Kiddies and Kitties

While we were in Houston, someone had the idea to take all the granddaughters to the movies one day. After some discussion, we realized that it would not work due to attention spans, energy levels, and competing naptimes. Instead, we popped some popcorn and everyone (except me - i escaped for a little while) settled in to watch 'Wall-E' at home. This photo shows Hope, Cole, Kuncle Keith, Olivia, and Lila. Oh, and Papa Joe's left shoulder.

I took Charlie to the vet this afternoon to check out his runny eyes. They said he's got pink eye, picked up who-knows-where, and gave me some ointment to put in it twice daily. What's more interesting, to me at least, is that Charlie is much more relaxed at the vet when Cordy is not there with him.

I always take them together because it's more convenient to make one trip rather than two. And Charlie usually hunkers down on the exam table, hides his head in my armpit, and growls while Cordy explores the room, rolls around on the floor, and generally flirts with anything that breathes. This time he didn't hide his head or growl and even tolerated having his eyes messed with.

When they spent the night at the clinic a couple of weeks ago, the staff tried putting the two of them in the same cage overnight and they freaked out on each other! Cordy got all hissy and spitty and Charlie was hiding in a corner, trying to escape her wrath. They had to put them back in separate suites to calm everyone down. I guess I'll start taking them in separately in the future.


Kick! Kick! Kick!

I'm kicking myself (very hard) in the tush right now. When we were in Houston, we saw an ad for the Wii Fit for only $90 at Target. That is an amazing deal! We were going to stop on the way home from church to try and pick one up. For some reason, I was feeling hesitant on the purchase, so I suggested that we wait. By this evening, I had decided that it really was a good idea (especially since we have gift money to use), but it's too late!

I called five different Target stores in our area and all are sold out. Maybe we would not have been able to get one even by the time we left church yesterday because they are THAT popular this year, but now we'll never know. And I would feel a lot better about missing out even though we got there as soon as we could than I do about missing out because I hesitated! Oh well. Let it go, Angela. Let it go...

We had a great Christmas in Houston with the Peelers and took about 150 photos, most of which you will probably never see. (much like i never got around to posting pictures from halloween.) The one you see here is Eli playing with Lila's favorite gift - a stuffed dog that she named Sparky. Eli's favorite gift, hands down, is his 'jump jump'. Maybe I'll finally take the time to post a little video on here so that you can see him in action. It's hilarious!


Difficulties of Life

Lila just started crying and said that Charlie had scratched her. Since I know that his aggression is rarely unprovoked, I asked her why he scratched her. That's a little more diplomatic than asking what she did to him. Anyway, she said, "I was trying to be kind to him, but I couldn't. I just wanted to be rude." Just to clarify, I asked her if that meant she was being rude to him and she said yes.

She tried to be kind but couldn't because she wanted to be rude.

That, my Love, is what we call 'battling the sin nature'. And it never ends.


The Day's Adventures

Lila and I had a fun little date today. We went to a free screening of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas at the Alamo Drafthouse (South Lamar)! They even had a live jug band play before the show. Lila's favorite part of the experience was getting to eat (she ordered a corn dog and ate only the corn, not the dog). Her least favorite part was the dark theater. It really wasn't that dark, but I think it was the pre-show anxiety about just how dark it would be that she didn't like.

I also put a big nasty scratch on our mini-van while we were out. I'm usually overly cautious about the boundaries of my vehicle because I just don't have a good sense of them. This time I thought I had room and it turned out I didn't. I scraped the back driver's side against the corner of a dumpster! Ugh. And then I got us into such a tight spot in this miniature parking lot that I couldn't get out!

I was seriously wondering if I'd have to just sit there until someone came and left in one of the cars I was stuck between, when I was saved by a homeless man. There was a guy who seemed to live in that parking lot, right by the dumpsters, and he helped me maneuver my way out. I was so thankful because he really rescued me! I gave him the leftover half of my pizza from the movie and then picked up some cash to give him while we were shopping.

I always wish I could do more though... like bring him home with me and give him a fresh start... I think maybe I have a dream for our future of starting some sort of home/program for homeless, to help those who really want to change and get their life back. Anyway, I digress. Doug is sitting just a few feet away, reading books to Lila, and it's hard to concentrate.


My head and neck hurt and I feel kind of ill. I'm going to do 10 minutes of yoga and see how I feel afterward. If I feel better, then you'll see another post from me this evening. If not...


Stretchy Jesus

Lila has spent most of the past 24 hours playing by herself. We brought out a Peanuts Christmas play set - it has all the characters with moveable arms, etc. and props. This morning, she incorporated Baby Jesus, a large rubber frog, and Cinderella into the crew. The funniest part is that the part of Baby Jesus is being played by Nearly-Headless Stretchy Man, a little yellow smiley face guy with only one arm (and the obvious attributes of being stretchy and having a nearly decapitated head). We've been referring to him as Stretchy Jesus.

Just a little while ago, Lila was playing with some of the characters and sang the following song:

"You have to be brave when you're sad.
You have to be brave when you're happy too.
You have to be when you're in the stroller.
You might be too big for it."


Boy, I crack me up!

I was attacked by the toilet paper dispenser in a public restroom today. It was one of those large plastic ones that has two big rolls of paper side-by-side. I pulled down on the paper, then pulled up to tear it off and the thing fell open and whacked me in the head! The best part, I think, was imagining the woman in the next stall, who had no idea what was going on. From her perspective, I just suddenly went "WOAH!" and then started laughing. These kinds of things never happen when there's someone around to witness it!

