Monday, January 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

Bringing up a family should be an adventure, not an anxious discipline in which everybody is constantly graded for performance. --Milton R. Saperstein

I came across this quote today and it was exactly what I needed to hear. This week, I've been really hard on myself because I felt like I've "let" Maizie get out of control. I was giving myself a C or D. Fact is, she is simply 15-months-old. 15-month-olds scream in public sometimes. They try to wriggle out of your grip and run away from you. They stand up in shopping carts and have temper tantrums even when you calmly explain to them that standing in shopping carts is dangerous. But they also cock their heads to one side and shimmy their shoulders when a good song comes on. And they carry on entire (and extremely adamant) conversations with you about "Beesig Bajoobee" and "Oxana Biyoul." And 15-month-olds squeal with delight when you come at them with your "tickle face" and they lay their heads on your shoulder when you sing them to sleep. So I need to learn to stop grading myself and comparing myself and simply enjoy this amazing adventure called parenthood.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Underwater Politics

Just wanted to tell you about a cool website my friend Kim wrote about on her blog a few weeks ago. You must check it out.

Jason and I actually invented this website a few years ago. Someone else just beat us to the punch. We were talking about politics (a topic on which we usually disagree), and we thought there should be a site that completely takes the personality out of the equation. A place that listed only the issues a candidate stood for and then you could choose based on that. Anyway, someone must have overheard us and started Glassbooth. Foiled again!

Well, believe it or not, Jason and I picked the SAME person after filling out the survey. Our number 2s and 3s were VASTLY different, but I was amazed that someone could actually unite us! Me no telly who he is, except I guess that's he's a he, but it was really interesting to discover more about my political leanings, which are generally extremely dormant.

And, here are some pics from our snorkling fun. Just to be random.

The boat, the S.S. Miguelito.

The best shot of the underwater ones. Currently my wallpaper on my PC. Takes me to my happy place. :-) That's my bro in the background.

Me in fish-hunting stealth mode.

The legend himself.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Big day

The 20th of January is a big day in the George house.

First, our little girl turns 15 months old today. I still see her as a baby in my eyes, but she proves to me every day how grown up she is. She's super independent and doesn't like me to hold her hand when she walks. In fact, today she almost made it out of the auditorium on her own while I was talking. She's learning new things every day and constantly amazes us. Our favorites right now are Old McDonald (she sings "EIEIEIEI" right after we sing "Old") and how she will get up in a chair with a book and turn the pages and laugh and laugh about what she's "reading". Happy Birthday, wee one!

And secondly, we have been in Austin officially for a year now! What a year it has been. Time has literally flown by, so we still feel like we just moved here a couple months ago. I'm going to have to stop using my "I don't know anything, I'm new here" excuses. We've been so thankful to be welcomed by so many people and are excited to call Austin home (although I will admit I catch myself looking for the Rockies occasionally when I'm driving west).

Oh, and Festucles (what I call Jason's car--it's a mix of Festiva and Hercules) has been reborn. Jason got the timing right and she's made it to Lowe's and back. He straightened the bumper out and just needs to get her fitted with minor things like blinkers and such to pass inspection. Oh, and none of the seats other than the driver's are installed. You know, minor things. Glad to have you back, Festy. For those of you interested in a history lesson, here is Festucles' adoption announcement. Feel free to keep those AutoZone gift cards coming!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

8 New Things in 2008

1. New Baby Girl!
Cecilie Rose Brandimore was born on Sunday, January 6, to my friend since birth, Jodi, and friend since high school, Preston. She looks like such a cuddly baby, I can't wait to meet her.

2. New Baby Boy!
Ryan Christopher Pollard (or as all the architects like to call him, "Reflected Ceiling Plan") was born on Monday, January 7, to my good friends, Kim and Joe. Kim was one of the first people to welcome me to Austin and I'm so happy to be here to welcome her first baby. I got to hold him last week and he is super pinchable (but I restrained myself).

3. A New Job for Jason
It wasn't really how we invisioned spending our January, but Jason has been on the job hunt since being laid off last Monday. He has sent out more than 100 resumes and will have gone on more than a dozen interviews by the end of this week. I'm so proud of how resiliant and hard-working he is. I would have wallowed in pity for a least a week or two. We're looking forward to seeing how God will bless us in the coming year through his new job.

4. Some New Possibilities for Me
I've been saying that I'm a freelance copywriter/designer for a year now, but I'm serious this time! I have "office hours" now on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, so that makes me official, right?

5. A New Start for and Old Car
The Festiva RAN today. It promptly died 3 seconds later, but it was quite a moment for the George household.

