Weekend in Houston

We had a great time in Houston this weekend and I wish it could have lasted a bit longer. Keith, Megan, Hope, and Olivia were there as well, so it was a full house. We all got there in time for dinner on Friday night and had a big, loud meal together. After dinner, we had a naked photo shoot with the two little cousins and then we all crashed.

Saturday was full too. There was a little errand-running in the morning and then a leisurely lunch. After that, we all went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tour. They had an actual parade balloon (Henrietta the Hippo) that the kids could practice piloting (it took 15 people to keep her under control), a goofy show to teach the kids how the balloons are made, and lots of confetti and people and "stuff".

That evening, we went out to eat in celebration of Keith's birthday (and our anniversary). Lila put on QUITE the show over dinner. She even ended up on the table, in nothing but her diaper, socks, and necklace, after she spilled milk all over herself. She also ate 5 breadsticks! She was so tired by the time that we got her home that she was delirious!

On Sunday, we all went to church and after the regular service, there was a special service for Baby Dedications/Baptisms. Keith and Megan dedicated Olivia at this service and then we all (including megan's parents) went back to the Peeler house for some homemade Shelby BBQ. Keith and his gang left in a whirlwind around 2:30 and, after a long nap, we left around 5:30. Fun times. Very tired!


Naked Baby, On the Run

One of Lila's new favorite games is to run (i.e., crawl swiftly) through the house, completely nude, before bathtime. This started last week when I was having to do bathtime by myself because Doug was out of town. I got her naked too soon, before the bath was ready, so I let her run around that way while I finished. Then, when I went to get her, I pretended to chase her down and catch her.

That was the beginning of the game. She loves it! She knows it's coming as soon as I start taking her clothes off. She's clamoring to get down on the ground and those little legs are pumping before she even touches the floor. Then it's off to the races! (she really can't move that fast, but don't tell her that!) She runs and I do a little shuffle-run behind her.

"I'm going to get that baby! Oh no, she's getting away! She's just too fast for me! Haha, I've almost got her! Ah, look at that turn - now she's getting away again!" She just laughs and laughs!

Unfortunately, she loves this game so much that she's started crying when we actually put her in the tub. I guess we'll try letting her run naked for a little longer before we put her in the bath. It's just sad to see her go from laughing and having a ball to crying and begging to be let back out of the bathtub.


Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 4th Anniversary - woohoo! :) Doug has not made it home from work yet and I suspect that is because he's buying my gift on the way. My husband, the last-minute shopper!

Lila is celebrating our anniversary by flinging her toys around and generally making the house look like it exploded. As for Doug and I, we don't have any special plans. Doug was out of town last weekend and we will both be out of town this weekend. We usually plan a party to celebrate, but I totally forgot this year. Oh well. People usually can't make it anyway! :o)~

Eek! Lila just found a Cheeto (crunchy, if you're interested) in the study floor! Thankfully, I spotted her and, thankfully again, she decided to show it to me rather than eat it. I mean, she's eaten a Cheeto before (just one - see photo - we'll discuss what's in her hair in this photo another day), but I don't want her eating one that's been in the floor for who-knows-how-long and licked by who-knows-how-many cats. Okay, now she's pulling all the hanging files out of a box. Yes, that's a much better idea. I think I need to go now.


Sooo tired, but feel compelled to post something. Joined another Harry Potter reading group, so have been lost in Harry Potter land. At least no one is sick. Am still playing catch-up from the past few weeks of nuttiness.

Must sleep now.

Well, first, must feed cats. Then must sleep.

Until Lila wakes up and wants milk. We're weaning her off middle-of-night feeding though. That means we take turns, in the wee hours of morning, trying to get her back to sleep. It hasn't been too bad, but maybe that's why I'm so tired...


Name that Movie!

1. "I have met yams with more going on upstairs than these two."

2. "Are you Mrs. Dudley?"
"So far."

3. "You love me and I love you."
"No. You love you. I love Walter."

4. "I like to watch women doing little domestic chores."

5. "Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

6. "Don't mind her. She's still upset because somebody dropped a house on her sister."

7. "I just made a funny."

8. "Is this supposed to be water?"
"It's wet, ain't it? Drink it!"

9. "Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room... Just for fun."

10. "Please, I beg you! For safety's sake, don't humiliate him!"


Dear Bloggy

Dear Bloggy,

I'm writing today to tell you about an extraordinary person. That person is my husband, Doug Peeler. It's easy for even I to forget how special he is at times, but today I want to share it with the world.

Doug is my favorite person and best friend. I love spending time with him and I miss him when he's not around. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh that could make anyone smile. He's also a great person to have serious conversations with. We can chat about everything from the power of God to problem solving strategies.

