Saturday, January 30, 2010


We went to a basketball game tonight and Charlie put this little number together after watching the pompom squad practice.

Another Charlie Dancing Video from charlielaughs on Vimeo.

The hair tossing is my favorite.

To whomever gave us the pretty blue and white quilt for our wedding...

It is being put to good use.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The schedule, it has been breached.

Today at the church mom group I was quite the smug little asshole about how Charlie has dropped his nap and how much his behavior has improved since we stopped trying to make him take one. We've had to be a little bit rigid about bedtime and getting enough outside time, but this no nap thing has meant more predictability and cheerful behavior in general.

And then class let out and it was raining.

So we went home and ran through all of our rainy day activities in the span of an hour. Lunch? Check. Play Doh? Check. Watercolors? TV? Legos? Check, check, check. And it was only one o'clock.


Wes went down for a nap after repeatedly tripping over his own feet falling off of his chair while watching TV, but Charlie was still going strong. I suggested we bake something, an activity he usually loves.

"I want to play basketball."

"We can't play outside right now because it is raining and cold. How about you use this TRASHCAN as a basketball goal?" I held it up excitedly then arranged it so the refrigerator would serve as a backboard then threw a Nerf basketball at it. It missed and rolled pitifully under the kitchen table.

"It doesn't have a hole in the bottom" he deadpanned then skulked into the living room to resume throwing Legos at the TV.

"Let's read some books, Charlie!"

"I want to play basketball."

Then I decided to check my email and he decided to stand on my feet and demand I click on the little red Mozilla icon (which he calls Clifford) with increasing pitch and volume until I said "OK CHARLIE! Time to go up to your room to read books quietly!!"

I installed him on his bed, brought him a few favorite books and told him I would be back in twenty minutes.

An hour later I woke up in a puddle of drool on my own bed, book still open to the page I read a third of before losing consciousness. And it was quiet.

I sneaked into Charlie's room to find him asleep on his reading chair, head resting on the open book he had been reading.

We are in huge trouble tonight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Science Corner

"Charlie, look at these interesting clouds! What do you think this means? Is the weather going to change or stay the same?"

Charlie: "Why is the weather going to change?"

Me: "Because a big storm is coming."

Charlie: "Thunder can't hurt us, it's just loud noise."

Me: "That's right, but I'm talking about a different kind of storm. This kind of storm is very big, and starts very high in the atmosphere, up where airplanes fly. And this storm is going to make it rain and make the weather very cold afterwards."

Charlie: "Where is the storm coming [from]?"

Me: "It started out over the ocean west of here, do you remember when I showed you west and east on your globe? And then it went to California, and soon it is going to move over Texas and bring us rainy weather."

Charlie: "Why it moves?"

Me: "Up high, verrrry very high above the earth, it is verrrry windy. The wind moves things like storms and airmasses around, which make our weather change."

Charlie: "Why move air-mah-sess around?"

Me: "An airmass is a huge blob of air down at the surface where we live. It can be a cold airmass, like the one that is coming here later this week, or a warm airmass, like the one that is here now."

Charlie: "And the wind WAYYYY up high [indicates 'way up high' with outstretched hands] moves them around?"

Me: "That's right, and that is what makes our weather change."

Charlie: "Plants like the rain."

(And then I changed the subject because Intro to Atmospheric Science was enough for the fifteen minute drive to preschool. Besides, I like to let Labmama handle the biology.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Am pretty sure undergrads can smell fear

Ryan woke me up at 8:00 tonight and gently suggested I go get in bed. For the night. At 8:00. I couldn't even make it through Nova.

Today was the first real day of lab, and blog material-wise, it did not disappoint.

First of all, the chair came in forty minutes before class and hastily explained a few corrections he had to the homework that was due that day. Then, while I was sitting there trying to make sense of what he said, two students came in and asked for help with THOSE VERY PROBLEMS.

It was then that the policy of skimming that has served me well through nine years of higher education was no longer acceptable.

