Saturday, March 27, 2010

Naptime is the hardest...

Just some random thoughts...

My mom came to play with Sybilla today while I went to an appointment and did the grocery shopping.  I hadn't stocked our larders in almost three weeks and I was impressed with myself...only $96.70 spent for the next week and a half!  Woot!

Apparently, Boppa's presence in the household did not aid naptime, so when I got home about 2 pm, Miss S was mighty cranky.  And lemme tell ya, there ain't nothin' worse than a cranky redhead.  TRUST ME.  So I tried to lay down with her for about an hour to encourage some additional restfulness after Boppa left.  No dice.  I fell asleep instead.  Shopping done wore me out!

There is more shopping to do tomorrow however, since I have to make a trip to Target and to Costco...hopefully Sybilla and I will both survive in time to come home for a lovely nap.  One in which my child will not strain against my arms and wriggle herself out of my grasp like a slippery eel.  I tell ya, fisherman ain't got NOTHIN' on two year olds.  Talk about the one that got away!

Anyhoo, it's late, I'm tired and even though it's a Saturday night, it's probably best I hit the sack early.  Got a lot to do tomorrow!

I can't even begin to caption this.  It's just...yeah.  I'll let the picture speak for itself.

Happy Saturday,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts 3/23


Ah, it's nice to not be sick.  Well, as sick as I was last week anyway.  I suffered from the flu (or a really bad cold) on Monday and Tuesday, jsut to have it turn into bronchitis on Wednesday.   Dr. Google says bronchitis can last for about 2 to 3 weeks.  Oh goodie.  Just what I wanted–to be hacking my lungs up and unable to breathe for three weeks.  Spring in Texas is bad enough!

Since being sick, I have watched a lot of TV on The Netflix (yes, I deem it worthy enough to have a "The" placed in front of it).  I watched a movie called It's a Boy Girl Thing with one of the chicks from the OC.  It was cute and funny, and it made me forget the fact that my husband and daughter were enjoying enchiladas at our friends' house while I was home alone and sick.  I also watched all three episodes (about 6 hours total) of SyFy's Tinman.  That was an interesting take on the Wizard of Oz and they had a lot of great talent in the movie.  I loved Zooey Deschanel as Dorothy.  I sucked the hubby in watching more boob tube with me this evening, and we watched Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog this evening and it was HI-larious!  We found it on the Instant Play portion of Netflix and the next 45 minutes were some of the funniest, cheesiest, most awesomest minutes ever.  Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion as arch enemies singing and fighting over the same girl.  'Nuff said.  Now go watch it!

I made marmalade last night in preparation for a baking challenge I'm working on.  I was very disappointed.  I love marmalade and the experience was fun and really easy, but it was too sweet.  I know, I know, the baker was gagging on too much sugar.  The recipe said you were supposed to match the cooked oranges ounce for ounce in sugar and I cut back about 1/3 of it because I'm trying to cut down on the sugar intake (hey, 7 pounds lost so far).  Not enough if you ask me.  I had to add salt, it was that cloying.  And it sure would have helped if I actually had pectin on hand...I added some pureed mango from the freezer to it to add some natural pectin, which helped, but then it threw off my sugar ratio again and made it taste a bit funny. [Sigh]  Maybe it will taste better on bread or something.  I didn't spread it on anything because I haven't made the weekly shopping trip.  Being sick and all, you know.  And I'm not a quitter, but I'm really not looking forward to this month's baking challenge.  That's all I can say...because it's top secret until Saturday and I might have to kill you if I told you otherwise.

Something else that leaves me miffed: people who don't use proper grammar.  Now I'm not talking about typos, or using 'then' instead of 'than.' I am talking about blatant disregard for all the rules and worst of all, blatant disregard for punctuation.  Despite being an amazing speller (I won with the word "hippopotamus" in the 2nd grade spelling bee), I sometimes misspell a word.  And sometimes I use past tense when I shouldn't, or the incorrect version of a word (where and wear threw me off for years).  It happens to the best of us.  I don't really care if you use "ain't" or "y'all" instead of "isn't" and "you all" because I'm Texan and that's just part of who we are.  But for the love of sweet baby Jesus and all things holy, PLEASE USE PUNCTUATION!!!  And if you aren't going to use punctuation, at least do me the courtesy of creating a coherent enough sentence that isn't entirely constructed in texting shorthand. I don't care if you overuse the exclamation mark, or use a question mark in lieu of a period, or even forget to use commas.  At least tell me where your damn sentence ends!  GRRR!  And don't y'all DARE leave a comment without punctuation (although, in actuality, I might find it wildly hysterical...just don't make a habit of it).