Doug is a very compassionate and supportive husband and that has been a huge blessing in my life. He has loved me and held me tight through severe bouts of depression and he has taught me so much about God's love and forgiveness because he, himself, is such a loving and forgiving person.

Doug is an unusually involved and capable father. Our little girl loves him to pieces and it's easy to see why. Since the beginning, he has changed as many diapers and gotten up with her in the night as many times as I have. He plays with her, feeds her, and does her special bedtime routine every night.

I love my husband very much, Bloggy, and I am proud of him. Please print this letter so that other women can know that wonderful men are out there, waiting to be found, and/or to remind them of the things that are special about their own husbands.

Have you hugged a boy today?

Angela P.
Austin, TX


Feeling Feverish

I have got Fall Fever so severely! I love fall. It is easily my favorite time of year because of the cool weather, the family holiday gatherings, the food... I don't know. I can't even quite explain why I love it so much.

Whatever the reason, I get the Fall Fever Bug as soon as October hits. I start wanting to decorate and make crafts and bake things with apples in them. Right now my house is filled with the wonderful scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vanilla. I put a saucepan of water over low heat with these spices thrown in. I'm not actually cooking anything, but it smells that way!

This is why I love Halloween. I don't care about the day itself - I'm not a big candy fan anyway. But I love the excitement! I love to see the kids dressed up and juiced up on sugar. I love the silly decorations of ghosts and bats and pumpkins. And yes, I do like a good scarey movie now and then. Most of the new ones are just gross, but there are some classics that provide as much (or more) unintentional humor as they do surprise and suspense.

I've actually had a bit of trouble going to sleep for the past couple of nights because what I really wanted to do was get up and clean, of all things! Fall also inspires me to make my home all cozy. In the spring, I start wanting to open windows and let the sunlight stream in on my brightly colored walls. In the fall, I want everything about my house to say "warm" (even when it's not really cold outside)!

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. I just felt like talking about Fall because, in case you hadn't figured it out by now: I LOVE FALL!!!


Mystery Solved

Lila's fever broke Monday morning and by Monday evening she seemed to be feeling quite well again. Yesterday, she was completely symptom free until just before bed. At that time, I noticed a rash on her forehead and scalp and by this morning it had spread to her belly, back, and diaper area. We saw the doctor this morning and she said that it's Roseola, which is not a big deal apparently. That's good to know! :)


The ABCs of our trip to North Carolina

A is for Automobile: When we got to Charlotte, we went to pick up the rental car we had reserved a few days before. We asked (and paid) for a compact car, but when we got to the lot to pick it up, they said, "Sorry, it looks like we're out of compacts - would you like a full size?" Ummm - yeah! So we got to drive around for a week in a pretty, new full-sized car (chevy impala) with automatic everything and seat warmers!

B is for Bedtime: Lila normally does a lot of crying when it comes to sleeping in a strange place. On this trip, she consistently went to sleep (at naptimes and bedtime) without a fuss. We were both completely shocked, but exceedingly grateful!

C is for Carousel: Lila's absolute favorite part of the entire trip was the Shelby Carousel! They have a restored carousel that is 80 or 90 years old and it's just beautiful. We went there three times and rode the carousel a total of eight times and Lila would get SO excited! We have a video of her reaction as we drove up to the place the last time. It's quite funny.

D is for Daddy's Girl: Lila has been in Daddy's Girl Heaven for the past week with Doug at her disposal all the time. She didn't want to be held by anyone except for him most of the time and she must have held her arms out to him and said, "Up, bo!" about 1000 times. There was even one time that I was snuggling with him and she came and pushed me away so that she could give him a hug!!!

E is for Electronics: When we got to the condo in the mountains, one of the first things we did was try to hook up and figure out a new DVD player. Doug (who is an audio engineer, if you will recall) spent 15-20 minutes trying to figure out how to get it to work and finally gave up and handed the remote control to Lila to play with (she'd been begging for it). She had the thing figured out and working within 3 seconds (I am not making that up)!

F is for Fair: While we were in Shelby, we went to the Cleveland County Fair. It is the largest county fair in the state - only the NC State Fair is larger. We rode the Ferris Wheel and ate Fair Food and Lila got to pet a Baby Chicken!

G is for Geese (and Ducks): While we were in the mountains, we went to a little pond that had a bunch of ducks and geese and we nearly froze to death while feeding them. We gave them a few slices of bread and then went to the store for another loaf because it was so much fun! Our favorites were Ugly Guy, Quiet Guy, and Big Whitey.