We made it through, and I was really glad for their questions, because it really solidified my own understanding of the problems. That's when I decided to scrap taking up the homework first thing and planned to go over the offending problems as a class. Together. On the board. In all it's butt-wiggling glory.

And then class started and I described the quantity represented by the letter "V" as "velocity" at least six-hundred times before I said "OH NO! I've been saying 'velocity' haven't I?! Am sorry! Is VOLTAGE!" Ha ha HA BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT!

And then crawled into a hole and wished I had some kind of endearing foreign accent. Things are funnier when said with an accent.

Also? I missed MISSED missed mah baybees.

And also? I missed the way I can mess up with them and sing "Old Mac Donald had a SCHOOL BUS!" and everyone dissolves into riotous laughter instead of staring at me like I'd just suggested we hire a stripper to do the next three lectures.

I was so grateful when they finally started the experiment because I KNEW how to do that. Like, "Bring on the electricity, bitches, I got this!" They are clever little undergrads. And very industrious. I didn't get to leave until 5:20! I had to work for five whole hours.

And I am exhausted. Like, WAH, right?

I was so happy to see Charlie's face pop up in the playroom window when I pushed the garage door opener. I was so happy to walk into my house, which smelled of veggie chili in the crock pot (Crockpots, like wives for wives!). I soaked up the details of the boys' afternoon from my dad (they went to the playground and played with their friends from the old nabe, Wes took a nap).

I have no way to close this except to say today was kind of "meh" and I am looking forward to getting into a new routine. Preferably one that does not require OSHA's involvement due to the size of my laundry pile. And falling asleep before eight.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Things I would have Tweeted while shoe shopping if I had an iPhone (and still Tweeted)

*Solo shoe shopping, whee!

*Brown shoes. I need brown shoes. Why is this so difficult?

*Have tried on fourteen pairs of black shoes, some pink ballet slippers, and a pair of sneakers yet am surprised I have not yet found brown shoes.

*Did I miss something? All brown shoes now orthopedic?

*You know what else are not brown shoes? Red patent leather boots. PUT THEM BACK. #wannatryonhookershoes

*To self: Secretely observe women faculty's footwear choices.

*I wonder if I am still banned from buying Mary Janes per @A and @Godmother.


*What's the current stand on ankle boots? Do they look ridonk with skirts? Are cozy and warm.

*@harrytimes, @fortyfivedegrees, am budget shoe-shopping pls advise.

*Do not buy purple tights, you will chicken out at the last minute and leave them in your car for six months. #wannabe

*New rule, all brown shoes must be boring and ugly, whee!

*Open toed boots? What the H?!

*Have decided to look for brown shoes at Panera. Maybe in bakery area?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We should have fun more often!

My dad is an awesome nanny. The kids love him. They seem to have a lot of fun because usually when I open the door, expecting to be greeted by happy screaming and hugs all around, this is what I see instead:

Yesterday was one of those days. They both woke up from naps around five-ish, which meant I was facing AT LEAST two and a half hours of out-of-sorts, bored children before I could even consider starting bedtime. So instead of dealing with that crazy we loaded up the bikes and drove to my school to let the kids burn off some energy on the endless sidewalks on campus.

Also? We took a lot of weird blurry pictures. And also? It was seventy degrees yesterday until about ten when it dropped to sixty five. Don't hate me.

Whenever girls passed by Wes he stopped, turned, held up a hand and yelled "HAHHHH" (his little Texan version of "Hi" or "Hello ladies!"). Only did that for the girls, interestingly.

Here is one in a series of pictures of Charlie's back. Later we found an available community bike and were able to keep up with him. Before that? Lots of running and yelling "Stop at the lamp post/bushes/flag pole and wait for me!" He remarked repeatedly "Isn't this a SPECIAL TREAT?!"

Wes took it off-road when the sidewalk no longer presented a suitable challenge.

And I tried to use the "night scene" setting on my camera to take some neat pictures of Charlie riding in circles in front of the chapel. You can barely see a Charlie "ghost" near the door of the chapel. Still learning how to use my camera, obv.

