Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Casen!

Casen turns four tomorrow! I can't believe he is already this old. I still remember carrying him in my womb when he had the hiccups and holding him right after he was born.

I love his passion and sense of humor. I'm proud to have him as my son. His prayers are special to hear. His energy is infectious. His laughter is music.

I can't believe he can ride a big boy bike now. Sigh. Time really is flying by.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Family Pics

The best family pic

4 Generation Picture

Christmas Highlights Part 2

After the kids went to bed on "Christmas Eve" at Mom and Dad's...

I was playing IT with Dad's new laptop...Josh was figuring out his ITUNES...and then I had to get my laptop out of course.

Playing Hand and Foot.

Josh, the nerd. I love him!

Both Mamaw and Liam (see picture two below) put their shirt gifts on over their pajamas. Navy Grandma and Elmo were big winners for Christmas this year!

The boys are trying out Mamaw's grabber.

Josh was so excited about his new coffee maker for his office he nerd-ed out.

I was really excited too.

Apparently, I was nerd-ed out the entire morning as well. This was the best picture of me with a gift.

Breakfast Out after we opened presents

Who dressed that kid?

Yep, L Child and Immie are arm wrestling.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Tagged: Read At Your Own Risk
I've been tagged! Alyson tagged me in a little blog I go:

First Things First, The Rules:

You must post the rules.
Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
Let them know you've tagged them!

Eleven FUN Facts:

1. I love a good beat'em up movie. Matrix. The Bourne movies. Inception. If it has good action, I will probably like it. Or at least can endure through bad acting to see a cool fight scene. If there's a crazy car chase scene, BONUS!

2. I cook more often in the summer. I rarely cook during the school year. Usually just on the weekends - maybe once. Maybe once during the week. I thought it was because I didn't really like to cook; I discovered I don't mind cooking if I'm not rushed and don't have little ones afoot. So you're probably wondering what we eat. Leftovers. Sandwiches/paninis. Popcorn (me anyway). Usually Mom feeds us once a week. Good thing I'm married to an easygoing guy who will eat whatever there is in the house!

3. Despite that I don't cook very often, I'm pretty good at it (if I do say so myself). I don't usually follow the recipe exactly. Though usually this is a good thing, there have been some disasters from not following the recipe. I can make yummy desserts - my current favorite is bumbleberry pie.

4. I have quite a bit of music. Probably not as much as my friend April does, but she's a music professor so she's got to have a lot. I listen to music almost constantly: while I work at school and working around the house.

5. Connected to #4, I love having new music. Discovering new artists is a joy. One of the reasons Spotify is my new favorite toy. And it's free!

6. I don't consider myself crafty. I do like doing crafts with the boys though. We never do anything real complicated, but It's fun to see them painting or drawing trains.

7. I always said I wanted mainly girls, maybe just one boy if any. Then God gave me two boys, and I know I was meant to be a mother of boys. I love wrestling around with them after work or playing cars for the millionth time. There's a few things that are trying - like I'm pretty sure my bathrooms will never be completely clean again.

8. I like math. Not enough to have majored in it, but enough that I enjoy doing it in chemistry. Love algebra. Like calculus - at least the basic part. As much as I complain about pchem, I find satisfaction when I get through the end of a derivation where I got to use calculus. I know. I'm a nerd.

9. I have a terrible sense of direction. If I can't find the sun or know where I-35 is relative to my location, I have no idea what direction I'm heading. I also tend NOT to pay attention very well when we go somewhere. As a result, It usually takes a few times going someplace before I remember how to get there.

10. I think in words a lot. I don't see pictures very often in my head. My thoughts are conversations with people (or myself) or sometimes I see the actual words written in my head. Not sure what that says about me except that's probably why I didn't major in art!

11. I've ran three 5k's in different races and a half-marathon last year. I'm training again for another half and actually liking the training this time. I think I'm going to plan to run a marathon one day. (Notice I'm still thinking about planning it.)

Now it's time for the questions that Alyson posted for me to answer.

1. Would you rather be in prison for the rest of your life, or stranded on a deserted island with your closest loved ones for the rest of your life? (Assuming this is a tropical deserted island with plenty of food and such.)

Definitely deserted island. It could be like Gilligan's Island. I could make a radio out of coconuts.

2. What was your biggest worry in high school? (Friends, grades, boys, acne, sports, something else?)

Grades probably. I was pretty uptight about them - trying to be top of the class. I learned to relax a bit in college when I realized there were A LOT of smarter people than me...then really relaxed in grad school. I was okay with a B then.

3. If you had to be a character in a movie, who would you want to be?

Jane Eyre maybe? I love that story.
Or I could be Katniss. I could learn to shoot an arrow and run around defeating my opponents in a giant arena.

