Saturday, November 22, 2008

*Insert Clever Title Here

I find myself with things that I want to blog about, but don't necessarily warrant their own post and don't really fit in with pictures of the kids either. Some of these things might include a blog that I like, a link to some good coupons, an interesting news or political story, recipes, or something fun to do with the kids. So I have decided to make a unique post dedicated to all of those random items. I haven't come up with a clever title yet that highlights my awesome wittiness, but don't worry, I will figure out something soon. I considered "Friday Favorites" but if you Google that title, a million hits come up so not only is it unoriginal, it also forces me to post once a week. Then you think of things like "Bits and Pieces" or "Odds and Ends" but those are uninspiring as well. So I will have to think about it and get back to ya'll (what, I'm from Texas now)...

The kids and I met up with Chad for lunch on Election Day and there was a woman (pictured above) wearing a shirt that shirt that said "NOBAMA" with Obama's head inside a "no" sign in place of the "o." I don't know why, but I thought this was hilarious. FYI-I didn't vote for either major candidate, I supported a write-in candidate, but that is another post all together. Anyway, I wanted to get a picture of her shirt so I started to act like I was taking a picture of Della as a way to remain inconspicuous to Shirt Lady. However I became so focused on the Shirt Lady that I was snapping pictures while Della wasn't even looking at the camera. At that point Chad started whisper-yelling "Obvious! Obvious!" I think Shirt Lady may have caught me.

Next item is a good coupon. Now that we have Della in private physical/speech/occupational therapy I am always looking for ways to save money and any extra can be syphoned into her therapy fund. It feels good to look at my grocery shopping receipt and see that I have saved $50, that's a 30 minute therapy session! Onto the coupon, it is $2.00 a Goody Ouchless Hair Product. Our Target here in Houston sells 16 pony tail elastics for $2.19 and after the coupon, I paid only $0.19!! C'mon, you know that's a good deal. You can print out the PDF without having to give them any of your information.

Last item of business is music. Chad and I have been listening to Chromeo, a Canadian band made up of a Jewish PhD French Lit. student at Columbia University and his best friend from childhood, an Arab who is a master at the keyboard/synth/talk box. They claim they are "the only successful Arab/Jew collaboration since the beginning of time".

Here is their live performance accompanied by strings on Conan O'Brien...


And their live performance with Vampire Weekend
(another excellent band) at the MTV U Woodie Awards.



Friday, November 21, 2008

This Might Be Our Longest Post Ever...

I have been so busy the past few weeks and Archer has given up his nap (WHY!?!?) so I haven't had a lot of time to post new pictures. Better late than never right? I don't know why the font size is so messed up, just pretend like everything is the same size.

Boom-Boom Papa & Nana's Visit


My grandparents came out from Southern California for a visit and we loved having them here. Archer had so much fun playing with "Boom-Boom Nana and Papa" you would have thought he had died and gone to heaven. I think they played "store" for at least 2 hours everyday. Not surprisingly candy and cash were both acceptable forms of payment. I think Archer is the only 4 year-old around here who knows the meaning of "barter" and "jipped." They were such sports to sleep in the bottom portion of Archer's bunk bed (don't worry, it is queen sized). It was so great to show some of our family around our new house, city, and state.

We went to visit the NASA Johnson Space Center and it was a really fascinating place. At first we thought it was just a museum but then we realized there was a tram tour. My favorite part was the announcement that the tour would last for one and a half hours. That's a long time on a tram!

This is the outside of Mission Control. That's right, we saw the actual room where those famous phrases of "Houston, we have a problem," and "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," were heard. Although shuttles aren't launched here, it is still used as NASA's mission control.


There is a huge building where life-size replicas of the shuttle, space station, and other "space stuff" (highly technical term) are used to train astronauts. It was pretty fascinating to see just how big these things are. This is a picture of Archer saying "I am not sure if this is fun or boring."

This is how we all felt at the end of the day...

Della took advantage of every opportunity to be loved while her great-grandparents were here. She resumed her favorite seat at church, on her Papa's lap...
It was so wonderful having them come to visit, which made it that much harder to say good-bye. We really miss our family.