They rode/pushed for more than an hour and then we piled into the car and went out for Mexican food where they ate like recently rescued castaways and we had our first ever real conversation with Wes (Ryan: "Wes, do you like pickles?" Wes: shakes head. Ryan: "Can I have one of your pickles?" Wes: "Yeah."). Charlie topped off the evening by sitting on the public potty singing "Feliz Navidad" for ten lonnnnng minutes (he's on antibiotics.).

As we pulled onto our street Charlie yawned and said "I'm so tired!" Mission accomplished.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Boys' Room: Night One

Along with wearing khaki pants and a sweater vest to school, a cozy little room with matching twin beds rounds out my ideal for a well-ordered and proper character-building childhood. So when Charlie expressed interest a number of times in sharing a room with Wes I was encouraging, if a little hesitant to make it official. I do value my sleep, after all.

Not to mention the fact that there are currently two queen sized beds in our room and the "Chillin' at the Holiday Innnnn" jokes are wearing thin. I would love to move one of the beds back down the hall to its rightful job of laundry sorter.

Last night they were both completely exhausted so I thought it would be a good time to start. We got them in their jammies, tucked everyone in, gave kisses all around, and then crept down the stairs.

For a few minutes it seemed to be going well. And then?

Untitled from charlielaughs on Vimeo.

Once we had composed ourselves we ran up to see what was going on.

Charlie had removed a plastic bar from the hem of the window shade and was making Wes "dance" by poking his feet with it, through the bars of the crib. Both thought it was hysterical.

As soon as Charlie noticed me standing there he ran back to his bed and hit the bar behind his back, barely able to control the giggles, so hilarious was their little game. Wes continued to bounce happily in the crib, unaware of the entire concept of being in "big trouble."

We removed all possible distractions, put Charlie back in bed, and left.

An hour later everyone was asleep.

My son the throwback

Rossby ripped open a seam on one of Wes's favorite stuffed animals. I said to Charlie "Oh, no problem, I can fix it." Charlie replied

"Papa can fix it."

"I can fix it, Charlie."

"Papa's an engineer!"

"I'm an engineer!"

"No, you're a girl!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Lonely Goat Herds

My Lonely Goat Herds from charlielaughs on Vimeo.

How is that 15 minutes a day thing going?

Charlie and then Wes caught the most miserable cold they've ever had short of RSV immediately after I made my little commitment, precluding me ever going to the gym at a convenient time ever again, and no, they were not sick at the same time, Charlie was sick for a week and now Wes is sick.

(Their antibiotic prescriptions, for ear infections, do overlap, however. Charlie gets one dose, unrefrigerated, with food, in the evening, Wes gets two doses, refrigerated, one in the morning, one in the evening, with food or without. And if Charlie even touches Wes's amoxicillin, he could have a violent reaction complete with hives and ridiculous fever. Parenting? It is good preparation for ANY job out there.)

Since it has also been freakishly cold here, we also couldn't take walks. That left the 30 Day Shred. I hate The Shred. I hate the windmills, I hate the push-ups, I hate the fifty different kinds of lunges and squats you have to do, I hate the music. But once I realized I no longer resembled a marsupial? I was hooked. Yay Shred! Everybody do the Shred with me!

I don't really need to update you on the showering, do I? I mean, the fact that I had to make it a New Year's Resolution is kind of astounding anyway. But, I find, that having done that, I don't look up at 9:30 at night and think "I haven't taken a shower today. Meh, I'm tired." It's been good, in other words. Ryan keeps telling me how pretty my hair smells. I tell him that's because it's clean DURING THE DAY FOR ONCE. Woah.

And I was cruising along nicely getting my paper moving when I was able to work on it every night. I solidified the things I wanted to cover, adjusted the introduction accordingly, and did the previous work section, all in about a week. And then I had to start preparing for my class, so I devoted my work time to that. There are only so many minutes in a day, after all. Once things settle into a pattern, I think I'll come back to my paper, especially because I now have a desk that is not perpetually covered in toys, broken pieces of the nativity set, and food.

