Friday, December 19, 2008

My Second Home

My second home lately has been Walmart! I've seen the same Salvation Army volunteer sitting in the same wheelchair ringing the same bell for the last three days. And each day she smiles at Elizabeth, tells me how pretty she is, and wishes me a Merry Christmas. And each day I smile at her, tell her thank you, and wish her the same. Well, today I actually dropped a few dollars in her bucket. Anyway, I've been making my Christmas candy (this year it's chocolate truffles coated with various things) and I've forgotten something every day! Yesterday I went to the baking aisle to look for chocolate sprinkles (one of the coatings). Ok, I find them. Then I proceed to debate which size to get, the small bottle or the big tub. For some stupid reason, I grab the small bottle, check out, and head home. When I get home I realize that I need the big tub...I've only got a bizillion of these truffles to far can the stupid little shaker go????!!! GRRRR.... Do I return the shaker, do I want to waste those precious minutes waiting in a customer service line at Walmart...those minutes that end up turning into hours around Christmas...No. I'll keep the shaker and just go buy the tub, too. Good. Decision made. I pick up a few other things that I'm pretty sure I'll need for next week when I do this all over again and get home.

Before I left for town, I put my truffles in the fridge to cool. So when I get home they're waiting for me. No problem, I'll put Elizabeth down for a nap and get to work. NOPE. Elizabeth doesn't want to take a nap. She also doesn't want to play on the floor in the kitchen or sit in her high chair and watch. She wants to cry. A bottle later we try the nap again. Finally, sleep. She should be down for a good couple of hours, right?? It is almost 2 p.m. and she hasn't had a nap today. NOPE. Up in one hour. Great. I'm up to my elbows in truffles and I still have a chocolate cake to make for Christmas in Pearland tomorrow. Again, no floor and screams in the high chair. Well, she finally got over being upset in the high chair after I bribed her with all kinds of good things to play empty baby food containers. Yay! The cake is baked and it only took hours longer than it should have! During this time I had also opened up the carton of eggs which tipped over and 3 of them fell onto the floor, breaking and spilling egg everywhere. Do you know how hard it is to clean up egg off of the floor. I swear it took a quarter roll of paper towels. Gross.

Anyway, I could go on and on about all of the 'fun' things that happened to me today, but what made it all better, ironically, was a Tickle Me Elmo. Gawd, I hate those things! At least I thought I did until Kate sent one for Elizabeth from a friend of hers in New Jersey. Elizabeth loves it. Probably thought it was the best thing since room temperature teething rings. (She's not a fan of refrigerated ones.) She laughed and squealed. It was just the best thing ever. Makes me forgive her for being the most difficult baby ever today! So I did forgive her, she had a wonderful bath time and then went to sleep with no major difficulty!

I also have pictures of our live Christmas tree that I have sitting on the porch. I still don't know if I'm a fan of the bows, but I didn't want to buy any lights and those shatterproof ornaments that I've found are just ugly. You can see the seam in the plastic and also every imperfection. I'm too picky probably, but oh, well. And yes, those are pumpkins from the garden spray painted red. Grandma Schigut always has red pumpkins sitting on her front porch, so I borrowed the idea. Like I said, I don't know about the bows, but I like the look over all.
Alright, I've still got to put the truffles in the tins, finish folding clothes, and get some of Elizabeth's stuff packed for tomorrow. We leave at 8 a.m. Travis is still in Weslaco. The truck driver who is delivering the Jatropha harvester was way delayed up north due to weather and will get there somewhere around 1 a.m. After unloading it, they (Travis's brother Stephen is with him) will drive roughly 3 1/2 hour o'clock, unloaded by one thirty or two....hopefully he'll be home around 5 or 5:30 a.m. He'll then probably take a shower, bed by maybe 6ish and then have to get up in time to dress and get us all to his parents by 7:45 a.m. At least we don't have far to drive!! Oh, he's going to be a Grumpy Gus tomorrow, but he can sleep in the car!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cutting Teeth

Sunday, Elizabeth cut her first tooth! It's still pretty much flush with her gums, but when you run your finger in her mouth, you can feel the jagged edge. Exciting!! I don't have any pictures to show, because she hardly ever lets me see it! She's always running her tounge over it. I guess it feels different and wierd in her mouth. ~sniff~ She's growing so fast!! ~sniff~

Catching Up

Whew, I haven't posted in a few days! We've been busy beavers!