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Now go watch Dr. Horrible and eat some marmalade.  This stuff ain't gonna eat itself.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Billa Babble: Foley Noises, Cars, Cereal, Help, and Grandparent Names

Billa's vocabulary continue to expand each day and I sometimes catch myself completely understanding and then realizing, "Hey, I didn't teach her that word!"  So here are some random words and phrases that she says:

MIMICRY: This isn't a word, so much as what she does.  While she hasn't repeated anything awful yet, she certainly mimics a lot of things, and lately she likes to make foley noises.  If you're not familiar with that term, a foley artist is someone who specializes in making "the natural, everyday sound effects in a film." (Thank you, Wikipedia! I couldn't have said it better myself :o)  Stuff like the sound of a fist hitting flesh, or thunder rolling, or the snick of a sword being slid back into it's scabbard.  Billa likes to make these noises and often times I find her pretending to be a ninja or something else and making action noises.  I am relieved to know that my daughter is a tomboy!

CARS THE MOVIE: Since we cut the cable and went with Netflix, Billa watches a lot of movies instead of TV shows now.  One of her favorites is Cars, the movie.  But even though she can say the word "car," she prefers to call the movie "truck."  She'll bring it over to me and say, "Truck mo, mommy!  Truck!"  The word itself actually sounds like a cross between "chuck" and "truck" which makes it even funnier.  I guess she really likes Mater!

CEREAL:  I've posted about this one before, but now that cereal is one of her favorite snacks (and a staple in the Guerra household diet), I'm going to post on it because the way she says the word has changed greatly.  She now says "Yeh-yule!" Sometimes, it's "yer-yule," but when she says it, you know exactly what she wants.  Her favorites are Kix, Alpha Bits, and Mom's Best Honey-Ful Bites (which if you haven't tried any of the Mom's Best brand, you should.  It's the best all-natural/organic cereal brand, and it's waaaay cheaper than the others out there).

HELP:  Billa has figured out how to ask for help.  Any time she finds herself in a precarious situation, usually after she has thrown herself on the floor, she'll reach her hand out to you and wail, "Hel! "Hel!"  And no, she's not swearing.  She's asking for help and it's so funny, because she's VERY dramatic about it. 

PAPA & BOPPA:  This one makes me particularly snicker.  My mom has this thing against grandmother names.  She doesn't want to be Gramma, Nana, MeeMaw, Mimi, or any other nickname that grandparents end up with.  I think they're all great nicknames.  I wanted to call her Mamo, which is Gaelic for grandmother.  I thought she would have liked that and it's easy for small mouths to pronounce.  But my mom shot it down and kept insisting that she be "GRANDMOTHER."  Maybe I hate the word Grandmother because for the majority of my life, both of mine were called that and it was just too formal for my taste.  My dad's mom who is still alive (and will be celerating 90 this year!) is now Maw Maw after I kept hearing my cousins use it.  Well bad news, Ma!  My daughter picked up Papa for my dad very easily and somehow, that name has also become attached to my mom now.  So Billa gets very excited when she gets a chance to spend some time with her "Boppa" and "Papa."  Mwaahahahaha!  Victory is mine!  And really, my daughter couldn't have come up with a better nickname for my mom...Boppa.  I love it!  Someday my mom will too, I just know it.

That's all we have for this week!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the morning to ye all!

Here in the Guerra household we are celebrating our Irish pride today.

We be dancin' jigs and reels 'round these parts!

Yes, I realize that seems silly, having a last name of Guerra and being Irish, but it's true!  I can't help the fact that the men in my husband's family took a fancy to pretty Irish lasses like me.  What can I say, the red hair draws them in like flies to honey!

I have to brag a little on my husband, so bear with me.  This is what he dressed my daughter in this morning while I was still in bed hacking my lungs up like a 90 year old man (and yes, I do sound like one right!):

This little leprechaun is up to no good.

