Happy late Thanksgiving!

We had a house full of people yesterday, which means that we spent most of Wednesday cleaning and putting the finishing touches on our move in.

The bird came out just fine, and I didn’t have to call mom for any help! The ham was really good too, after spending 5 hours on the smoker. Mashed potatoes? Check. Gravy? Perfect. Everything came out just fine, and now Monica and I are spending a lazy day together resting our weary bones.

Last weekend, we spent some time sunning ourselves on the deck as a family. I put up our mood lighting while Rachel jumped around in her jumper. Monica shot some pictures, and Sparky kept a lookout on the yard from the steps.

Happy Bloggiversay to me!

Today marks one year since I started Laleblog, and oh, how our lives have changed in the past 365 days.

Really, they have. Just take a look at the archives.

I started this blog primarily to keep friends and family updated on the Texas Lalemans, since I’m too lazy to write individual emails or (gasp!) actual letters to people. I’m sure this is evident to the many of you who are still waiting for last year’s Christmas card from us.

It never fails to amaze me how quickly things change in life, and I’m glad that I started this to help me keep track of where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing.

A whole year of blogging isn’t that big of a deal. A lot of people have been blogging for longer than that. Some, though, never make it past their first post. Making it a habit cough, cough, Sarah, cough, cough is what keeps it going. If you make the time to write, you’ll continue to write. Very profound, I know.

Technology is constantly changing, so who knows what Laleblog might become in another year, let alone another 10 years. I only hope that Rachel (and whatever other children we have) can look back 15 or 20 years from now and reminisce on her childhood. I hope that Laleblog will become a sort of virtual scrap book for her.

I also hope to write more about our life as a family, although from what everyone tells me, our lives will revolve around our children for the next 20 years or so.

I hope that for you, my dear readers, this blog has brought you closer to us emotionally, even if it can’t bring you closer to us physically. I am amazed at how many people want to read about our lives on a daily basis. I’m glad that this technology has made it easy for us to share our joys and sorrows with you.

So here’s to the first year of Laleblog, and hopefully many more to come. Thanks for being a part of it, and by all means, post comments…I read them all, even if I don’t respond directly.

And about those Christmas cards…I’ll post ours here this year, and you can print it out as many times as you want =-)

Fully Loaded

One garage.


And it only took me an entire Saturday afternoon.

Now, I know what you’re saying, and that’s, “But Scott, I see stuff in boxes piled up all over the garage.”

Sure, sure, things are still in boxes, but that’s a project for another Saturday. I’ll pick up some hooks at Target, find some scraps of plywood to make a few more shelves with, and get everything in it’s place.

Oh, what, you think I got my truck in there with a shoehorn?

No, no, that’s called planning. And it only took me 10 minutes to rearrange the area in front of my truck after I hit my bike.

That’s skill, baby. Pure skill.

I’ve been parking my vehicle in the elements since I could drive. That’s 18 years for those who are counting, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to keep parking outside when I’ve got a 2 car garage at my disposal.

Now we just have to find room for the boat I’m going to buy.

Month Five

Dear Rachel,

Today you turn 5 months old. As always, it’s hard to believe that you’re growing up so fast, but what makes it even more unbelievable is when I look at a child younger than you.

I went with Chris to visit our friends Andrea and Caitlin and their new baby, Annika, last weekend. You couldn’t go because newborn babies aren’t supposed to be around other babies for a while. I couldn’t believe how tiny she was, and it made me think back to the summer when I first held you in my arms. I had forgotten how small you were and how light you were. I’m not trying to say that you’re fat or anything, but you have been eating like a little piggy lately.

We moved to our new house and you were really great about the whole thing, quietly playing with your toys and letting your parents get things moved into and around the house. This will be the first house you remember us living in, so I hope you like it.

Your Grandpa Rick and Grandma Connie visited right before we moved, and it was great to have them down. We always like seeing them, and they missed you a lot in the last couple of months. Grandma Connie almost started crying at the airport when she saw how big you had gotten.

You went to another wedding this past month, and you were quite the attraction. I think you may have even made the bride a bit jealous, because you were getting so much attention.

We started feeding you rice cereal over the past couple of weeks, in addition to the full bottles you’ve been drinking. At first, you made faces and “ACK!” noises when we fed you the cereal. Now, you reach for the spoon, and open your mouth wide when it’s coming toward you. Mostly, you get the cereal all over your face because you haven’t quite figured out the chewing and swallowing thing yet. You get it in your mouth just fine, but then proceed to push it out with your tongue, and when your mother or I try to catch it with the spoon, you move your head around so much that it ends up all over your cheeks, chin, and sometimes nose.

You also recognize your bottle now, and get quite cranky if you see it nearby and it’s not in your mouth within 10 seconds. What’s really cool though, is when you reach out and grab it, then pull it into your mouth. We still have to help you get the nipple in your mouth just right, but after that, you can hold it on your own and eat without much help. I even managed to pass you off to Mommy the other day without the bottle coming out of your hands or mouth.

You also will reach out for the dog when he’s near. Anytime your hands come near his face, he’ll start licking them. You will try to grab his tongue, and then some point later you put those very hands in your mouth. He also licks your feet, which you started sucking on in earnest this past month, too. Hopefully no one judges us by the fact that we let the dog lick you…we just figure that it’s going to happen, and the sooner the better to work it into your immune system.

You started turning yourself over this past month, almost as soon as I had written the words in your last letter that you weren’t turning over yet. You’ve almost gotten the flipping over from front to back thing down too, but not quite as consistently as the back to front rolling. It seems like every time we put you down, you’re on your tummy within 30 seconds, and usually drooling all over whatever it is you’re laying on–our bed, the floor, daddy’s chest. Of course, you get one of your arms trapped under you, and that makes you crabby. When we put your on your tummy to start with, and both of your arms are free, you’re usually fine for a while.

Your legs are getting very strong, I think from being in the jumper and the excer-saucer at Miss Judy’s. Last night, you stood up in my lap for almost 5 minutes, and all I had to do was help you keep your balance. I was doing that with the light touch of one hand. I have a feeling you’re going to start running before you can even crawl.

I can’t wait to see what this next month will bring. You learn so much new stuff every month, it’s hard for me to keep up with it all! Hopefully this month you’ll get to meet Annika, and you’ll have your first Thanksgiving. I can hardly wait to see what you do with a plate full of mashed potatoes!


Ghosts, gobblins, and…oh, it’s already November

I never did find the cord to my camera. I know it’s here somewhere, because I used it the day after we moved in. Who knows what happened to it.

Here are the Halloween pictures as promised, just a little late. Rachel wore the ladybug costume to Pete and Carol’s party on Saturday, then she wore the little witch’s hat (I think she looks like a Keebler Elf) on Halloween. We didn’t go anywhere that night except to Chili’s to eat. She was out before we got home.


One USB cable to attach my camera to my computer. When I find it, ya’ll will get your Rachel fix.

I have a feeling this is going to be a theme that runs through November as we try to remember where in the world we packed things.