H is for The Ham Shoppe: This was the name of a sandwich place that we stopped into in a tiny town called Valle Crucis, NC. They had the most wonderful sandwiches - freshly sliced meat, way yummy bread, and the side dishes were good too (baked beans and potato salad)! We also got some of their homemade dark chocolate fudge - so good! - and then... we accidentally left most of it in the refrigerator of the condo when we left! Eek!

I is for Illness: We each took a turn at getting sick during this vacation (i have already posted about lila's problem). I got sick from the Fair Food and that was not a good night for me. Doug had a bit of tummy trouble himself while we were in the mountains - probably from all the unhealthy eating we did while we were gone.

J is for Jelly Beans: While we were at a candy shop, I finally gave in to the urge to buy a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (because i am a major harry potter nerd). The flavors are: Bacon, Black Pepper, Blueberry, Booger, Buttered Popcorn, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dirt, Earthworm, Earwax, Grape Jelly, Grass, Green Apple, Lemon Drop, Rotten Egg, Sardine, Soap, Toasted Marshmallow, Tutti-Frutti, and Vomit. Doug tasted a Black Pepper and said it was actually pretty good (but spicey) and I've had a Soap, which tastes very oddly just like soap smells!

K is for Kitty: Charlie and Starr (doug's aunt and uncle) have a 13-year-old kitty named Magic who is a little... odd. She apparently hates her own tail and spends a fair amount of time chasing it around and hissing at it. I wish we'd remembered to get THAT on video! She also doesn't like to be petted by strangers, which is very torturous for a kitty lover!

L is for Leaves: The leaves in Shelby really were mostly still green, but in the mountains - beautiful! There was every shade of yellow and orange and red (and green and brown too, of course). The leaves were blowing off the trees and it was the most wonderful thing to drive down these roads through the mountains and see the leaves drifting across in front of us! We took many many photos, none of which really captured how beautiful things were.

M is for Mittens: Before we went to North Carolina, I stocked up on winter clothes for Lila and we all packed coats, but we did not have hats or gloves. After we went to the fair and I had to put socks on Lila's hands to keep them warm, I decided an emergency trip to Walmart was in order and I got her a very cute hat and mittens. She is always cute and she looked especially cute in her winter clothes and she was almost unbearably cute when she was wearing those mittens!

N is for Nascar: No we did not go to a Nascar race while we were in NC, but there was a race in Charlotte the day that we left. And I didn't know it before, but that's a big deal in that area. When we were in the airport, it was pretty easy to spot some of the folks who were flying in for the race...

O is for Outside!: Lila has gotten really good at saying this word and it sounds like this: outseed! She says it many times per day in a squeaky little voice full of excitement and hope. Thankfully for her, we wanted to be outside as much as she did while we were in the mountains!

P is for Peelers: This is who we visited while we were in North Carolina. We stayed with Mamaw and Charlie and Starr Peeler and we got to hang out with (almost) the whole crew for dinner one night. They are a very welcoming family and I had lots of fun!

Q is for Quiet: It was so quiet up in the mountains! If you were on the front porch, there was some road noise, but it couldn't be heard from the back porch. And there were no ringing phones, no people knocking on the front door, no email, no Internet, no messes asking to be picked up - just quiet... (yes, i did start to get a little crazy after a few days)

R is for Ringer: Charlie and Starr have a phone that has some "issues." When someone calls, it starts ringing. And keeps ringing. Even after you answer the phone. Just one, long, continuous ring. We laughed much.

S is for Spud: Lila's second favorite part of the whole vacation was Spud, Charlie and Starr's giant Boston Terrier. Spud is extremely spastic, so when he was in the house, he had to stay in his crate. Lila would sit next to the cage and stick her fingers in and when Spud licked them she thought it was the funniest thing ever!

T is for Tex-Mex: "Chuy's, My Love! Oh, how I missed you! Your queso is so... spicey! And your burritos are so... big!" They do not, as you might have guessed, have TEX-MEX in North Carolina. They do have mexican food, but it's just not the same. And do you know what they call their queso? 'Cheese sauce.'

U is for Unpredictable: Lila never ceases to surprise us with her eating habits. While we were in NC, she decided that she liked tomatoes. Twice, she ate an entire slice of tomato like it was a cookie. Then, the next day, she decided they were evil and wanted nothing to do with them (after we'd bought severely overpriced tomatoes in the mountains)! That is pretty much the way it went with various things the whole time we were gone.

V is for Vacation: This wasn't just a vacation - it was a VACATION! We hung out and relaxed because we had no other choice. It was really wonderful and I was sad to have it end. Coming back home made me very aware of the things in my life that I enjoy (things i couldn't wait to get back to) and the things that I don't so much enjoy (things i was not looking forward to coming home to). Things to think about...