Halloween...

Archer had his heart set on being a vampire, so I tried to sew his cape. Let me start off by saying that I am not an experienced sewer. I thought I would go to the fabric store, explain to a knowledgeable sales associate my lack of sewing skills and then kindly ask her to help me pick a pattern that wouldn't be too difficult. So that's exactly what I did. Either the woman was lying or I really am that inept at following directions. Either way process took many (many) hours and twice the amount of fabric. It seriously looked so bad with the seams all caught up in bunched fabric, a very uneven hem, and a safety-pin and tape holding it together. I am glad that I can laugh about it...someday.

Initially he wanted the lining to be a fabric that had neon green mermaid/dragon scales on it. Then he decided that a spider-web lining would be (only slightly) scarier...

Della had a hard time deciding what she wanted to be. The major contenders were
Mrs. Potato Head lips (or Lisa Rinna)...

Or the tried and true glasses/mustache disguise...

She actually wore them all the time and didn't want to take them off...

Here is our spooky skeleton. Are you scared yet?
Archer carved his own pumpkin with one of those dull safety pumpkin knives. He started out well and he was able to carve a simple face. A few hours after he finished he was walking past his creation, picked up the knife, and began stabbing it as fast and as hard as he could. That ended his carving experience. Let's not hope that this is a foreshadowing of thing to come.

What Archer Has Been Up To...

He started school (you can't hear or see me but I am jumping up and down shouting "Hallelujah!").

First day of school. Archer is demonstrating his "smile" and modeling his "back-hack" and Della is demonstrating her extreme dislike of having her picture taken...

Archer drinking from his scary spider cup. It was worth the 99 cents we paid for it...

Reading to little sis...

"Mom, will you put some more 'pudge' on my ice cream?"

Would you trust this guy with your money? Yeah, me neither...

"Mom, I made an Indian dress like the one those guys wear in 'Pocahontas.'"

Playing doctor "for serious" with Dad. It looks painful.


Della's Turn...

I finally learned how to do pig tails!
Exhibit A...
Exhibit B...(So what if they are from the same day! Don't judge me!)

All she wants to do is be with her brother...

Even when he's upstairs...


Eating cupcakes (and cinnamon twists from Taco Bell)...
And the wrappers (she likes to recycle)...

Making a "pouty-face" when I block her view of the TV when trying to take a picture...
And playing with towels...
We are in Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapy 4 to 5 days a week now and it is grueling. Some of the things we are working on are pulling to a stand, eating table foods, self-feeding, pointing, eye contact, making choices (this toy or that toy), making the "b" sound on purpose (like when playing with bubbles or a baby doll), and responding to her name. It is a lot and this is usually how she ends up after a session...
She naps from 1 to 5 PM and then goes to bed at 7:30 PM and I have to wake her up at 9 AM. I usually find her like this in the morning...

She has very low muscle tone but her body is almost the size of a two year-old. So she gets worn out very easily. Her ankles bow inward when she stands up and the physical therapist suggested we try high-tops to give her some support...
It doesn't look like the shoes will be enough and we may have to get orthotics, that is code for expensive (Santa, are you listening? Della has been a very good girl!). Progress seems painstakingly slow on good days and frustrating on bad days, but every once in awhile she does something that let us know that she is "getting it." Only 2 more months until we are able to go to the developmental clinic at Texas Children's Hospital. I am so excited, January 7th can't come fast enough!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Welcome to the World Cody Ryan Miller

My brother Jon his wife Raquel welcomed their first baby, Cody Ryan into the world on October 18th. Cody showed up a little earlier than he was supposed to and had to stay in the hospital for a few days to take care of some jaundice. Thankfully he is home now with his family where he belongs. Congrats Jon and Raquel! (Why am I tearing up as I am writing this?! Babies just have that effect on me...)

Proud Papa (Jon, you look EXACTLY like Dad)...

So tiny!!



Mama and Cody...


Hanging out with Dad (Cody looks like Jon as a baby)...