Being productive in some areas has made me more productive in other areas too! Turns out stepping away from the computer/cookies/TV (WOW I have a lot of bad habits) is the hardest part. Once you're away you notice how disgusting the kitchen floor is and how much laundry there is to do. And then suddenly you realize you don't even have enough laundry to do a whole load and you're like DUDE, I am on top of the laundry. And that is a good feeling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

All in a day's work

OMG why didn't I pee before I left the house?" I thought as I danced around in the driver's seat.

I have to pee and I can't find the faculty parking lot and I'm going to have a potty accident right here in my car. I totally feel bad for scolding Charlie for wetting his pants today. Maybe he just had too much coffee this morning too!

I pulled back onto the main road.

Of course, he's the reason I didn't go before I left the house. He was procrastinating picking up his Legos so he told me he had to poop and then sat there on the potty for fifteen minutes singing and yelling, anything but pooping.


Turn car into driveway, see an open parallel spot. Attempt to maneuver car into the spot quickly.


Crap. Have driven right over the curb.

Back up. BANG!

Good enough!

Still wiggling to avoid wetting my pants grab my laptop bag, purse, and textbook, squint into the distance to see the science building, decide to leave purse in car. Swear. Retrieve keys, office keys, phone, and a five-dollar bill (for more coffee if necessary) and cram them into a pocket of my work bag, open the trunk, bury purse in some Goodwill clothes, slam doors, lock with remote, awkwardly run to the nearest non-dorm (I hope) building to find a ladies room. Am inadvertently rude to a backpack-wearing student when I do not hold the door. I make it. Thank goodness.

Nonchalantly exit ladies room, exit music building, calmly cross beautiful campus to the science building. Reflect on beautiful trees, beautiful buildings, pinch self.

Get proficiency exams from department chair, unlock office with key, sit down at lab table cum desk facing the window. Admire trees some more. Attempt to connect to the wifi so I can go to Facebook. Am interrupted by student.

"Are you the professor?"

Look behind self.

"Uh, yes, I am."

"Does the class start at 2:00 or 2:30?"

Look at watchless wrist, as if expecting to find the answer.

"2:30?" I say uncertainly.

"My name is Jane."

Shake hands. My name is "Becca--uh--Dr. Academomia."

Smile. Blink. Blink.

"Nice to meet you. I'm a premed major."

"Awesome! Great to meet you too."

OMG professors DO NOT SAY AWESOME! What is this, a Grateful Dead concert?

Jane takes a seat at the front of the lab.

I sit back down at lab table/desk and drum my fingers on the table for a few minutes. Stand up. Shuffle papers. Sit down. Drum fingers. Stand up. Fiddle with a stack of posters on a shelf. Sit down. Stand up. Check time. 2:15. Repeat stand-up-sit-down routine as if performing Episcopal liturgy.

Pretend to be confident as I approach the podium. Pretend to be busy with my binder for another minute or so. Count students. Sixteen out of twenty.

"OK, let's get started!" I say. My voice echoes all over the room. They snap to attention. Cool.

Take roll. Introduce self. Forget about a million important things as I run down the syllabus. Am grateful that I don't have to write on the board this time since I still have to practice doing it without my butt wiggling.

I am glad I've been working out. Twenty kids are going to be spending a lot of time looking at my butt.

Distribute exam. Sit awkwardly in a chair and wait for them to finish. Realize I forgot to ask them to write the honor pledge on the front page. Only one student remembers. They bring me the exams, one by one. I mentally grade the first few. Make a mental note to look up some of the answers that I don't know. Think about the boys approximately eighty-seven thousand times. Wonder if they are torturing my dad. Make mental shopping list. Bananas, milk, coffee, deli turkey. The last student returns his exam. I exhale.

It has been a LONG time since I have had to be responsible like this. I haven't even TAKEN a class since 2005! This is absurd. What the heck am I DOING?

Mark down "complete" for exams in grade spreadsheet. Return exams to department chair. Wander aimlessly around the science building for a few minutes to learn my way around. Return to office. Look out the window for a few minutes. Decide to go to store then home to relieve my dad.

