I got two lines.



It looks like Lubbock outside. Today's wind gusts are up to 40+ miles per hour. There's dirt in the sky and shingles flying off buildings. We talked to our neighbors for a bit. They just had their roof worked on in November and now they have a dozen or so shingles either peeled off or flapping in the wind. Crazy.

In Josh news, he's learned how to sing the melody to the "ABC's Song". Well mostly. He doesn't know the words but he knows the melody and some of the sounds. He sings it like this: dee-dee-dee-dee-deh-dee-deh. te-teh-ah-ah-see-deh-de..."

It's quiet.

Josh is at school and I finished working early. I will be working with other moms this afternoon preparing our stuff for an upcoming consignment sale. I haven't decided whether to pick up Josh on the way or let him stay in school until later. He would probably love for me to pick him up early.

Yesterday we had a bit of a traumatic moment in the backyard. If you've been to our house you know we have a deck in our backyard that's a couple feet off the ground. Rusty nailed a trellis on its side to keep Josh from crawling under the deck, but he managed to fit through it. I was keeping an eye on him while in the kitchen- next thing I know, he's out of sight and crying. Rusty crawled under the deck and helped him out. This weekend we're going to try wood lattice to keep him out. It's moments like this that make me wish we had a backyard with grass instead of a deck. The deck is great for parties and holds up the hot tub, but it's not much fun for kids. He can't play with sand (some would get lost through the deck cracks), he can't examine bugs in the grass, roll around or dig in the dirt. Well, we have some dirt under the crate mertil, but that's not enough.

Today was odd. Not in a bird flying around the house way, but in the timing of things. Josh woke up with a slight fever that quickly became over 104 degrees. I gave him Motrin and waited for it to take effect. Once it did, we ran errands and played for 15 minutes at a park. He went down for his afternoon nap at the usual noon time. I had some energy to burn so painted a large portion of the living room wall "gleeful" green (from Sherwin-Williams). Against my better judgment, I decided to lay down for a bit instead of eating lunch. Josh woke up at 2pm but was still sleepy. I also woke him up entirely in the process of making my lunch then realized he had fallen asleep on my shoulder. O-kay. Quick to adapt and capitalize on extra snooze time for myself, I grabbed my new book* and laid on the couch with him.

Josh napped on my chest until 5:30p!!

Essentially, he napped five and a half hours! A record nap time I'm sure. No wonder he doesn't want to sleep now (Rusty's sitting in the hall to keep him in bed). I'm hoping the epic nap was what he needed to fully recover. He did have another fever after his nap (about 101 degrees) but felt fine otherwise. Well, not entirely. He coughed so much at one point of the evening he barfed a little. But that was a mechanical problem, not viral.

Needless to say, I didn't get much done today other than the morning chores and keeping the boy alive (and asleep). Tomorrow I plan to work at least a half day. I'm taking Josh to Coughs & Cuddles, a daycare behind Plano Presbyterian Hospital that takes sick children while the parents go to work. Apparently they take any sort of illness and charge only $6. I know Josh is super-needy when he's sick but it's been almost a full week and I'm getting restless not working.

* Oh yeah, my new book. Today I bought "Made to Stick" by Chip & Dan Heath. It's a communications book about how to get a message to stick in the minds of whoever you're communicating to. I read through 75 pages while Josh napped this afternoon. So far it comes highly recommended to anyone who is a manager, marketer, mom or something in between. Here's the NPR interview I heard before buying the book.

Just when I thought Josh was getting better and recovered from his cold, things turn south again. Either he relapsed or he caught Rusty's cold imported fresh from a business trip in California. Both of my guys have the sniffles. Lucky me- I haven't caught their germs yet and don't plan on it.

Rusty & I went to the DSO last night again. The performance overall was good. I enjoyed the Ravel pieces best which was the second half of the concert. First was Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra with soloist Vadim Gluzman (who I dubbed the Elvis Presley of violinists), then we ended on Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloe.

Josh spent the evening at Nolan's house. He played well, ate well and went to sleep on time. Although he was awake during the drive home, he went back to sleep within minutes in his own bed. AND he slept well waking up only twice. Speaking of, here he is awake from his nap.

Josh is better today- mostly. He's drooling profusely though. We suspect he's teething. Add teething to a cold and you've got one slobbery wet cranky child. Last night was brutal. He slept two hours at the longest stretch waking every hour or more until pre-dawn when we crashed on the couch together. So far no breathing problems! I'm hoping he'll be well enough to go to school tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Today has been very productive for me.

I worked from 9-4pm like a mad-woman on a mission to complete a project thrown to me last night. In the last hour of work, the school Josh goes to calls me to say he has a fever. Drat! I pick him up in record time, dashed to the store for more crackers (we were out and he LOVES Toasteds), then got him home. Not even ten minutes of being home he falls asleep on my shoulder. I laid him down and he's been out since then. I finished my project while he napped and now have some spare time.