Last Thursday, we hauled in mulch from Hallettsville for the garden annex (we expanded the garden) and planted broccoli, cauliflower, kohl rabi, and cabbage transplants. Thursday night, we drove to my mom & dad's to spend the night and leave Elizabeth there so I could go to work with Travis in College Station on Friday.

Friday, Travis & I left at 5:30 a.m. to get to College Station to spray a Jatropha field and pick Chinese Tallow seeds. We ended up picking 12.8 lbs of seed (they're roughly the size of a pea) so that another professor can extract the oil from them. Chevron wants a quart of oil to experiment with, so that's why we had to pick so much.

Saturday, Travis worked with Dad and Elizabeth & I spend the day inside. Saturday night we went to Big Bob's Steakhouse in Cameron with some of mom & dad's friends and their girls. Sunday, we went to our reunion.

Yesterday, Elizabeth & I went out shopping for some necessities and to get stuff for our Christmas cards. I finished all of the cards...finally!

Today, I'm putting the cards in the mail! Yay!! As soon as Elizabeth wakes up from her nap, we have to go back to town to get some things for a Christmas basket Travis has to take to Weslaco tomorrow. He'll be gone until Friday harvesting Jatropha plots. It's pretty chilly today, so we'll have to bundle up!

I had some pictures, but they don't want to load...blah...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kingsville & Christmas Lights

Travis had to make a trip to Kingsville today to check on the Jatropha trees he's got planted there. Since it was going to be a short trip, Elizabeth & I went with him. They have had a couple of frosts already and a lot of the trees took it pretty bad!! We got home around 2 p.m. so we had a few hours before we had to leave for church. (Holy Day of Obligation) Travis worked and Elizabeth & I played and tried to catch a few winks, too. After church, Elizabeth fell asleep in the car almost right away so Travis drove around town in search of Christmas lights. We drove around for 30 minutes or so and saw some really pretty lit up houses. I think we'll have to go for another drive or two...I like looking at all of the lights!

Travis's dad called this evening and said that he was getting more transplants, so we'll be planting again tomorrow!

Oh, yeah...Elizabeth crawled today! She only took about 8 little steps, but it was crawling! But no matter how much I tried to get her to crawl again, she wouldn't. Then again, she hasn't sat up by herself for awhile now, either. Oh, well...maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Parties & Christmas Trees

Elizabeth & I finally bought our Christmas tree, which turned into trees, today! Yay! Except now I have to put on lights...booo!! This evening we went to the Czech Heritage Society Appreciation Supper. Elizabeth was good the whole time! Other than getting a lot of laundry and dishes finished, that was about all we did. There's a good chance it will frost tonight, so I'm hoping all of the plants in the garden can hang in there! I guess we'll see tomorrow what survived.Elizabeth & I at the supper.
Our live Christmas tree.
I had to get a little "Charlie Brown" tree for Elizabeth! And it'll spruce up the front door. (Get it...spruce...spruce tree... Hehe!! I crack myself up! But it's not really a spruce, it's a Fraser)
Our artificial tree in the living room. I liked the halo the lights made behind the tree.
I hope your decorating is going as well as mine is!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Playing Outside

This afternoon when I was picking the garden, Elizabeth was getting some sun. I put her on the blanket today instead of in her chair for a change of scenery. After picking the garden, we stayed at my in-laws for some yummy taco salad! There are lots of pictures here! She is just too cute not to keep snaping pictures. There were too many to post, so I'll have to send the rest out in a Kodak Gallery later!
We've been teaching Elizabeth how to pet the dog and cat nicely instead of just grabbing their fur! Elizabeth is being very nice to Boo Radley (Stephen's cat).