Leave science building. Call A. Freak out on phone a little to her. Walk to horribly parked car past an incredibly inviting-looking fountain. Wonder if the students ever get in the fountain.

Do private school kids do things like that? Probably not the faculty, for sure.

Resist urge to take off shoes.

Drive to grocery store. Almost get run over because I am checking everyone's car for a faculty parking sticker. Buy groceries.

Arrive home to happy kids, warm house. Take a walk with my dad, kids, dog. Make dinner. Mediate an hour and fifteen minutes worth of brother fights, whining, and Lego throwing. Wish I had taken the third lab. Panic a little thinking about doing it all again on Friday. Then get excited.

Go out for dinner with Labmama. Almost close down fancy no-kid restaraunt.

Come home, check sleeping beauties. Pinch self.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Orientation! And vacation!

I met lots of nice people at new faculty orientation on Friday. And I'm not going to lie, it sure was nice not having to heft a 25 pound kid on my hip and plead and cajole a three-year-old along with me as I half jogged across the campus to the orientation in the TWENTY DEGREE WEATHER. TWENTY DEGREES! And WINDY. I realize that some of you bust out your bikinis when it is twenty degrees (I'm looking at you Sarah), but this is simply not what I had in mind when we chose to live in TEXAS. Thank goodness I had already decided to wear tights under my dress pants for their magical control top feature. I may be a physics professor, but I still know a thing or two about avoiding visible panty lines.

Also? Classes were not in sesson, so like every other university I've been associated with, the HVAC was not working. So it was like fifty degrees in the building where orientation was. Thank goodness we were a scholarly bunch and everyone was wearing a jaunty scarf as part of their outfit. Also thankfully they provided coffee.

When I arrived I was given keys to my office (!), a university email address, a mailbox combination, and a whole lot of information about the library, the website you use to post grades and see your class roster, and a talk about the channels you go through if someone cheats. And wow did they have some awesome cheating stories.

I loved it. Everyone who talked to us was warm and helpful. The provost invited us to email him personally if we needed anything at all. The dean of the science department said the same thing... pretty cool having come from a huge research university where the administration was (necessarily) busy and generally inaccessable (with the exception of the chair of geosciences, whose wife hosted my baby shower and babysat my kids during my defense!).

After orientation we walked to the ID office as a group and got our university IDs and FROZE again. I considered that two-hundred yard walk to be my fifteen minutes of exercise for the day given all the shivering I did. I wanted to go use my new keys to open the door to my office (there are three part-timers who use it) but I was freezing and wanted to get home so I could pick Charlie up from school myself. I will go back this week sometime. My classes don't start for two weeks becausee they are labs.

My dad's first day as nanny went very well--he dropped Charlie off at school then came home where Wes slept for three hours. When I put my coat on to leave Wes waved and said "Bye bye!" but as soon as I put my hand on the doorknob to leave he broke into miserable sobs. Instead of feeling guilty, though, I spent the whole commute thinking how great it was to get up and get ready to go somewhere. Charlie gave me a vote of confidence when he regarded my nice pants and fancy shoes and said "Why you not wearin' your jammies?" A proud moment indeed.

Now Ryan and I are in a hotel room in a nearby city. Last night we attended the 30th birthday party of friend A from grad school. The boys are having a blast with my parents--each had his own personal sleeping buddy last night and they've had a bath and a nice scrambled egg breakfast this morning. We went out for fondue last night before the party, then were the first to arrive at the party and the last to leave. This morning we sat in companionable silence drinking coffee and reading the paper.

Everyone is having fun, except possibly my parents who, at this moment are attempting to sit through an hour-long church service with two wild children. Checkout time is in an hour and we'll probably eat a nice lunch somewhere and then head back to face the music. I have to say I miss the little men a litte bit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Did not know I could cook something I liked this much

Labmama sent me this recipe yesterday and the picture alone made me want to try it. We killed a good forty-five minutes getting the ingredients at the store because they are remodeling and today was the day they had five huge men using pick-axes to dig a trench in the floor of what used to be the coffee department. I don't think I have to tell you the horror I felt when I went into the store for the first time (New Year's Day. in the morning) and the coffee department had mysteriously vanished. I found it near the beer and wine. Anyway. Charlie wanted to watch the construction workers and it is thirty-degrees outside so we had absolutely nothing better to do, so watch we did. For an awkwardly long time.