4. Would you choose an all-expense paid trip around the world (as many destinations as you want, for however long you want it to be, including your spouse and family if you want), or would you rather have $1 million cash here and now?

hmmm this one is difficult to decide. at first i thought trip! But then the sensible part of me thought how far one million could go, especially if I didn't have to pay taxes on it. student loans paid off. house paid off. boys' education fund done. and then maybe we could take a little trip over to Europe. but if we didn't have enough for a huge trip to Europe, I bet we could take something else less expensive. okay, one million in cash please.

5. If you had to go a year and eat only 5 foods, what would you choose? (Let's assume your nutritional needs are taken care of by a vitamin of some sort.)

coffee (i'm going to count that as a food) with hazelnut creamer (counting it as a combo food )
peanut butter
chicken flautas
carrots (eating something healthy at least and I munch on carrots quite a bit)

6. What is your favorite physical feature on yourself?

my blue eyes

7. What is your very first memory as a child?

when i was brother and i were sitting on the floor playing with marbles in an empty living room. My parents were packing up our house for our move to Denver.

8. If you had to move to another country, which country would you choose and why?

No idea. i've only been to Mexico outside the U.S. Probably not there. Somewhere in Europe maybe?

9. What movie can you watch over and over and over again?

While You Were Sleeping or My Big Fat Greek Wedding

10. What is one job that you'd like to do, but can't or wouldn't because of circumstances? (circumstances such as: it doesn't pay well enough, the hours are bad, you don't live in a place where there's a great need for marine biologists, you don't have the body type to be a professional figure skater...)

Probably a singer. If I had more talent and knew how to play the guitar, I would be rockin' it!
Okay, maybe not.

11. What is your secret phobia? (I'm not talking spiders or being alone or public speaking, I'm talking about the weird and totally irrational one that you don't like to admit to.)

I'm pretty sure this is rational, but funeral viewings. I don't like to see the deceased. I usually walk on the other side of Josh away from the coffin.

Last but not least, here are the questions for the folks I tag:

1. Where is your favorite spot in your house?

2. What is your current favorite song?

3. What's your favorite game (card or board) to play?

4. If you could have lived during any time period, which one would it have been and why? You can't pick anytime after the year you were born.

5. What was your favorite science class you ever took and why (think all the way back to elementary school even)?

6. If you could be an expert in any fighting technique, what would it be (kali,karate, etc)?

7. What are three things you do everyday (not things you must do like eat or go to the bathroom)?

8. If you could eradicate one animal on Earth, what would it be? (You don't have to worry about disrupting the circle of life or anything like that, pretend any purpose that animal serves would be taken care of even if they weren't there.)

9. Which way do you prefer to read: actual books, audio books, or Kindle/Nook/etc? Why?

10. What is one of the hardest things you've ever had to do, and though you're glad you did it (and got the results you wanted), you probably wouldn't want to do it again if you had the choice?

11. What are three things that stress you out? (General or specific)

This is who I'm tagging:

1.April S.

2. April E.

3. Jacqueline

4. Amber

5. Annie

6. Aunt Sissie

7. Aunt Brenda

8. Mom

9. Stacia

10. Angie

11. Charity

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to Lab!

This semester I'm the lucky professor who has three labs. One day a week, I have a morning lab and an afternoon lab with a lecture sandwiched in-between). My morning lab went smoothly, especially for the first lab of the semester for freshmen. No breakages. No weird products. They probably were the best group I've ever had for the first lab.

Then the afternoon lab began. As soon as one group picked up their evaporating dish, it was dropped and broken.

A little later I smelled something burning. I discovered a group who had melted a rubber policeman into their sample. Burnt rubber smells awful. Not to mention that their sample now had pieces of burnt rubber in it.

Later another group's watch glass exploded and broke. Nothing like having to pick up pieces of glass, weighing, and hoping to recover some of your sample.

We ended the day with a bang. The product should have been table salt. That's not what one group had. They had yellow crystals that gave off awful fumes. I sent them to the fume hood with their mystery product.

Needless to say, lab took the full time.
Maybe this group got all of the mishaps out of their system the first week of lab.
Here's to hoping!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Potty-Training 101: What's Working For Us

I never blogged about our potty training experience with Case, but now that he's done and Liam has begun, I thought I might blog about what worked for our boys.
We took an easy approach, similar to the way our pediatrician recommended. It's not the traditional way I've heard and read about, but it worked. Our pediatrician believes, "Children have a daytimer or their brain, and on this device is a date: the date they will be potty-trained. The real thing, not you being trained to watch and interpret their subtle signals and run at breakneck speed to the nearest potty yelling "HOLD IT". When this day arrives in your child's brain, if you have not made too big a deal about how much it would mean to YOU if your child becomes potty-trained, he/she will come to you and say "I don't need to wear a diaper anymore. I'm a big boy/girl". You'll say, "Are you sure?" Your child will then begin to be able to pee and poop on the potty, with no accidents to speak of, regardless of how little effort or warning has gone into it. This is where we really see the "will vs. skill" issue in real life - your child could have done it "physically" a long time ago, but today is the day he/she decided to do it. It will likely be closer to 3 than 2 years."

