ABC News – the power to move entire cities

Evidently, you don’t need to know anything about geography to work in the graphics department at ABC. This was on the ABC Nightly News this evening during a story about a new recovery facility opening at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC).

They moved San Antonio a couple of hundred miles to the north east and put it along the Colorado River. Maybe they need to go back to using Google Earth for their maps.

Snow Day, Part Duex

Um, yeah…it got worse. We moved back to San Antonio to escape this kind of stuff!

Actually, the surface streets are just fine. Wet, but drivable. It’s the bridges over creeks and stuff that people forget about. The state has taken care to shut down interstates and overpasses, places where people could get into big trouble, but those creek bridges seem to be causing people problems, too. Of course, not for us, because we actually know how to drive in this stuff.

Last night, our power went out (looking at the ice in these photos, you can probably guess why) at about 6:30, just as I was finishing cooking dinner. Monica and I waited it out until 9:30, then packed up the family and headed over to Maria and Gregg’s. At about 11:00 we realized that our power was finally back on (we called and our phone rang, as opposed to going straight to voicemail) so we packed everyone back up and headed home.

We would have spent the night at Maria and Gregg’s, but Rachel was having all kinds of problems going to sleep over there. I guess she’s getting to the point where she recognizes when things are out of the ordinary.

Our power went out again around 7:30 this morning, but luckily, this time it was only our for about 90 minutes.

Enjoy the photos.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Do you see that? There, on my truck.

Yes, I need to wash it…but there, on the bottom part…

Yup, that’s ice. We’re getting freezing rain here in San Antonio and it’s a huuuuuuge deal. All of the schools are closed, and the morning shows have been on the air going on four hours now. I don’t know why…there’s nothing new to tell us. Last night, they told us all of the schools were closed, this morning, they could have told us in just their usual couple of hours that interstates are closed (because it’s evidently really hard for TXDOT to get a truckload of salt from the panhandle) and so now they’re just showing us all the same footage, giving us the same forecast, and showing us the same accidents hour after hour.

The media around here does this with any major weather event…they just can’t tell us what’s going on and shut up. They have to stay on the air constantly and give us bascially nothing to watch. If people are holed up inside their house, they don’t want to watch the same thing over and over…we’d like some entertainment, please, and just keep that scrollbar going across the bottom of my screen. It does the same thing you all are doing…tells me the same thing over and over.

But as you can tell, it’s nowhere near as bad as the ice store they had in St. Louis earlier in the week.

But, this is San Antonio, after all, and anything out of the ordinary here is a big deal.

Halfway to 70

How did I go from this

to this

In just 20 short years?

On another note, when did “20 years ago” become part of my vocabulary? I can remember feeling, for the longest time, that 20 years ago was part of some distant past that happened before I was born.

Now it’s something that happened when I was in junior high…almost high school.

That’s enough to make anyone feel old.

And what in the hell happened to my 20′s? It’s like I turned around twice and I’m halfway through my thirties.

I think I’m done having birthdays.

Month Seven

Dear Rachel,

Yesterday, you turned seven months old. Your father was sick from all the junk in the air, though, which is why this is a day late.

So…what a month! A lot of firsts for you yet again. Where to start?

You were baptized this month, which means you’re well on your way to being a non-conformist Catholic, just like your Momma and Daddy! Actually, we were very excited to have you baptized and you have wonderful Godparents in Maria and Gregg.

You haven’t started crawling yet, but you’re trying. You push yourself up on your hands and you’re starting to get the leg motion. I can’t wait to see what Sparky does when you finally become mobile!

You sit up on your own all the time now. You still fall over from time to time, but it’s not happening that much anymore. What’s really fun is to watch you play. You really love to explore everything around you, and lots of times you do things that make us wonder what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For example, when you decide you’re done with your bottle (which I’ll get more in depth with in a minute), I’ll hold it up to see if you want more, and you’ll lean forward and touch your forehead to the bottle. What is that all about?

