Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ouston

They don't say the "H," you know.

I've been in Houston for the weekend, spending some kid-free time with the hubby. (The kids stayed with my parents, in Charlotte, which is where I am tonight before heading home tomorrow.)

I flew out on Thursday while severe weather passed through most of the south--either where the plane was coming from, where I was, where I was going, or where I had to pass through. So it took over 7 hours to get to Houston. I have made much headway in Edgar Sawtelle which is an excellent read that I hadn't had time to focus on. I highly recommend it and maybe I'll post more when I finish it.

The house D has been staying at these past few weeks is interesting to say the least. I had to bring my own soap and I did consider wearing flip-flops around the house and even in the shower. It was a bit like camping with limited dishes, food, and comforts of home. We ate some great Tex-Mex food on both Friday and Saturday (I think Houstoners will eat it every day just about!) and had a wonderful lunch at a cute bistro/cafe after church on Sunday. (Yes, I do judge my trips by meals consumed).

Our main objective this weekend was house-related. D drove me in and around The Woodlands which is a planned community north of Texas with businesses, parks, green spaces, shopping/entertainment, and residential neighborhoods. D's office is in The Woodlands (the city's name). In the height of spring and on the beautiful days we had this weekend, I was completely won over by the scenery. It is wooded--everywhere! Lakes, creeks, The Waterway, wildflowers in the medians--amazing amount of nature has been preserved in this area. The Woodlands Mall is a huge complex with a traditional mall (very big with some fabulous stores), restaurants, movie theater, and Market Street with high end stores and quaint restaurants. The Waterway runs along this too with wide sidewalks. The Waterway Art Festival is next weekend and this is also the summer home of the Houston Symphony. For all the oil and cowboy image of Big Texas, Houston is a cultural and artsy city.

And we picked out a house. We've made our offer and once we know if our offer has gone through, I'll post a picture or two.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Much Ado--Much Needed!

For Christmas, my beloved gave me tickets to Much Ado about Nothing at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Unfortunately, because of some crazy airline prices, for him to come home this weekend and attend this performance was not possible. So, I got the next best thing--a girls' night out with the Diva!
After chopping on chips and salsa and yummy salads, we headed over to Lockhaven (with a short detour!). I love being at this theatre. It's intimate and lovely, not rinky-dink at all. I love the U-shaped seating and how the action is all around you. I love being so physically close to the performance that you are part of the performance. Actors interact with audience members. (At Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio sat on some one's lap during a monologue.) Being here reminded me of past plays I had seen here or at Lake Eola (sitting in the rain with high school students, eating pasta at Kathy's, the fire alarms). I was glad I was able to do this one more time before leaving.
We were seated in the center, a few rows back, with a great view of the action. As Patti and I flipped through our programs, she gestured to the older couple next to her and then at the picture in the program. We were seated next to Mr. and Mrs. Lowndes--as in the law firm, as in one of the $25,000 kind of donors. (When we left the theatre, the couple that came with the Lowndes returned one of their programs to the basket by the door, only taking one home with them. Mrs. Lowndes, in appreciation, notes, "That does help with the printing.")
Much Ado is such a fun play with fabulous sparring, great insults, and sweet romantic moments too. They set the play in a 1940ish post-war Italy, with matte red lipstick, peep-toe shoes, and swing music. Benedick and Beatrice were fantastic and Don Pedro (who reminded me of Bocc the whole night) was very good. During the scene where Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonado are deliberately talking about the eavesdropping Benedick, I was clutching my belly from laughing so hard. Benedick was swinging from the banisters, flailing on a ladder, and stuck under a push-cart umbrella as he tried to "hide" from the conspirators. It was a great escape for the evening.
When I got home (so late!), I found the house neat and orderly thanks to my wonderful babysitter. She even organized the basket in the bathroom that holds the kids' toothpaste and hair accessories. No dishes were in the sink and every toy was in its place.
Aaaaaa......


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Boy Wonder

This is the kid I posted about--only a few short months ago--in frustration over his lack of speech and confusion of what to do next.

We chose the option of nothing. And this is him now. (Sorry I'm so loud and I also apologize for Big Sis in the background. Can you see why it might have been difficult for him to get a word in?) He continued until all the letters were out. Then, in typical two-year-old fashion, swiped all the letters to the floor and ran off giggling when asked to pick them up.


video

Monday, March 9, 2009

What was missing

It's not just when something goes away that you notice what was missing, but when it returns. In this case, the "it" is the Daddy Bear of our house. D was home for the weekend and while much of it was spent painting, cleaning, and working, there were more than one or two moments when I thought, "Ah, that's better!" Someone else to help take out the trash, change a diaper, fill a sippy cup, or empty the dishwasher, true, but also, someone else to talk to, to read a book, sing a song, even give the evil eye to child out of line. I sometimes think that I don't really need much interaction but while I am an introvert, I do need a little bit. I love making my husband laugh; I just get tickled! And love hearing him laugh at and appreciate the funny kids we've created and getting to laugh a bit more myself too. My husband is funny! I think I was in such a "do it all" mode for two weeks that I didn't stop much to laugh, either at the kids or primetime comedy. (I don't laugh at the TV as much when I'm alone!)

We ate well this week--pot roast with mashed potatoes and all the fixings and some decadent cookies that we gave away to many of the people who helped us out these past two weeks. I'll be making them again--though maybe not until TX.

Other highlights of the week:

B following Daddy around the yard all morning.
Sitting in church together.
Sleeping til 8:30 on a Monday morning. (I hate time change weeks!)
B looking for his missing blue Croc. He followed D around the house looking for it and saying "Nope, nope." When we finally found it, he exclaimed, "Odder blue shoe!!!" over and over again.

Me deciding that we really need to name this baby. Not because we're running out of time but to give the Bean a bit more attention. When I brought this up at dinner, D suggested Orlando-Houston, kinda like the way they name roads. I promptly squashed any and all Texas-realted names--Sam, Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Walker, Ranger. Then D threw out Walker Texas Fleming. You put the initials together. I thought mashed potatoes might come out our nose!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On my own...

C'mon, sing it with me.

We're on Day 10 of life on our own and I am TIRED. We haven't had major meltdowns, at least no more than normal, but the juggling of housekeeping, pool cleaning, remodeling, mommy school, Bible study teaching is crazy. Even as I write this, I'm tossing a mini nerf football with the boy, not unlike playing fetch with a small dog. And can I just say that Silent Ben is turning into quite a chatterbox and I'm lovin' it! His progress has taken off and he's putting multiple words together now, repeating what we say and adding to his vocabulary hourly it seems. Still doesn't help when it's 1 AM and he's crying out something I can't comprehend.

While most of our day runs like any other--with or without Daddy--those evening hours, the "witching hours" of dinner, bath, and bed are enough to drive me to well, eat Bearfoot Brownie ice cream. But we did enjoy a Moe's Monday this week thanks to friends who entertained the kids while I ordered and gallantly carried my tray to the table. I had company to eat with and R and her betrothed (according to me and his mother) had a quesadilla date in the next booth.

We managed to mostly de-leaf the patio and pool this morning. While my northern friends and family were shoveling snow this week, we were scooping the inches of leaves that the cold front shook down. And then I cleaned the hall bath, eagerly, knowing that I'll get to finally shower in my new bathroom this afternoon!

Small victories, small rewards, but that's what keeps me going! And only two more days until Daddy comes home for a weekend. We can make it!