"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."


Family Life

As Valerie and Nicholas get older and more active, our houshold sure has gotten busier. It still felt like a small family when they were babies, but now they are growing and babbling and walking and talking and wanting their independance with every new day.

Valerie is crawling and has become a very particular baby. She likes her milk warm, she can cry for 20 minutes straight and the minute you pick her up she will stop and have a huge gummy smile for you. She prefers to be in your arms, but not sitting. She is a night owl and is the lightest sleeper out of all of them. She can not fall asleep in our arms but can co-sleep.

Nicholas is coming on 20 months! He's running around, already filling out Seth's old hand me downs (that's when you know they are getting big!), wants to play with the big kids and although he isn't using words he does point, will show you exactly what he wants and will tell you when it's not what he wants. He is still a very sweet baby. He loves to sleep and is our only thumbsucker. To this day, the only time he sucks his thumb is when he's snuggling up with a blanket. He sleeps covered up from head to toe and can sleep 15+ hours during the night and still take a nap in the day!
He can not co-sleep, he thinks it's playtime when he's in bed with us.

Seth is 4.5 and is really mature for his age. He's our adventurous one. He loves to ride his bike and his new best friend is a first grader who lives down the street. He starts school next year. He can't wait. He's still active as ever, he is like a pin ball in a pin ball machine - running around not needing a break. He's also our parrot and loves to repeat all the bad stuff. He's our line pusher. He knows where the line is but he will try to get a toe over to see how far he can go.

Olivia is loving K! Her reading skills have improved 110% since starting school. She could get through a book, a little slow and needing help and now she's wizzing through the more challenging books needing little help. We didn't accelerate her to 1st and I am glad we didn't. She's being challenged and her teacher recommended her for their gifted and talented program. I know she will love that.

Otis is huge! I will post a pic of him soon. I really need a digi camera. I'm waiting to get a digital SLR, as I just got my film SLR a few years ago. He's really a good dog, listens and loves the kids.

Hurrican Rita - or otherwise known as a practice run

So, the way the media was covering Hurricane Rita last month, you would have thought it was armageddon around here. The storm was to hit Sat at 4am. If you were not out of town by Wed afternoon, it was too late or your 4 hr trip was turned into a 24 hr one. Not to mention the gas shortage, then absolutely no gas for a day, then no water anywhere Wednesday afternoon.

Being in property mgmt, the mgrs and asst mgrs usually stay with the bldg. My mgr let me go home knowing I had little ones. Which was a good thing. It took me 2 hrs to get home that Wed, then Thurs it would have taken me at least 3 hrs because I have to use a road that gets people to I-10. Luckily, the storm went more East but it made me realize that a) We are going to be more prepared in advance rather than fighting for basic supplies with people and b) we are not leaving, we don't have a reason to evacuate seeing as we are 80 miles inland from the coast. Sure, we'll get wind damage, tornados, etc..but our houses won't flood and we will most likely survive. The Cat5 that came through here back in the 40s only caused 21 deaths. Out of millions, that's not bad. Considering nearly that many dies trying to evacuate. Pets died from carbon monoxide poisoning from all the traffic, even some people were affected by the carbon monoxide. And then there were the poor people who were overheated, as temps were in the 100s. Ugh, what a mess.

What I hated was the way the media fed this sense of panic. Destruction. Catastrophy. these words were used to describe our situation. How do you expect people to react?

Next time, give me beer, water, flashlights, some cards and we hunker down.