Other times when you’re playing, and a toy is just out of your reach, you’ll stretch forward as far as you can, and even lift your butt up off the ground just to try to reach it. Soon enough, you’ll be able to just crawl over to it, which scares the heck out of me, considering that you still think everything is there for you to put in your mouth.

You’ve become quite vocal over the past month, and usually when your mother and I are trying to watch something on the TV. Thankfully, we picked up a DVR this past month, too, so we can pause and rewind our favorite shows and start watching them again after you go to bed. Without fail, we’ll be trying to listen to something on the news, or be in the good part of a TV show and you will start, “Ahhhhhhh ah ah ahahhhhhahhhaaaaahhahaaahahaa.” You’ll go on for minutes on end, and I’m sure this is just the start of the many ways in which you will annoy your parents. But you’re supposed to. That’s what kids do. At least you’re not telling us off. At least, I don’t think you are, but I don’t speak baby, so I’m not entirely sure.

Your first Christmas was last month, and girl, did you ever rake in. I think you probably had more gifts than everyone else combined. It was really nice because you got to see your whole family.

Because of Christmas, our house is now officially full of your toys. We haven’t even lived there four months yet, and already we’re out of room. You certainly have a great time playing with all of your new stuff, though, which mostly consists of you rolling it away from you, holding whatever toy you have and banging it on the floor, and putting it in your mouth.

Speaking of your mouth, you have two new additions in there! You started cutting your first teeth on Christmas night, which made our Christmas night oh so fun, but now that they’re in, you’re doing much better. Every once in a while, you’ll need your teething toys, which turn you from a screechy, crying mess, to a cooing, happy mess in a matter of just seconds.

Eating has taken a 180 degree turn from last month. Last month, we were having a hard time getting you to keep solids in your mouth. Now, you’ve decided that you don’t like your bottles so much. within the last couple of weeks, you’ve stopped drinking all of your bottles, but you will eat virtually everything solid we try to put in your mouth. In fact, there is only one time in the past month I can think of when we had more food than you wanted to eat.

And a last first for the month, you went for your first bike ride just a few days ago. Actually, I did the riding, you just got pulled along behind me. I guess you can call that a ride. I can’t wait to take you for more rides after the weather gets nicer. You love the outdoors so much, and we love taking you.

You interact with us more and more every day, which makes every day fun and exciting for us. We just can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.



OK, so I know these probably aren’t the updates you’re looking for (Mom) and they’re certainly not the droids you’re looking for.

Yeah, that was stupid, but it just popped in my head and I had to let it out.

Anyway, I’ve finally gotten around to adding some photos to the old photo page at If you’ve never checked out the rest of the site, you really should. I’ve put a lot of work into it, so look at it, already!

Anyway, you can just take out the “blog.html” up there at the top of the page, and that will get you to the main site. From there you can click on “photos” and peruse some of the pictures I’ve taken.

Or, if you’re lazy, you could just click on the link I’ve conveniently placed for you on the right side of the screen.

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Monica and I have two days (including today) of vacation left. Then it’s back to the grind. Back to our routine. Back to getting up when it’s dark out.

We had a great Christmas. The whole Laleman clan was here in sunny San Antonio. While it wasn’t as warm as I would have liked, the weather was definitely more favorable than what we usually drive up north to experience at this time of year.

Rachel had a great time and totally raked in. She especially loved playing with all the wrapping paper.

Dad and I managed to play lumberjack (insert Monty Python song here) and cut down the two dead pines in our back yard, and get some rather large dead branches cut off the live oak.

It was so nice to have everyone here.

New Year’s Eve with a baby in tow was quite an experience. Rachel took a late nap yesterday and decided that she really didn’t want to go to sleep even though it was two hours past her normal bedtime. She fussed and fought and cried, until Monica took her for a little car ride, and she finally nodded off. Of course, at midnight, when all of the fireworks started going off, she promptly woke up. It’s going to be a lot of fun trying to get her back on a routine.

Now, the Christmas decorations are down (because I knew it would never happen if I didn’t do it now) and it’s time to get back to our daily lives.

Why can’t someone pay me to just sit around and do this all day?