She gets so excited when Jenny (the dog) and Boo are around, she just squeals with delight!

Jenny comes over for a sniff, but she's not too confident in Elizabeth's petting ability, so she doesn't come very close!

Baby and Kitty butts!
Eating on a Biter Biscut stripped down to her diaper. I did not want to be cleaning biscut out of all of her pretty clothes! "Mommy, did you want a bite, too?"
After a bath, Elizabeth was hanging out with Grandpa who let her try standing up without support. She's pretty wobbly, but she didn't fall and Grandpa was there as a safety net! Golly, she looks like a big girl standing like that! I'm going to look rediculous carrying around an 8 month old who is already half my size!! :)
Today I also finished decorating our fake Christmas tree that is going in the living room. I only shattered one ornament, a good year so far! We're going out to buy a live tree for in the dining room. Whew, one tree down, one to go! Travis is out of town until Friday, so I may be tree shopping on my own. I'll post tree pictures later!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy Bee

That's exactly what I've been today. Travis went out of town today with his brother, Stephen, and his dad to work on his Grandpa Joe's farm. During Elizabeth's nap (around 10 a.m.), I watered the garden and picked peas. After she woke up, we ate some lunch with my mother-in-law and then shelled peas. We went from there to the liquor store (to get orange liquor for a, not a drink recipe, either!) and HEB. After unloading the car and putting everything away, I made an excel sheet to keep up with who's-getting-what for Christmas. I should say we made an excel sheet because Elizabeth wanted to sit on my lap and help type the whole time! By that time she's getting fussy and hungry. I fed her a little and then gave her a bottle. Then I let her play with the bottle and she got soaked in milk! Bath time! After her bath (it's about 5:30 now), I put her in her crib to play while I picked up her room, got clothes out for tomorrow, and put her laundry away. She's had a long day and not much of a nap this afternoon, so she's really getting sleepy. As the angels were singing, the clock said 6:00 and she's asleep!! Oh, I am so lucky because I still have tons to do...

We have another Thanksgiving tomorrow and I'm bringing the sweet potatoes. Ok, no problem. Well, they usually have something to snack on before dinner, but it's usually shrimp or a crab dip. Since I can't go anywhere near those things, I decided to make a bacon cheese ball to take. No biggie, I'm up to 2 dishes. Well...I should bring a dessert, too. I've been wanting to try the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Chocolate Orange Mousse. The recipe says that everything should be at room temperature, the eggs, the butter, and the chololate. Great. You have to get the chocolates hot to melt with the liquor (see, I told you it was for a recipe) and then let it cool down to room temp. How long is this going to take? So I did the heating up part and then was going to jump in the shower real quick while it was cooling...but, my landlady called and wanted to bring over some hot-out-of-the-oven apple pie. Crap. I'm naked! Throw on a robe, meet her at the door, talk for a second (which actually turns into a few long minutes) and then to my shower.

I end up working on all 3 dishes at the same time, because they all have a little down-time. I'm just glad I kept them all straight. My whipping cream was a little overbeat, but it doesn't taste like butter. And my egg whites were a little on the dry side, but everything was finally finished and I got to have a long waited for taste. Delicious!! (The angels sang a little chorus here, too, when I finally had it all finished!) All of the gently folding was soooo worth it! Oh, my goodness it took me a little over 3 hours to make everything! My poor feet are tired. Luckily I washed dishes as I went, or else I'd still be standing at the sink! Hopefully everyone will just love the things that I've made. If they don't, who cares! I get to bring it all home!!

I've got 2 baskets of laundry to fold and then it's to bed. Whew!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sitting Up & Peek-A-Boo

We finally saw Elizabeth sit up all by herself today! It's so funny because it takes her what seems like forever to go from lying on the floor to sitting up. She is just getting so big and getting to be her own little person. The last few days she's also learned how to play peek-a-boo by herself. She's been playing when I hold a cover over me, but now she'll just grab anything that covers her face and want to play! Ooo, she's also started giving kisses and small quick hugs. Of course, a kiss right now is her coming at your cheek, mouth open, with drool, and a hug ends with a wad full of my hair coming out...but hey, it's a start! All of these changes and she just gets more and more fun everyday.