He even coordinated her HAIR accessories with her outfit!  Yep.  And I had absolutely NO input on it either.  I was in bed, remember? I am super proud.  Hands off ladies (and gents), this one's all mine!

She looks like she stepped out of a Jane Austen novel!

Anyhoo, depending on how I feel tonight, we will be dining with Michael's cousin Stephen and his girlfriend Casey on all sorts of Irish feasting fancies.  Stephen does it up right: lamb, colcannon, boxty, and we'll even throw back an Irish car bomb or two I'm sure.  I shall be contributing home made soda bread and black and tan brownies (recipes to be posted soon if they turn out yummy).  I'm really hoping to be able to join in the festivities, but we'll see.

If anything, my sleep shall be uninterrupted tonight, because Michae's mom is on spring break this week and took Sybilla for a sleep over party at her house.  Seriously, did I luck out with mothers-in-law or what!?  I am so blessed and I love my in laws dearly.

To all our friends and family, an Irish blessing for you:

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

The Guerra Clan

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Everyone should check out the blog that this links to...she's one funny mama!

Because it looked like fun...and I needed something to cheer me up...and because my remote desktop for work has decided to seize up on me.  Maybe it's a sign that I should be in bed and not working.  You know, being sick and all.

I woke up yesterday feeling like I had been run over by a Mack truck, hit by a train, and then had the rest of me hewed up by the blades of a helicopter.  I have to be pretty sick to be feeling that bad.  I should know, because I birthed a 9 pound baby in about 8 hours with no drugs and then popped a couple of Advil afterwards.  I can handle pain.  So if I'm feeling this awful, something ain't right.  And what sucks even more is that it would happen on Monday and Tuesday, my two busiest days at work.  And the guy who could cover for me is out on vacation.  AWESOME week I'm having so far...

Maybe it's because I'm sick, but I am about to throttle my neighbors.  They slam their door every. single. time. they go in or out and it's causing stuff to fall off walls and shelves in our apartment.  Seriously, five times in as many minutes is a bit much.  I wish I could blame it on their teen-aged daughter, but I know that her folks are just as bad.  How do you tell someone in a nice way to stop slamming the door?  [sigh]  It's not making my head feel any better, that's for sure.

My lemon tree is blooming like crazy.  It did this last year and then a huge storm blew in and knocked off all the bloom so I ended up with no lemons.  I moved the tree to the least windiest spot on our third floor balcony, but I'm super paranoid now that I might lose any chance of making any of the lemon recipes I've been harboring through the last year.  I'm already dealing with an infestation of scale insects, so hopefully the gods of horticulture will be nice to me this year.  Please please please, just let me have three lemons.  I'll even take two.  Hell, if I can get just one, I will dance a jig of joy. 

And speaking of jigs, tomorrow is St. Patty's day!  I'm hoping I feel well enough to actually partake in our annual Irish feast with Michael's cousin Stephen.  He does it up right... lamb, boxty, colcannon, and Irish car bombs.  If I have the energy, I will even contribute homemade soda bread and Irish apple cake.  Ooooh, or black and tan brownies as seen in this month's Cooking Light.  It's good to be an Irish-American, even if we do make the feast of St. Patrick a drinking contest.  Even if I don't make it, Michael's mom is taking Sybilla overnight and into Thursday morning which means a night of uninterrupted sleep. If my neighbors don't slam the doors, do housecleaning, or their techno workout video at 3 am...

On that note...I need food.  And it's time to pick up the munchkin and some more meds.  [sigh]

Hackingly yours,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Playdate at the Park

Today was another gorgeous day and time change be damned...even if we only had 23 hours today, we were gonna make the best of them!

We had made a date earlier in the week to meet up with Sybilla's godfather and his family to play at the park.  We've been talking about doing this for some time but for some reason or another, it never really worked out.  Until today!  And today couldn't have been better.  Summer time in Central Texas may look lovely, but in truth, it gets too hot to be outside for any extended period of time (read: more than five minutes).  So spring time is when we all go out in droves and hang out in the park for hours.

We met up with the Chris, Ericha, their kids Brick, Cable, and Gates, and their friend Shannon.  Running, sliding, climbing, running amok, kicking soccer balls, swinging, driving the car, throwing rocks, eating cookies and cheese, and lounging in the shade then commenced for a couple of glorious hours.




Running amok...

Eating cookies...

Kicking soccer balls...