W is for Weather: The weather was just amazing. In Shelby, it was nice and cool during the day and pretty chilly at night. In the mountains, it was chilly during the day and stinking cold at night. I wanted to bring the weather home with me! When we left Shelby on Saturday morning, there was frost on the ground. When we arrived in Austin on Saturday afternoon, it was 80 degrees.

X is for XM: I have decided that I need XM Radio. Before this trip, I thought it was silly and a waste of money and if you don't want to listen to commercials, then just listen to a CD in the car! However, our rental car had XM and I quickly decided that it was my new best friend. I think I know what I'll be requesting for Christmas!

Y is for Yucky: Lila got so nasty dirty during this trip, pretty much daily. Between crawling around in public places and playing outside, all in long sleeves and pants, she was a mess! Seeing how dirty her knees got (let's just not talk about her hands) was almost enough to make me wish she were walking already!

Z is for Zebra: Okay, we did not see any zebras in North Carolina. However, Charlie Peeler calls ball games on Saturdays and we did see him dressed up in his black and white striped shirt. I will forever carry the image in my head of him walking around in the garden, with plants as high as his shoulders, in his uniform. I can't explain to you how funny it looked. I wish I'd taken a picture!

Baby Boy Rees

My dear friend, Ellen Rees, has had her baby! John and Ellen now have a son (and Naomi has a brother) who was born today at around 2:15 p.m. He weighs 7 lbs 15 oz. and is 20.5 inches long. Hooray! :)

As for Lila - she's still puny and spending most of her time sleeping, but her temperature is normal for now. The doctor's office called to say the preliminary results of the urine tests are negative, so she most likely does not have a bladder infection.

More to come...

Mini Update

Hey all! We are back and we had a blast in North Carolina. I'm going to have to wait to post any details or photos though because things are a little crazy around here. Lila is sick with some sort of Mystery Illness and needs lots of attention (she has a fever with no other obvious symptoms besides being extra sleepy and fussy). I'll keep you updated on her health and may be able to post about the trip tonight. :o)


Love that Lila Bean!

Lila is such a Daddy's girl. I mean, it's almost terminal, it's so bad! I have been sick for five days and barely did anything besides lay on the couch and blow my nose. Did Lila seem upset by this lack of attention from Mommy? NO! Daddy was around all day - who needs Mommy?!? I was on the verge of being offended by this, but she's still really sweet to me too, when she decides to notice me.

Yesterday, I came into the living room after a nap and when Lila saw me, she started clapping and grinning. Okay, so maybe she likes me just a little bit too... :o)~

I'm sure the poor child is bored though. We usually go somewhere every day - usually more than one somewhere. And she often gets to play with (or around) other kids. But for the past several days, it's been the Daddy Show (except for the nursery at church). As much as she loves that Daddy person, I think she's jonesing for some action! We went to the gym earlier, which she tolerates, but later we'll go to the library, which she loves! And we might go on a lunch date - just the two of us - for a little added excitement. (i'm actually just as anxious as lila to get out of this house after being cooped up for days!)


Near Death Experience

I was nearly eaten alive this morning by a giant carnivorous spider!

Or something like that.

Okay! So maybe it was entirely my fault that I ended up so close to this spider... but it was, indeed, a giant! And the episode scared me so badly that I'm certain my life span will now be three days shorter! What happened was this:

I saw a cute little green lizard on the back porch and I went outside to try and catch it. I thought it would be fun to let Lila see him up close and then I would, of course, let him go. Well, if you've ever tried to catch a little lizard, then you know it is not an easy task! He kept darting away from me and I kept following until I was hanging over the railing of the deck, with my head in the lantana.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something white. I raised my head a bit and just as it registered that my head was TOUCHING a spider web, I saw, not 4 inches from my face -- I am completely serious about that -- a huge spider! I then did three perfectly rational things.

1. I screamed loud enough for anyone on the block to hear me.
2. I ran back into the house, gasping, "Giant! Spider!" (to which doug replied, "oh yeah! i forgot to tell you!")
3. I started crying! It's not like I thought this spider was going to come and get me, but it scared me so bad that I just couldn't help it! I was gasping for breath and I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body.

Ugh! Just talking about it is making my chest constrict. [shudder] To prove that this really happened and was not, in fact, a hallucination caused by my sinus infection, I went back outside and took photos, which I am attaching. For a size scale, those are lantana blooms. Huge. Freaking. Spider.

And, in case you are worried, this is not a dangerous spider (unless you are an insect). The first time we saw one, not so close up, we looked them up on the Internet. And now I really must think about something else.