July 2006


So Petie hosted a birthday party for me and Laura this weekend at our house. After seeing the tables set up, Joelle quick sprang into action. “I’ll show everyone their seats!” I was assigned the first table “the one for the birthday boy” and Danny and Meg were assigned to the next table with her. When there were already people sitting at “my table” she started dragging chairs away from other tables to make sure I would sit there.

At one point she saw Tara sitting with Ava in her lap in a white plastic chair. She seized another similar chair and started dragging it over (the chair being bigger than her) gasping “two can…fit…in….this one”.

When Danny and Meg first arrived she also filled their plates with appetizers – 10 pieces of cheese and 10 pieces of salami anyone?

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I couldn’t figure out how to fit this into the last post on opening the door to strangers and writing about the police helicopter reminded me of one of the scariest moments of my life.

Sarah, my best friend, and I were playing in our treehouse in my backyard. Suddenly, a police helicopter started circling what seemed like directly over us. We were petrified with fear because we thought at any moment, some guy would come jumping over the fence and climb into our house (it had a roof) to hide. Although we wanted to run to the big house and lock ourselves inside, we were too scared to expose ourselves in the yard. We were paralyzed with fear and felt very helpless.

So, now anytime a police helicopter is circling my area with their spotlight shining through the house and surrounding lawn, I really panic. This last time, we had left the garage door open and I was certain that the criminal would find their way into the garage and hide under our cars. Perfect hiding spot, right? So, against our better judgement, Chris went out to close the door and lock it. He even did a sweep of the garage before closing it. I pleaded with him to take a knife. I think he thought I was crazy. When he came back in, I could tell he was a tiny bit rattled though. It is scary!

Maybe we’ve seen too many CSIs (NY, Miami and Las Vegas) and Law and Orders (Criminal Intent, original series and SVU) or it was the police helicopter flying over our house a month ago, but we don’t like opening the door to strangers. Someone rang our doorbell at 8:30 last night. I found Chris watching from the dining room window as I peered around the corner in the den! We love our beautiful door, but sometimes I wish for a plain wooden door with a peep hole!

The funny part is a. us both watching from posts and b. I think it was a woman, possibly the one I helped push her car. Maybe she was coming to say “thank you.”

Have all these criminal shows made us too wary of strangers? Would you open the door at 8:30 at night? (Assuming it’s someone you don’t know.)

I had a prenatal check today. Since I had an ultrasound during my last appointment, the doctor was only supposed to listen for the heartbeat today. After struggling to find the heartbeat for a few minutes, the doctor whipped out the ultrasound. She hypothesized, “it’s a boy, they always move around a lot.” Chris quickly pointed out that Joelle had done the same thing.

Luckily, Joelle had done the same thing because the first time it happened (the doctor not being able to find the heartbeat), I panicked. This time, I just agreed with Chris. The little baby wasn’t turning somersaults like Joelle was, but he was kicking up a storm. Dr. Levine said he posed for the “picture” and waved. So, I guess he was flailing his arms around, too.

The last time I went in, I had to go to another office for blood to be drawn. A crappy facility with NO place to lie down. So, luckily, I mentioned this to Dr. Levine and she let me use Quest (in the office) so I could lie down. What a difference! I just laid down for 5 minutes and was perfectly fine. Unlike the last time where I had to sit up and almost passed out. I was sick for hours after that! Ah, so nice to at least figure out how to not get sick when giving blood samples. (NOT a pint of blood, nothing seems to help me give that much blood.) No telling how much more this will cost if our insurance doesn’t cover it, but it might be worth the cost!

So, our neighborhood floods. We weren’t particularly surprised to find that out since a. we live in Houston and b. our sewer systems are older. We knew when we moved into the area that Nottingham was slated for new sewer systems – in 2008. That sounded good when we were moving here. That is until the street in front of our house has proceeded to trap us in our home 4 times in less than a year from flooding. The worst was yesterday. I wish I knew how much rain we had between 8:30 and 9:30, but I noted that the water in the backyard was creeping precariously close to the house. We also started getting water in our dining room from a faulty gutter.

With Joelle watching Dora, I ran outside to start dumping buckets of water from our backyard to the driveway. The water was up to the hardiplank line on the house! I had three buckets and the broom going at full speed. I didn’t seem to be making any improvements. I remembered a physics lesson and tried to rig the hose to start moving water out of the backyard (kinda like the fish vacuum concept). That didn’t work. I knew I didn’t understand physics.

While I was in the front dumping a bucket, a car stalled in front of our house trying to go through knee high water. My neighbors across the street and I, pushed the car out of the street to a driveway. I mentioned how high the water was in our backyard, so Jim came back to see if he could clear our french drains. They were blocked, but they also wouldn’t drain because they drain into the street in front – which was, um, blocked with water.

We’re left with not a lot of options… we may try to add gutters to the back of the house to direct water away from the backyard to the side yard, but I’m not sure how effective that will be. It’s really just a waiting game until they can fix our sewers. I did send a letter to our council woman to see if this could be expedited, but I’m not too optimistic. I sent her pictures of the swollen street…

The picture set is here.

Last night, during reading time before bed, Joelle specifically requested to skip the cricket story in Mouse Soup.  I commented, “oh, darn, that’s the only one I haven’t heard.”  She looked over at me with a serious face and told me that I should read it in my bed.  She trotted off to put it on my pillow.

Good thing I remembered to read it before going to sleep.  At 7:03, she sprinted into our bedroom – I barely had time to wake up before I was quizzed on my reading.  Mommie, “how many crickets were there?”  “Can you believe?”  “How could someone sleep with 10 crickets?”  “3 maybe, but not 10.”

Chris always says when she tells us, “Good job,” for fixing noodles, “I guess we give her a lot of praise.”  Well, I guess we do the same thing after we read to her.  We must ask her a lot of questions on what she read.  I like that she’s a mirror and we can see our parenting reflected in her actions.  (the good and the bad…) 

Sip sip made a safe return home today. I really should have gotten Joelle’s reaction on camera. I read her the card first and she just looked really perplexed. Then, she opened the envelope and found him. Her smile was a mile wide. She was so happy!! I’ll have to remember to show her the picture of Sip sip on the plane tomorrow now. She changed him out of his current luby’s crayon sleeve in exchange for another because he had poopied in the first. All is well now.

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