This is a great recipe if you like to chop vegetables, and I do.

This is my favorite part of chopping:

don't you want to eat it RIGHT NOW? When I make jambalaya I have to stop myself from putting my head right into the stock pot with the onions, peppers, celery, sausage, and chicken because it smells SO GOOD.

So, the ingredients are (from Yum-O) My comments in italics.:

* 1 3-4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces I used a 3 lb-ish package of skinless split breasts
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon chili powder, plus a pinch to season the flatbread
* 2 teaspoons cumin, plus a pinch to season the flatbread
* 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus more for drizzling
* 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
* 1/2 red onion, finely diced
* 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced I used green because they are cheaper
* 1 box frozen corn kernels (10 ounces) or 2-3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
* Juice of 1 lime
* 1 tomato, diced
* 2 scallions, finely sliced
* 4 pieces of whole grain flatbread or pita I used whole wheat naan
* 2 cups shredded lettuce did not use
* 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Procedure (from Yum-O):

1. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil then season with salt and pepper, then with cumin and chili powder, roast in 400F oven until internal temperature reaches 165F. This can be done WAY in advance. Highly recommend. Especially since mine took twice as long to cook as I anticipated. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the bone. I also shredded it into bite sized pieces.

2. Chop the hell outta some veggies. I chopped them individually and put them in separate ramekins because it looked very pretty on my counter and also made it easy to add ingredients as they were called for.

3. Saute the garlic, pepper, and onion together until almost tender. Add the corn and cook for 3-4 minutes more. And then forget what you are doing, crank up the music, and have a dance party in the kitchen with your children. Sail right past almost tender into translucent blobs of mush.

(I can see you dancing! Don't forget about your corn relish!)

4. Top flatbread with olive oil and spices, broil or toast until crispy. Mine did not get crispy before they smelled like they were burning. I know! How does that happen?! Maybe it is time to clean my oven?

5. Top flatbread with chicken, shredded cheese, lettuce, and corn mixture, serve warm. Again, I forgot the lettuce. It would have looked pretty, but I don't think I was really missing out because it was delicious just the way it was. Maybe for company?

Ryan proclaimed me best wife in the universe, Charlie ate three bites, and Wes only ate the naan, which is about what I was expecting given he ate about seventy-five ounces of shredded cheese while I was cooking.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fifteen Minutes

When I added up all the time I spend goofing around the other day I was a little alarmed by how much I complain about never having any time for myself considering the kids go to bed around seven, I go to bed around ten, and I never actually DO anything during those three hours. Not to knock vegging out, because believe me, no one knows better than me how bad you need to just stare at the TV for a few hours to deal with The Crazy you experienced the rest of the day. Sometimes. But then, I thought, wouldn't it be satisfying to actually make some forward progress on SOMETHING every day? So here's what I'm going to try to do in this time of resolutions and goal setting. I am going to spend fifteen minutes each every day on three things:

1) Personal-care. How many days have I jumped out of bed and straight into Mommy-land? How many times do I skip a shower even when I have time to take one because I would rather read a book or, who are we kidding, spend those twenty minutes looking up people I didn't like in high school on Facebook? I have decided that my MINIMUM daily personal-care goal is to take a shower before three o'clock. And then I am to put on nice-smelling lotion. Because last time I cleaned out the fridge I washed so many dishes my hands looked like spring rolls by the time I went to bed. Lotion is not optional. I realize how silly this sounds to those of you who are NORMAL. If I am feeling really fancy I will attempt the DIY pedicure Sarah talked about. I do love to have pretty toes. Getting a haircut counts. As does standing in front of the mascara display at Target wondering if I should take the plunge.

