Lead Balloon

Bailey Bug
July 24, 2006, 10:01 pm
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My nephew Bailey has been staying with us since Friday night. He goes home tomorrow, but we sure have been glad to have him here with us. We weren’t able to make it to his birthday party (he’s six this year), so we offered a fun-filled weekend with Aunt Lauri and Uncle Todd in return. And fun it has been.

B got in Friday night and we went for a late dinner. Saturday morning, we got up and went to Todd’s brother’s soccer game. Our friend Meg brought her kids along (Anne – 7, Aidan – 5, Mary – 2, and Peter, my godchild who still counts his age in weeks.) The kids spent most of the game in the woods with Todd, hunting roly-poly bugs and checking out some city nature. I just sat, looking at the soccer match, wondering what I’d do if B were covered in ticks and chiggers. They haven’t eaten him alive yet, so I assume he’s clean.

After the soccer game we took Bailey, Anne and Aidan to Chuck-E-Cheese. Oh how much fun Chuck-E-Cheese is. It’s the first time I’ve been since I was B’s age, probably. I remember it being MUCH bigger and darker. Reallydark with lots of lights like a “kid casino” or something. But now it’s bright – and they don’t have those nasty balls to play in. We played skee ball, soccer, basketball, roller coaster-simulated rides, and a firefighter game. Of course, Todd and I stuck to the games we could either fit into or maneuver with our adult, giant-like hands. We won a bunch of tickets and awarded them to the kids at the end of the day for being so good. You’d think they struck gold or something – TICKETS! Of course, with all the tickets they won, combined with ours, they still only got a few really cheap plastic toys that broke before we made it back to the car.


After Chuck-E-Cheese, we got some frozen yogurt then headed home. The next morning we went to church and had every intention of going to a water park after lunch. We stopped at Todd’s parents’ house to get our bag of sunscreen and as soon as B spotted the pool and the 7-8 “Super Soaker” water guns, he decided he’d rather swim there for the day.

So we did – the same kids joined us (the little ones watching the soccer game and the big ones playing in the soccer game) and it ended up being a really good time. (On a personal note, I wore sunscreen for the first time in years and remembered why I don’t wear it. Because you don’t tan. Ixnay on that from now on.)

After pool time, Todd, Bailey, Anne, Aidan and I dried off and headed to the movies to see “Monster House” – an animated feature for kids. Well, I thought it was for kids. Halfway through the movie I had one kid in my lap, one kid latched onto my arm, and one kid was in Todd’s lap. It was a little scary. That, and, they said things like “hairy butt” and “puberty”. Try explaining PUBERTY to a six year-old. After the movie we took Aidan and Bailey to our place for a slumber party. Bailey and Aidan were the two ring bearers in our wedding, they remembered each other from a year ago, but have become great friends this weekend.

kids-rehearsaljpg.jpg  pirates.jpg

That brings us to last night and today. I worked from home today and let the boys play with (terrorize) Jack, watch movies and play video games. And eat. Boys sure do eat a lot.

So my sister is coming to get Bailey in the morning and I think that I’m going to miss him. He’s the most pleasant and gracious little boy. He’s sweet and naive and innocent and all those wonderful kid characteristics wrapped into one perfect boy. Not to mention adorable and stylish. Tomorrow she’ll be bringing him a huge surprise – a puppy – to take home with him. This will make him so happy, considering that when I asked him what the BEST part of his weekend was with us, his answer was, “Being at your house. Because you have stairs and a dog to play with.”

Sweet thing.



July 20, 2006, 4:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m in New York this week for work. I have flown into New York a few times for work in previous jobs and in my current job. I have never, however, been to New York City, just upstate and in other suburbs. One weekend I’d love to visit the city and see what all it has to offer, but for now, I’m stuck in another NY town, just visiting hospitals and chatting up my work and trying to sell some stuff.

The trip here, I was all the way in the back of the plane – row 31. Therefore, I was next to the (very busy) bathroom, and my view out the window was of that big jet looking thing that must power the airplane up into the air and whatever. If I turned my head just right, I could see out of a very narrow section of the window, past the jet thing. At one point, I woke up from my nap and thought, “We must be descending…I should open my shade, maybe I will see something interesting.”  I kid you not, as soon as I did, the Statue of Liberty crossed through the very narrow view I had out of the window. I have flown over it before. I’ve obviously never visited it. But the timing was so perfect that it made me smile.