6. A New Resolution to be Healthier
Story of our lives. We're on day 8 and counting, though!

7. A New Trick
Maizie is winking. Kinda. Check out the video below.

8. A New Fear for Maizie
And we need your help on this one. All of the sudden, our water baby is a water-phobe. We've tried to bathe her over the past few days and each time, she literally crawls up us to get away from the water. It's sad and we really aren't sure what to do. We've tried getting in with her, new toys, logic and reason, bringing out the baby bath. The books and google say not to force it, but I couldn't bear to look at 3 days worth of PB&J in my daughter's hair anymore. Needless to say, bath time tonight was no fun. Any advice?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cruising into the New Year

We are back from our whirlwind tour of the Gulf of Mexico. It was fabulous. I even got a tan (make that a really bad burn on my back). Here's a rundown on the festivities.

We arrived in Tampa on Dec. 28 and had "Christmas" Dec. 29 with the fam. Maizie got a Little People Stable and Airplane, a push mower, and lots of clothes and books (she also learned the word "book" to go along with her presents).

We boarded our ship that afternoon and got settled. While we were getting on the ship, we noticed Secret Service men and rumor had it that Former President Jimmy Carter and his family were on our boat. Rumor was right and we ran into them throughout the trip. It's funny how politics seems to de-personalize people. After a while, you see politicians only as the issues they stand for. Having him on the ship made him seem more like a real person to me. It was a good reminder. He was also so gracious about meeting people and shaking hands, too. He even asked Maizie's name and posed for a picture with her (see below).

Fog kept us at the port until 3 a.m. that night, which made some people mad, but as first time cruisers, we didn't really know that this was rare and we were fine just exploring the ship. It made us miss a few hours at Key West, which we discovered was pretty much a crazy-tourist-bar-town anyway, so no worries. We did discover in Key West that Maizie is not fond of parrots.

Most of the time, we spent exploring the ship and eating, eating and more eating. Jason, my brother and cousin joined a ping pong tournament, I learned a hip hop dance routine, we all played Euchre (a michigan card game), my aunt learned to line dance, we all attempted rock climbing and Jason and I sang "That's what friends are for" (very poorly) at Karaoke night. The best entertainment of the week in my book was the ABBA cover band they had playing on New Years Eve. I LOVE ABBA. My parents and aunts watched Maizie for us a lot, so we enjoyed an unparalleled amount of free time.

The highlight of the trip for me was snorkeling in Cozumel. My brother found a local company to take us and it was amazing. Our guide, Sa-id, gave me the scare of my life though. I asked if the fish would bite (because I'm scared of EVERYTHING) and he said "as long as you don't point at them," which I thought was odd, but then he pointed with his finger (which happened to be completely missing up to his first knuckle) and said that he pointed at a fish once and look what happened to him. Not funny.

I'm sure a lot of you have been before, but I really couldn't believe how much activity was going on under the water. We all had fun trying to dive as deep as we could to get closer looks. More pictures will be coming when I get the water camera pics developed.

Cruising with a baby wasn't as difficult as I imagined. We had an inner room, so with nearly black-out conditions, Maizie slept until 10:30 most mornings and was able to stay up til midnight on New Year's Eve. She took good naps, wasn't cranky at all, and had plenty of things to explore during the day. She had no trouble getting attention and by the time we left the ship, people I hadn't met were walking by and saying, "Hi, Maizie".

Weather was perfect except for the last day on the ship. We had 10-20 foot swells and the boat was a-rocking. My poor aunt was bed-ridden the entire day and about half of our group got sick from it. We were happy to get to solid ground the next day. Well, I think that sums it up. We are getting life back in order here and we hope to catch up with all of you soon.

Our little Christmas elf.

President's Pet. We're guessing Maizie had a question for Mr. Carter. She wouldn't put her hand down for the picture. Future Journalist, perhaps?

Mr. and Mrs. Squints-a-lot standing in front of our ship.

Maizie had no trouble finding entertainment on the ship. And no, that's not a paid clown that came to our table. It's my dad.

Kissing the cook. Me hamming it up at the Midnight Buffet. They had an ice sculpture of the boat and a butter sculpture of the chef.

Happy New Years!

Sad New Years!

Sisters...My Aunt Anne, Aunt Reeser and Mom.

Climbing the rock wall on New Years Eve trying to reclaim some dignity after I only made it about 5 feet off the ground earlier in the week.

My cousin, Brian, showing off his SIZE 15 (no joke) fins.

Getting into the Mexican spirit in Cozumel.

Our waiter, Vikas, was SOOOO sweet to Maizie. He had her food waiting for her every night and even mashed up bananas for her at our last breakfast. He made the part of the trip I was fearing the most (eating with a screamy 14-month-old in a ballroom full of people trying to vacation) seamless.