Since Rusty's not going to be home (he's working in Irvine, CA this week) and Josh will likely go to bed late and/or be up a lot, I'm about to make great use of my time by snagging a bite and resting/vegging while I can. I hope his cold is short and easy. We'll see tomorrow!

Josh attended his first birthday party as a toddler this morning. His friend Sydney turned two today. The kids (and some parents) played at the Wiggly Play Center in Frisco. Josh had fun the first hour but then got super cranky so we had to leave a little early. He feel asleep on the way home and normally this is where a story ends.

Except...

Some time during Josh's nap he barfed up some of the juice he drank at the party. We have bathed him and fed him and are doing laundry. Other than a low-grade cold he's working out, he doesn't seem much effected by an upset tummy. In fact, he's playing with his new toy sunglasses, a party favor from Sydney's mom. Oh wait, now they're broken. But he's still playing with it.

Anyway, I'm hoping the upset tummy is an isolated incident from too much sugar or coughing a lot.

For work, I'm testing out SugarCRM. It's not the best open-source program I've found, but it doesn't require a server upgrade and it seems to cover the basics. Shopping around for CRMs hasn't been much fun but it's necessary to help Dan improve his business.

Questions People Keep Asking Me

So how is the new job?
It's going fine. I feel a little lost at times figuring out who's who, how things operate and what's going on, but I'll catch on quickly I'm sure. I enjoy what I'm doing, enjoy who I'm working with and love the ability to work from home.

How did you find the job?

It came about from an offhand comment I made to our financial advisor, Dan Bramschreiber. I mentioned to him that I would be looking for a new job soon to do something in the marketing field part-time. He told me he needed someone to work on his new website he plans to launch and an upcoming newsletter. The conversation evolved into a casual offer for work that I accepted after a couple days of contemplation.

How often do you work?
I work three full days a week on average on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That's about twenty-four work hours. Josh goes to school those days and stays home with me Mondays and Fridays. The flexibility in my job is awesome: if I work during the weekend, I take back that time during the week. Monday this week Josh spent half of his day in school meeting his classmates and teachers so I worked for three hours. That extra time on Monday covered my dentist appointment today.

How does Josh like daycare?
He doesn't mind it after he gets over the fact that I leave him there. He's pretty upset when I leave him but happy as a clam when I return.

Is he sleeping better and is he more tired?
The jury's still out on that one.

Do you miss having him around?
No, because I keep myself busy working. I couldn't have done this any sooner than now. I waited until I was really ready before thinking about working again. I enjoy eating lunch without multi-tasking or guarding my plate.

Has Josh gotten sick yet?
Not yet. He's got a slightly runny nose but his friend Nolan might have donated that last weekend.

Waiting for dinner. Josh is climbing furniture. Here's my chance for a quick post.

Josh spent three and a half days in school this week. Preston Park Montessori Academy was the best daycare solution I could find in the area for part-time enrollment. He seems to like it by the end of the day. He has a ravenous appetite when I pick him up. I learned quickly to arm myself with a granola bar, Nutri-Grain bar, graham crackers, and the like. For lunch today, they fed him potatoes, jam, green beans an peache with milk. He had snacks twice with goldfish and cup cake (celebrating a class mate's birthday). The morning drop off is still rough though. He clings to me with all his strength crying and begging me not to go. (If you haven't seen Josh in a while, you'd be surprised at his strength. Being an expert toddler climber, he can lift his weight easily.)

Dinner time. More later.

Today was Super Bowl Sunday. We had friends over to visit and watch the tube with us. Some good commercials, a couple great, the game was ok and everyone's company was well worth the clean up afterwards. My top three favorite commercials were:

Combos- Fever

Bud Light- Hitchhiker


GM- Carwash Dudes



Other notable mentions were the CareerBuilder.com ads, most of the Bud Light ads, The Snickers Kiss, Sierra Mist Beard Over, and the Doritos Crash. The Ford commercials all sucked, Coke was mild, and Chevy was lame and GoDaddy.com was a repeat of last year's idea. I'm surprised at who did not advertise: AT&T, Pepsi, McDonalds, to name three.

Overall, this was a superb day, especially for Josh. We visited Rusty's parents late morning, Josh napped for 2 hours, we had a decent turn out of guests, Josh had fun playing with grown ups and his baby friend Nolan, and the house wasn't totally wrecked afterwards. Tomorrow should be busy the first half of the day. Josh & I are meeting with mom friends for breakfast at Ikea, then playing at Stonebriar mall, lunch and nap, then Josh will spend the afternoon in daycare while I begin to toil with marketing for The Helix. Hopefully Josh will sleep soundly tonight. We all need some rest.

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