The playscape will be finished tomorrow. Yay! Not much planned for the weekend right now. I told Lance we can experiment with paint so he can see how yellow+blue=green. He's been talking about color combinations all week. Should be fun. Not other really planned except to finish up the last couple things on the playscape and do some general chores. Maybe we'll have a picnic in the backyard.
Neal and I have been busy for the last two days putting together the 2000+ parts of the new playscape. We're on step 19 of 34, so at least we're past the halfway point. It's supposed to take 12-16 hours according the DVD that goes step by step through ALL the instructions. We're already 19+ hours in, and we've still got quite a lot to do. Of course, I don't think the DVD takes Texas heat or Central Texas rocky, unlevel ground into consideration. It took us like 4 hours just to dig out a level spot in the backyard to put the thing, and this yard is a pancake compared to our last house. Neal and I are both a nice shade of lobster red. Him more than me because I've been coming in a bit earlier to take over the kids from Cousin Anna, who was nice enough to babysit on Sunday, and Nadine, who was nice enough to work on Monday even though we had originally given her the day off.
Well, it's that time of year again. Tina is packing up and getting ready to go. She's leaving on Thursday morning. Nadine will arrive in New York tomorrow and fly to Austin on Thursday night. I think Tina's departure is going to be hard on Lance this year. He's now old enough to really know that something is going on. He's noticed that both Sara and Carmen have gone home. He keeps asking about Tina going home and wants to spend every second with her.
On an upbeat note, Anett and Rene are coming for a visit in November for a few weeks. We'll need to buy another inflatable mattress since the one we have has sprung a leak and deflates after a couple hours.
Mom may be coming up next week for a few days to help with the Au Pair transition. She's worried about the weather, so we'll see if she makes it or not. I'm debating just telling not to worry about it. Neal has already requested the days off from work since she's been so wishy-washy about the trip. I thought it'd be a nice chance for her to spend some time with Lance, but oh well.
Neal took his exam for his Master's on Friday. Hopefully all went well and he'll be graduating this December. His study guide was about as helpful as mine was--not really applicable to the questions they actually ask you. I think Texas State likes to test people's b-s skills on these exams by throwing some curve balls just to see how well you can take a swing at them.
Work's crazy, but I just have to hang in there for a couple more months until I go on maternity leave. Then I get to hand the craziness off to someone else and enjoy the joyful craziness and sleep deprivation that comes along with a newborn. 25 weeks and counting.
Lance and I drove out to Lakeway today to bring back some library books. Four of the flood gates on Mansfield Dam are open, and you could see the current from the bridge. Lake Travis is really high now (700 ft--20 ft over full), which is extremely impressive considering that it was at a near-record low several months ago (643 ft). There's a boating ban on Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Town Lake because of strong currents. The record high for Lake Travis is 710.4 ft.
I'm on vacation this week and get to spend time with Lance. Luckily, the weather has been nice so far. There's a 40%+ chance of rain all week, but the skies have been waiting for dark to open up, so it's been okay. Lance and I went to "park with sand" today and built sandcastles and sand b-day cakes in the sand volleyball court. He even put stick candles on, and we sang happy b-day to "my friend." He's been asking at least once daily to go to the park with "trains and cars and motorcycles" but none of us which park he's referring to. Apparently it's his dream park. He's been making up a lot of stories lately. I bought him a taxi at the Chicago airport and he had it for all of ten minutes before he was telling us that he and Ryan took a taxi to the airport and went on an airplane to the train station, but they didn't ride the train because it didn't have people on it, only stuff.
If the weather's still nice tomorrow, we may go to the Zoo. The children's museum has some huge game display that's really aimed at older kids, but we may go by there too if nothing else comes to mind.
Tina's in San Francisco. She said it's chillier than she expected, but she got there safely. I'm still thinking I may go down to visit Mom this weekend and see how she's doing.
The house should be ready in a couple of weeks. Yay!!
We went to check on the new house this afternoon. It's coming along nicely. We have bricks on 3 side, painted walls, cabinets, and tile everywhere but the master bath. I'll be glad when it's finished. Apartment living isn't bad, but I wouldn't want to do it long term. We've enjoyed the pool, but it's nice having a back yard when you have a dog. Apparently Hazel has a bad rep with the female dogs in the complex. She doesn't play well in the dog park with them, and we've had more than one dog owner/dog say they'll come back later when they see Hazel. Apparently she gets along fine with the male doggies. It's a dominance thing with the girl dogs, I guess. We're looking into some more dog training classes.
