesn't fit on my chart". I think the idea of everyone fitting on the same chart is kind of silly anyway. I guess we just grow 'em big! ;-) So after the doctors visit, which was my first trip out of lake city with both boys (ped is in G'ville), we headed to the mall. With Houston in the stroller and Brody in the sling we set out to do some shopping. I got to use a gift certificate I got for my birthday to buy myself some new clothes and some cash I got for my birthday to buy myself something else ... which I decided was going to be some new Reef flip flops. After our clothes shopping adventure in which Houston insisted on trying on women's clothes with me, we headed to the food court for some ice cream. But wait, mama has to potty so we head to the family restroom which has a big potty and a little potty. I asked Houston if he had to go and he said yes so we pulled down his shorts and diaper and lo and behold .... he sat down and went pee. Yipppeeeee!!!!! After some high fives and clapping and hand washing we headed out for the ice cream. I must say, Ben & Jerry really know what they are doing. I tried a new ice cream today that was awesome. It was like an Almond Joy but it was ice cream. It was coconut flavored ice cream with almonds and chunks of dark chocolate. Yummy! After the ice cream we headed to the play area in the mall where Houston and about 25 other little ones ran around like little maniacs for about forty-five minutes. Then this security officer comes and says there was a noise complaint so because one person complains of noise this guy thinks he can get 25 kids ages 1 to about 7 or 8 to stop yelling as they are chasing eachother around this "swamp" (it is G'ville) play area. Yeah right!!! Poor guy was just doing his job but I saw him get a pretty stern talking to by several of the moms he talked to. It was a bit crazy though. They have that place so the little ones have some place to blow off some steam so parents can do some more shopping. Would these people rather the children run and scream in the stores? I think not. I would really like to know who made the noise complaint but I know I never will. Oh well. I got a bit of a chuckle out of the situation. So after that Houston was starting to wear out anyway so we headed back to the car where he fell asleep in his carseat before I even left the parking lot. That was 4:30 this afternoon ... it is now 7:30 and he is still asleep ... which is why I have been able to sit here and type all of this for your amusement. He must have really worn himself out!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My little big man ... or bunchkin as I like to call him ... because he's a bunch-a-munchkin.

Brody is one month old already. Seems like just yesterday he was born but, at the same time, it feels like he has always been here. He is such a little sweetie. It's interesting to me how much I can see a difference in his personality compared to Houston at that age. He's so young and can't do all that much yet still manages to be very different from Houston. I think Brody is going to be much more serious than Houston who is a little jokester.
I finally got around to ordering birth announcements today. I figured since he was already a month old I better get to it. Although they seem like such a formality ... it's not like there is anyone left that I will be sending them to that doesn't know he's already here. At least now everyone will have a picture to hang on their fridge for a while. And yes, Brody does still have blue eyes ... but for some reason all his pictures look like he has dark eyes. In all of his pictures he has dark or red eyes, even with the red-eye reduction on our camera turned on. I can't figure it out!?!?

Rub a dub dub,Two boys in a tub

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A really pretty, really, really, really old lion statue out front of Chopstix.

They have some really cool artwork at Chopstix. I couldn't resist rubbing his belly for good luck on my way in so I had to get a picture with him on the way out.

My 30th. Left to right: Wrenda (the photographer), Justin, Brett, Brody, Me, Eliza, Heidi

My birthday at Chopstix. From left to right, Justin, Brett, Me, Eliza, Heidi, and Jessica (midwife extraordinaire)

My 30th Birthday

Well it's official, my 20's have come and gone. I had a really great birthday. It started with hanging out watching cartoons with my boys and eating birthday cake for breakfast. Then Houston, Brody and I went and bought an mp3 player (thanks mom) that i've had my eye on for a while. Then Brett, Brody and I went out to dinner with several of my friends. There is nothing better than being surrounded by friends on your birthday. We went to Chopstix in Gainesville, which I would highly recommend if you live in the area. It was very yummy.
As I sit and reflect on turning 30 I find myself in a great place. I've accomplished many things that I always wanted to and then moved on to accomplish even more that I never could have dreamed of. I have a great husband and two wonderful little boys. And while I may not have the exciting job of working at NASA everyday anymore, my engineering degree has allowed me to make money from the comfort of my own home while raising my children. What a great thing that is!
It's amazing to look back and see what can happen in ten years. I can only imagine what the next ten will bring. Good things, I hope!