Then I smiled again when I thought of the fact that my window seat, which I always request, had no view, the week after jumping out of a plane and drifting down to earth without wearing a seat belt with my chair in the upright position.

We had a 45 minute drive from LGA to the city where we are staying. It is truly amazing how beautiful the trees are in New York. There aren’t trees like this in Texas. They are gorgeous. When we arrived at our hotel, we checked in and headed up to our rooms. On the elevator I joked with Karen, my co-worker, that we must have the penthouse, because we were on the top floor. We go our separate ways and agree to meet in the hall to go down for dinner,. But Karen comes out of her room immediately and drags me inside to see. She literally has the penthouse. Her room is about 1,000 square feet (Correction, it’s 2,200 square feet – we checked – and mine is 900.) 2.5 bathrooms, a full kitchen, a formal dining area, two living room areas, a huge bedroom, and – this is the best part – a jacuzzi and a sauna. This isn’t, “I’m just a country girl and have never seen a nice hotel room” here, the bathroom is literally from MTV Cribs or something. (Is it Cribz? I don’t know.) Not like a bathroom sized jacuzzi, and not like a bathroom sized sauna. We’re talking GYM sized sauna and BACK YARD sized jacuzzi. In her room.

She’s taking a jacuzzi bath now, I’m hoping that she doesn’t drain the city of its water supply. At a minimum, I hope she saved some water for me.

The only thing my room’s got that hers hasn’t is a bidet. And working Internet access. 🙂

Happy hump day everyone. I’ll be back on Friday!

Photoshop Sucks
July 17, 2006, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I sent the pictures of the skydiving extravaganza out this morning, and my mailbox has been flooded with Photoshop versions of the photos done by my employees (they’re clearly not working!) and co-workers.  Below is one example:


July 17, 2006, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For Todd’s birthday, I surprised him with a skydiving session. I woke him up on Saturday morning and drove him to Whitewright, TX (a.k.a. Middle Of Nowheresville) and didn’t tell him where we were going. It wasn’t until an hour and a half later that we pulled into the drive of “Skydive Dallas” that he finally knew what I got him for his birthday.

He thought we were getting a dog.

And was a little disappointed.

But his excitement soon grew and the reality of it all set in as he was filling out the paperwork that indicated, more than once, “this is a dangerous and deadly sport”. So I agreed to do it with him. And we chatted briefly about who would take Jack if we died. Definitely Mary.

We took the hour-long class and waited for our plane. Mary and Albert joined us and took some photos and videos from the ground. We also bought the upgraded jump package that included someone jumping out with you with a still camera and video camera – catching all the action on tape and film so that later in life, our kids can ask, “What happened to you guys? You used to be so cool.”  And skinny.

It was awesome. We agreed that we would do it again any time, as long as the area we were gliding over, 13,500 feet in the air, is a little more interesting than Whitewright, TX. Maybe some mountains or something. Even water is more interesting to fly over than crops without crop circles.

Below are a couple of the pictures for your enjoyment. If I knew how to link to my Snapfish album, I’d do it. But I’m not that smart. I am alive, though, and ready to go again!

 2-suiting-up-coneheads.JPG 4-todd-freefall-6.jpg  5-lauri-freefall-24.jpg  5-lauri-freefall-cloud-03.jpg 5-lauri-freefall-19.jpg  4-todd-freefall-13.jpg 6-finished-and-alive.JPG  1-group2.JPG 

July 13, 2006, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am working from home again today.

Jack has been sleeping on the bed next to the desk where I am working.

Just now, he rolled completely off the bed in his sleep. Whack! on the floor.

I had noticed just moments earlier that he sure was sleeping close to the edge of the bed.

Bad mommy.

Happy Birthday, my love.
July 12, 2006, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today is Todd’s birthday! It starts that one half of the year where I am not that much older than him, age-wise. 🙂 

Here is my favorite picture of Todd, I’m sure I’ve posted it here before. It’s not even a straight-on view of him, and I think he was talking as the photo was taken. But I just love it. And I just love him.


Working from home.
July 12, 2006, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The thing I love most about working from home is watching my animals sleep.