We also went to Brushy Creek park, which is close to the new house. It's got a playscape, picnic tables, and a water park. We're considering having Lance's b-day party there. We've just got to figure out a good date. We can do the Sunday (June 17th) before his b-day and get one of the covered pavilions from 10-3pm but we need to check that his kid friends are in town. It's either that or get there early to claim a couple shaded picnic tables on a weekend after his b-day as all the pavilions are booked.
We were taking advantage of the beautiful weekend weather to do some yard work. We had Ana over to watch Lance so we could REALLY be productive. So, two hours into work, what do I do? I fall into one of the many random holes Hazel digs in the backyard and sprain my ankle. I spend the rest of the afternoon with my foot propped up on pillows. What a wasted day! On Monday, I went to the doc to get the ankle checked out. The doc took x-rays: no fractures or anything. She wants me to use crutches for a few days though and then use this ankle brace thing.
Lessons learned from crutches: I suck using crutches and have no desire to improve. You can't carry a purse and/or laptop bag with crutches. Working from home is far superior to trying to use crutches at work.
My ankle is feeling better, but it'll take a few weeks to heal.
I've come to the conclusion that I have an issue with money. For Valentine's my coworker's boyfriend arranged to have a 4-man a cappella group deliver a rose and serenade her in the morning, and then he sent her a pajama gram in the afternoon. Now, while I was quite impressed with his thoughtfulness and advanced planning, the first thing that came to mind was "Wow, that must have cost a fortune!" It can't be cheap to get a personalized musical message delivered on Valentine's Day, and I know a pj gram is about $50.00. Too pricey for my blood. And this is the kicker--I'm more than willing to spend money on gifts and things for others, but I'm very reluctant to spend money on myself, and I don't encourage extravagant gifts--especially when the money comes out of my own bank account. What's up with me?
I got one of the oh 5 things on my to do list done over the holidays. I finished crocheting the baby blankets for Laura and Peter's twins. They came out decent, not completely straight edged but good enough. I guess I really should count my stitches if I want things to be square. Oh well.
Neal and I had a lovely 10th anniversary in Gruene. We exhausted the offerings of Gruene the first day we got there. It only took a couple hours to go from one heavily scented store to the next. Some of the stuff was cute, but nothing striking enough for us to buy. Though, they do have a really great pottery store in town. The potter actually works on the premises in his/her? workshop. We had a nice dinner, took a massive 15 minute drive to New Braunfels to buy snacks and wine and then enjoyed the sleep of the "childless." We slept late, had a lovely breakfast, and then ventured into San Antonio to stroll the RiverWalk on our anniversary. All in all, it was a relaxing and peaceful couple of days.
On New Years Eve, we did our usual routine of drinking bubbly on the stairs and watching the Steiner/Lakeway fireworks display. All in all, a pleasant holiday experience.
So far, the new job has been going well. I'm super busy, though, because I'm still working on my old job. So now instead of having 10 things going on at once, I have like 30 things going on. I've had to actually start writing stuff down; otherwise, it gets lost in the shuffle.
Lance was Mickey Mouse for Halloween. He and I went trick-or-treating around the neighbor. He had a great time. He thought it was really cool that he could get candy from the houses with the lights on. The next day as we were driving to the store, he said "Light on there. Me get candy there." So we had to explain that he could only get candy on Halloween, not every day. He's still talking about Halloween. We have yet to take down the Halloween decorations in the front yard, but we'll get around to it eventually.
In other Lance news, Lance has started singing. He'll sing approximations of songs he knows to himself. It's SOOOO cute. It's really interesting to see which words he knows and which he just kinda makes up as he goes.
The trip down to Nederland was productive. Neal replaced the ceiling fan in the living room and put in a chandelier in the dining room. We made a list of task to do and priced a few supplies. Now we just have to make up a schedule, and we'll be ready to start on the long and laborious task of updating Mom's house. After this project, though, we should have all the skills necessary to renovate/remodel if we ever decide to get into the rental property gig.