It didn't work quite like that but close enough that it was pretty easy. When Case turned 2 we introduced him to the potty. He wasn't interested. We didn't push it, but every so often we would ask him if he wanted to sit on the potty. Sometimes he would and sometimes he might end up going in the potty. When he was nearing 3, he seemed more interested so we had him start wearing training pants. At first, he would only wear them for short periods of time. He still wasn't ready. Case never minded having a wet/dirty diaper. From the time he was born, he would yell anytime you changed him. Reminds me of that classic line from Ricky Bobby, "I've been in my dirty pee pants all day." That was Casen if we would let him.

Then one day after Case turned 3, he just started wanting to wear underwear and not having accidents. We told him once he could wear underwear without accidents, he could have underwear that have characters on them (e.g. Cars, Diego, etc.). He quickly was able to buy fun underwear. He rarely had/has accidents. They usually occur because he underestimated how bad he had to go. He still holds it as long as he can so he can keep on playing.

We took the same approach with sleeping dry. Our doctor had told us that most kids will be 4 or 5 before they can sleep dry every night. It was clear that Case wasn't ready to sleep dry yet. We tried sometimes waking him up to go to the bathroom, and he wouldn't wake up. He's a heavy sleeper! One day though (probably this past fall) he requested to start sleeping without a diaper. He would sleep dry a couple nights, and then have a night where he might have an accident. Around December, he started being able to sleep dry all the time. It's pretty rare for him to have an accident at night now.

So we're doing something similar with Liam. The difference is that now potty-training is with a different child. Liam never liked having a wet/dirty diaper. As soon as he could communicate, he started telling us about his diaper. We introduced him to the potty earlier, and now he usually goes in the potty at least once a day. This interest might wane; our pediatrician said that a lot of kids might be interested around 2 years old, but it doesn't last. We'll see what happens. For the time being, Liam gets cheered by all of us (including Casen) when he does use the potty. Casen also has educated Liam about the art of using the potty. I'm pretty sure C could make an instructional video. He talks through the steps of using the potty to both Cason (his friend at day care) and Liam. It's pretty funny to listen.

So for all you moms out there potty-training, good luck! Find out what works for your child and hang in there.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Christmas Time Highlights Part 1

Josh said seeing the boys roll their cars down the hall and through Grammy's room was special. He used to do the same thing when he was a kid.

There were so many presents to pass out (in fairness, there were A LOT of people present - pun intended); the boys resorted to rolling around on the floor acting silly while we waited.

Mamaw and Poppy got all the kids a little play gun with their initials on them - cowboy style. They were a hit with the kids who played outside for a long time with them.

Dirty Santa was pretty fun this year. What's not to love? Hats, massagers, bullets. The hot items though were the Twilight presents - the SceneIt Game and the blanket. I didn't end up with either, but I got the other hot item - cash!

We also did a little craft time. Before the little ones were big enough, I usually tried to bake something with Tana and Kota. This year they helped with the little ones - great big cousins! The kids made candle cookies (got the idea from a professor's wife I know) and reindeer puppets with antlers made out of their hands (thanks to Natalie for the foresight to bring the craft items)!

Christmas morning was special, too.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Airplane/Road Trip: Time in Kentucky with April

Before Christmas, I flew out to Kentucky to see my best friend and help her drive to Oklahoma for Christmas. I always have good intentions to take lots of pictures, especially of some of us together. Of course that never happens. The pictures illustrate.

I start off the day I flew out snapping lots of pictures. Josh, the boys, and I all ate breakfast out the morning of the day I flew out. I took pictures then.

Then I got one of boys at the airport. Santa gave them candy canes. They were a little excited about more sugar.

I even got a pic of my man.

I was that silly woman on the airplane that took random pictures from the air. Where were we? Who knows? I'm not even quite sure which leg of the journey I was on here.

So I flew into Kentucky. Did I take a picture of April and me at the airport? Nope. How about the restaurant? Nope. Not to worry, I did take one of the Movie Palace. It looked like a warehouse with this neon sign above it. Not my usual stadium, reclining seating I prefer. But hey, we had to watch Breaking Dawn together.

This is the one picture I took of one of us. I had to have a snazzy picture of April's cool office.

I might not take pictures of us, but I do take pictures of the food we prepare. (No judging.)

I took lots of pictures of the landscape and our roadie back to Oklahoma. I couldn't believe how green Kentucky was in the middle of December. I would love to visit in late spring!

And that's all the pictures I took. Anytime I did think about taking a picture of us, we didn't look too hot. We had been eating chicken pot pie watching some sappy Christmas TV movie or looking a little (lots) tired on the roadtrip.

Well, I might not have the pictures, but I had a great time! It was so nice to kinda just "check out" from life with a best friend. Staying up late, sleeping in, and eating when we wanted. After a long semester for both of us, I think it's just what we needed!

Monday, January 02, 2012