2) Exercise. I will spend AT LEAST fifteen minutes exercising. My minimum will be a walk around the block with the stroller (which weighs at least eighty pounds, I feel like an event at the county fair pushing that thing around). If the weather is bad my minimum will be the 30 Day Shred Level One, but hopefully I can get to the gym so I can use the treadmill and watch TV while the kids hang out with Magda from Sex in the City (seriously, Dead. Ringer. Accent and everything). This means I have to go in the morning which often means I work out shortly AFTER I take a shower. Genius!

3) Professional Development. Again, I do a lot of self-defeating complaining in this area. "I want to write papers! I want to publish my dissertation work!" I say to Ryan. "Then DO IT!" he says. "Stop trying to fix every little problem I just wanted to talk to you GEEZ!" I say to him. So tonight I was all warm and cozy in my bed when I told him about this fifteen minutes idea I had and he said "Great, go for it!" and I said I would do it tomorrow. And then I realized that I had taken a shower today, I had exercised today (in that order, awesome!), I should go work on a paper and then I could start TODAY! So I ran downstairs in my flannel polar bear pajama pants and hammered out five-hundred words of an introduction to a paper I've been tossing around since, oh, March of last year. Five-hundred words! At eleven o'clock at night! It's like I'm an unmarried, childless grad student slave again! Oh how I enjoyed that part of my life. I met a lot of good friends then, like coffee. Interestingly, that is one habit that has stood the test of time. Unlike maintaining some kind of scientific career. One out of two, right?

So there you have it. Forty-five minutes doesn't seem like TOO big of a commitment. But you know how that goes. Keep me honest internet!

Get your guns up!

Last night our beloved Red Raiders were playing against Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl. You may have heard a little bit about the controversy surrounding our coach and his ALLEGED mistreatment of one of the players. It has been the subject of many heated discussions in our house this week (we are both TEAM LEACH all the way) and both Ryan and I were ready to just watch some football already.

The game was on The Cable so my sister came over and Ryan and I made a break for our favorite neighborhood place and asked for a seat close to the TV. I had looked forward to a large crowd of red and black with whom to scream at the TV and cheer our boys on, but once the game before ours ended the place cleared out and it was just us and a very nice family who no doubt unnerved by my frequent outbursts (and Ryan's, though he saved most of his enthusiasm for later when he was able to rig up our computer to show the game at home).

It was a little bit of a letdown, having been accustomed to packed sports bars where they play the fight song every time we score and everyone groans in unison when someone blows it. But we did move four-hundred miles away, so what are you going to do? We had a very nice time out by ourselves watching our team.

The place closed at halftime so we went home to relieve my sister and listen to the second half on the radio. But instead, Ryan found a website where you could stream the game live FOR FREE and we were back in business (website not named to protect the criminals, also it had a vaguely pornographic sounding URL).

We moved our love seat over to my desk so we could watch in style.

We were so happy we could yell at the TV again. Home sweet home.

The game ended after midnight, but I only made it to 11:30 before I was fast asleep on the love seat. I had anxiety dreams all night about who won and when I woke up to the gentle screaming of our darling oldest child at 7:00 I shook Ryan awake and asked him who won. "41-31" he said. "WHO. WON." I repeated. "WE. DID." he said with a smile, then ran downstairs to start the coffee.

We all wore red to church. I was going to take a picture, but you know, there was crankiness and misbehavior and it didn't happen. We listened to the fight song in the car and sang along while Charlie yelled "GO TECH GO!" and pumped his little fist in the air. We are so proud of our team!

And now for some amusing pictures!

Charlie puts weird stuff in his bed after we say goodnight. Here we have a large chair cushion, a globe, a Santa rug, and Phent, of course.

And Wes had like forty-five tantrums in a two-hour period on Thursday. Having been through all of Charlie's shenanigans last week I found Wes's outrage over EVERYTHING to be super funny (how can you not laugh when you tell a kid not to climb on a chair and his head snaps back like a Pez Dispenser before he slowly slithers to the floor screaming?), so I took a picture (then gave him some Tylenol and put him to bed, because what the hell, dude?).