Ooh! I take that back. There was a witness for the falling-on-my-butt-the-day-before-giving-birth incident!... Wait - WHAT?!? I didn't record that one for posterity? I guess I was a bit preoccupied by the fact that I was going to have a baby in less than 24 hours. Well, the short version is that I woke up to the sound of Charlie scratching the carpet. I got up, grabbed the squirt bottle, and went running after him, squirting away. He ran into the living room and I followed, still squirting.

Here's a tip: Do not squirt water onto wood floors and then run across them. Especially not when you are nine months pregnant! I stepped on some water, my foot slipped out from under me and I landed on my bootie/back. Once again, the perspective of the other guy was even better!

Doug was standing in the kitchen when he suddenly hears the sound of a running cat and a thundering pregnant woman. He looks up to see his wife, who he thought was asleep, come running into the room and then disappear, with arms and legs flailing. The poor guy came running into the room, asking if I was okay, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to answer him. Once he determined that I was, in fact, okay, he said something along the lines of, "What the heck were you thinking?!?"

Oh yeah. That one still cracks me up. I laughed until I cried just while typing this out! I occasionally ask Doug, "What would you have to laugh about if you weren't married to me?" or, alternately, "Imagine how boring your life would be without me!"



It seems like at least yesterday that I wrote that last post. Was it really just late this morning?!?

Doug has put our Christmas tree up and it's got lights and a skirt, but no ornaments so far. To be honest, I like the way trees look with just lights and no ornaments. Especially when 85% of your ornaments are Peanuts characters. Cute, but not classy. (Sorry, Irene. I know that's a traitorous statement.)

We went to Rudy's BBQ for lunch today and rediscovered a fabulous baby toy: butcher paper! I had completely forgotten, but we used to go there occasionally when Lila was a baby and she loved playing with that stuff. We'd just tear off a piece of paper for her and she'd let us eat our dinner in peace. Eli felt the same way about it. In fact, we had a bit of a hard time keeping him from stealing the paper out from under nearby diners' food.

I got a haircut this week, in case I haven't mentioned it, and I love it! It's cute and easy and I actually feel like a girl again. I'll have to update my little profile photo now. Especially since I haven't had that orange hair for about... a year and a half!

Lila Castro

Grammie and Uncle Bill (Grammie's brother/Doug's uncle) are visiting right now and Lila has turned into the Evil Dictator that she always does when grandparents are around. She's got a bossy streak in her anyway, but it gets 10 times worse with the grandmothers. We insist that she speak kindly and politely to us, so maybe she just goes nuts when she gets around someone who doesn't. I don't know, but it's frustrating (and a bit embarrassing)!

Oops! And now Eli is waking up and needs to eat. Rotten timing! I'll try to post more later...



My daughter is incredibly articulate. She has a tiny voice, but uses it clearly and distinctly... Most of the time. The child seems entirely unwilling to say 'YES' and 'NO'. Both words come out sounding the same. The following is a frequently recurring conversation:

Us: [Some question requiring a yes or no answer, such as,] "Do you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"
Lila: "Nyeao."
Us: "Was that 'Yes' or 'No'?"
Lila: "Nyeao."
Us: "Yes?"
Lila: "NO!"
Us: [gently prompting] "No, thank you?"
Lila: [grudgingly] "No, thank you."

She gets very irritated when we ask her to repeat herself, but we have not been able to convince her that she would not need to repeat herself if she'd just respond to questions with 'Yes, please.' or 'No, thank you.'

There are two other times when we can't understand her. The first is when she's using her tiny voice from the back seat of the car. The other is when she's talking with one of those confounded pacifiers in her mouth. (which only happens just before and after bedtime, i feel the need to explain.) I'll complain about those another time though. Right now I need to go give my sweet girl some goodnight kisses and hugs.


Eli's Latest Stats

From his 6 month check-up on 11/20/08...

Weight: 16 lbs 13 oz (45th %ile)
Height: 25 inches (10th %ile)
Head Circumference: 44.1 cm (55th %ile)

As of yesterday, when we went in to have his ears checked, he had gained another pound! Must be all that baby food he's been packin' away.

Warning: Potty Talk

So, Lila went to the bathroom this morning and made a poopie. When she was done, she wanted to look at it, as always. She was so proud of her poopie that she wanted me to look at it next. She then enthusiastically proclaimed, "It's biiig and strooong and looong!" I did question how so much poop could come out of such a small person...

Tonight Lila is trying out 'sleep panties' for the first time. She's been daytime potty trained for some time now and rarely has an accident anymore. She also consistently wakes up with a very dry diaper, so I figured it's time to take the next step. We borrowed these panties from a friend and she was excited about them until the first time she tried them on. She says they are too poofy and does not want to wear them.

They are plasticy on the outside and padded on the inside. So if she does have an accident, they will feel wet, but hopefully not get the bed too messy. We just had a long conversation about them and why it's a good idea. We even prayed that God would help her be brave as she wears the new panties. I think that, if we can get past this first night or two, she'll be fine with them. We'll see...

Today was Doug's last day of work at Dell. He had to turn in his badge and his computer and sign things. As a parting gift, they gave him a cheap plastic pen. Oh yes, they are also giving him a very generous separation package. Doug is now officially unemployed!