...and driving a car, oh my what a day!

The Matthews also brought their dog Taos along too, and Billa just loved her.  She was very mellow and so sweet and gentle with the kids.  She let them love all over her and she reminded me of my childhood dog, TB.

Ericha and I kept trying to get a great picture of the girls together...even though her arm and camera are in this shot, I still love it!  And I definitely love the look on my daughter's face!

Puppy lovin'

Gates thinks Taos is the bees' knees.

Taos is such a great dog!  Billa just adored her and gave her a hug as she left.  She even said, "Bye, dog!" and cute!

In the end, we hated to say goodbye, but we had to get home to get some things done and Billa was starting to get a little too pink for comfort (note to self: time to buy this year's supply of sunblock).

Hugging our godfather goodbye

I foresee a dog in our future someday too...Billa just LOVED Taos!

We had a wonderful and were so grateful to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  I foresee many more park playdates in the future...

Kelly & Co.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Spring Saturday with Sydney

My last post was a little somber so to brighten things up is a sampling of some spring  (I really tried on the alliteration, but an 's' word for fun didn't come to mind)

The blooms on my lemon tree are opening! The fragrance is a heady mix of spring floral with the promise of the sweet citrus to come.

Today we went to a birthday party for a little friend of ours.  Sydney and her little brother Jacob live next door to Madeleine and Cameron, and today was Sydney's birthday party.  Her mom asked me to make Sydney's cake, which I was happy to oblige.  Sydney is really into the Littlest Pet Shop right now, so that's what we went with:

The birthday girl and her cake!

A closer shot of the cake I made

The weather was gorgeous and the kids spent most of the time either in the playroom or outside in the bouncy castle.  Billa loves bouncy castles!


Because Sydney's birthday falls so close to Easter on some years, her parents did an egg hunt as part of the festivities!  We had so much fun and I don't know whether Billa enjoyed the eggs or the actual egg basket more...she picked out a Thomas the Tank Engine bucket to collect her eggs.

Some of the kids looking over their goodies

Billa loves opening eggs and seeing what's inside!

We hated to leave, but our two year old still needs a midday nap and I'd pushed it off long enough.  We had a wonderful time and I was very glad we got to partake in the beautiful spring Saturday!  It may not be official yet, but spring is definitely here in Central Texas.


Happy Saturday,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thoughts on gratitude...

I beg your pardon in advance...I'm in one of those moods...

I'd recently started following a blog that followed a family as they dealt with their daughter's neuroblastoma.  Layla Grace passed away this morning.  She was only a couple of months older than my daughter.  I don't even know this child, but my heart is aching for her parents.  I think they were incredibly brave to chronicle the (too few!) precious days they had with their daughter.  It pained me to read their words as they described the pain she was in, the suffering she went through, and how much they wanted her to stay.  And yet, I am in awe of these parents because even despite the darkness, they still found something to cling to, something that gave them hope and comfort.  As much as I try to be hopeful, were I in that situation, I don't know that I would be the same.  I don't know that I could be sane.

I can't even begin to imagine their pain, but reading their blog has made me a bit more grateful.  If it sounds selfish, well, I won't deny it.  I can't.  I'm grateful for the health of my daughter, for her wholeness, for her zest and spark, for her temper tantrums, for the times she keeps me up at night when she just won't go back to sleep.  I'm grateful for the times she IS ill, because it means I can hold her and comfort her without her fighting me too much.  I'm grateful that she's patient with me, as much as a two year old can be.  I'm grateful that even when I yell at her, she forgives me two seconds later.

I complain often about her behaviour, the lack of sleep I get thanks to her, and a good many other things in relation to her.  And I admit, I have it found her presence an inconvenience and frustrating. But if someone offered me the fruition of my wildest dreams and all I had to give up was her, there would be no hesitation–I'd scoop her up in my arms and take her away as fast as the wind could carry us.  Even if I lost her, God forbid, I would not want someone to take the memories of being her mother away from me.  Sybilla is my heart, and I wear it openly and with gratitude.

My condolences and prayers are with Layla Grace's family tonight.  I am glad that Layla isn't suffering anymore, and that her parents no longer have to watch their baby hurt.  I hope that they will find joy and happiness again and that Layla's death will mean something in the long run; I know that it has already. 