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got stuffed! Hey, if we're miserable from eating too much, you all should be, too!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fixing Fence & Counting Trees

Elizabeth got her flu shot this morning. She cried a little because I was holding her arms and cried for a minute after the shot, but nothing horrible. She then took a nice long nap on our way to Danbury with Travis to check on the Chinese Tallow trees he's got planted for work.

It was nice to get out of the house today and Elizabeth was pretty good the whole trip. When we got there, there were 3 bulls inside the electric fence that surrounds the 7.5 acres of trees. So while Travis drove them out, Elizabeth & I put the insulators the bulls had knocked off of the rods back on and bent the rods back straight. While Travis walked the fence and put a gate in, Elizabeth played with the toys on her booster seat and I started counting trees for the plot map. After a few pictures for progress reports, we were back on our way home. It took us 2.5 hours to get there to do 2 hours of work, but hey, I get paid for it!! To get to spend the day out with Travis makes all of the driving worth it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nothing Exciting

Nothing really exciting happened today. Travis was out of town all day working in Weslaco and won't be home until 10 or so. Elizabeth was a pretty good girl all day. Ate all 3 solid food meals and hardly any fussing. I hope you all know I'm jixing it for tomorrow just to tell you this! I laid her down for a nap this morning and went back to check on here and there she was, just sitting up in her crib all by herself! Travis had seen this once before about a month ago, but she hadn't done it since and neither one of us have actually seen her go from a horizontal position to sitting up. I wish she would do it in front of me! I'd like to see it. She's getting so close to crawling, too. It's almost time for the baby gate to go up!

I watered the broccoli today and checked on my poppies. Travis & I planted 6 rows of poppies and all we've got coming up is a bunch of henbit! Grrrr... So I think we'll replant and hope that it's not too late for them to make in the spring. Speaking of things not making it are my onions. Boo! I'm not having much luck lately, but the onions will also get replanted and we'll hope for the best out of roughly 50 plants only about 8 survived. I'm going to buy a new bunch tomorrow and get them in the ground as quick as I can. I just hope the feed store still has some Texas 1015's. Mmmm...sweet onions.

Tomorrow Elizabeth gets her flu shot, so we'll see how she does with that. I'm not getting one and Travis won't either, but I think i'd just die if she didn't get one and then got the flu! Oh, I'd be such a bad mommy! So she's getting one, and it'll hurt...but then maybe she'll take a nice looonnnggg nap!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In the Garden

We picked the garden last night and got our first little pumpkin! It matured way too late for Halloween, but just in time for Thanksgiving. The picture with me in it was taken a couple of weeks ago when it was warmer. I was transplanting broccolli Elizabeth was in her play pen fussing...she was very unhappy about not getting to be in the thick of things!

Here are a couple of pictures of Elizabeth with the little pumpkin and trying out the green beans. I'm sure they taste better cooked, but hey, at least she's eating her greens, right?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oops, my house is a mess!

My mom and dad are coming down for a short visit tomorrow (they are leaving Sunday afternoon) and my house is a mess! So today, I am cleaning!! Our house stays pretty picked up, it's just the vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning the bathrooms that I don't get to on a weekly (or even bi-weekly sometimes) basis. Oh, fun. And just last night Elizabeth decided to spit up all over her crib...even on the bumper pad...grrreeeaat.

I'm excited that my parents are coming since we haven't seen them in a few weeks and it really is my fault that I've procrastinated a little...well, all week... So, here's to hoping that Elizabeth will take a nap soon so I can be uber-productive!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

If Everybody Jumped Off A Bridge...

No, I wouldn't do it! But Blogging isn't a bridge! I like keeping up with my family through their blogs and I hope that they'll like keeping up with us. So bear with goes!