And in a few hours, when my daughter wakes up and comes to my side of the bed whispering, "Mommy?" I will wrap her up in my arms, give her a big hug and a kiss, and offer another prayer to God thanking Him fervently for my little inconvenience.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

"It's quiet...TOO quiet!" Revisited

This is how our evening went:

Door opens.
"Daddy's home!"
[Mommy and Daddy exchange kisses and greetings]
"Billa, Daddy's home!"
"Uh, dear?  Where is our child?"
"I dunno.  She was here just a moment ago, watching Ratatouille."
"Well, she can't have gotten too far."
[Mommy and Daddy search for Billa]
"Billa, where are you?"
"[faintly] Mooooommmy!"
"Billa?" I open the pantry door.
"Oh sweet Jesus." I smack my forehead.
"What's wrong?"
"Michael, get the camera."
"You'll see!"
[Michael hands me the camera]

Curious to see what we saw?  Look away:


Yep, that's our kid, eating marshmallows.  Off the floor.  In my dirty pantry.  After I had told her no more snacks, of course.  I really gotta start paying more attention when things get too quiet around here!  Sybilla had figured out that she could use her stool to reach the higher shelves that have food in the pantry and found an opened bag of marshmallows.  The rest of it is history, as they say.

Time to clean out the pantry!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Random Thoughts...

It was a bit of a rough day, and I just need to veg.

Poor Billa had some pretty awful diarrhea this weekend (ok, actually since Thursday night) so we had to keep her home one more day just to make sure she was getting better.  Funny thing is, she didn't seem fazed by it at all.  She had no other symptoms, just some several blowout diapers and lots of dirty laundry.  Oh, and a few "differences of opinion" (read: temper tantrums) because she couldn't have milk products all weekend...

This picture has nothing to do with "digestive issues," but I think it's hilarious.  Sybilla insisted on tromping trough the house in her boots about five minutes before bedtime, unbeknownst to me.  I walked into the kitchen to find her like this and couldn't stop laughing for several minutes.  She marches to the beat of her own drummer, that's for sure!

I enjoyed myself immensely at the cake show this weekend, although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't the least bit disappointed that my cake didn't place.  I worked really hard on my design and took Friday off to complete it, so I was a little peeved that I didn't place at least 3rd.  Oh well.  The highlights were seeing my college buddy and "Twinkie" Brianna, meeting Mike McCarey, and seeing all the awesome cakes.  I now need to master making modelling chocolate...

My cake!  I did a green man/dryad/wine inspired design.

Me and Mike McCarey. You would most likely know him from the times he has won the Food Network Challenge! I also met Lauren Kitchens (another FN Challenger) and she was super cool too!

As Billa gets older and more precocious, I find myself wishing I was a stay at home mom.  I know, the workaholic suddenly having doubts.  It's not like I could just quit my job and do it (I can't, at least not now) so it's a moot point anyway.  But I do sometimes find myself wishing I could.  I think I feel a sound off coming...

Writing has been on my brain a lot lately too.  I would love to take on some free lance work, but I have no portfolio to show off.  I need to work on my writing for the blog to make it more interesting, as well as actually sit down and write out the ideas I have bouncing around inside my head.  Must...practice...note taking...

I've been feeling really anxious and stressed out lately.  I've had a lot going on in terms of baking, work, family and friends.  I haven't been sleeping too well despite going to bed early (the last two nights I was in bed at 9:30, asleep by 10) and Billa actually sleeping through the night.  Work in particular has had me stressed...I have a lot going on there and trying to balance it all during this transition phase is making me wonder if it was really all worth it to speak up and take on more responsibility...

Time for spring cleaning!  I read about this awesome idea called 40 Bags in 40 days from one of my favorite bloggers, in which you try and fill one bag/box per day of Lent.  It's a way to clean out your life with some spiritual ties.  I'm not a religious zealot, but I love the appeal of lightening my load and getting rid of some stuff, and if it makes my heart feel happier, then great!  Most of it will most likely make it's appearance in a garage sale once spring really gets underway.  We're going to have a multifamily garage sale with Kellie and Anthony and their neighbors since we don't actually have a yard or garage to sell from.  Hmm...maybe that money can go towards a 5th anniversary vacation fund?

Well, that's all I have energy to share.  That's not even the tip of the iceberg of stuff inside my head right now, either!

Happy Monday,


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