Monica’s NEW CAR! has a BIG DENT in the side, thanks to our neighbor (who happens to work at the same school as Monica). Evidently, she was mowing her yard, and didn’t bother to check for rocks before she started mowing. Her mower managed to throw a mighty chunk of south Texas Limestone right into the rear driver’s side door.


Luckily, she told Monica about it right away, and her (our neighbor’s) insurance is going to take care of the whole thing.

Because I need to keep up with my sister…

You know, I’ve been crazy busy this month. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of May and I’ve only made three posts. I’m sure ya’ll are getting bored seeing the same old thing every time you visit Laleblog…and my sister has four posts for the month, so I need to step it up.

Speaking of my sister, she’s about to become very famous. She’s signed up to be a part of Bill Waldman’s 365 portraits. She’ll do her photo shoot tomorrow (her birthday…Happy Birthday sis), and her picture should be up Tuesday morning.

I also realized recently that it’s been quite a while since I took Rachel’s picture. Or posted video. I don’t have any new video to post (I’ve shot some, but haven’t had the time to pull in down yet) and we went to take pictures of the little one yesterday so we’d have a recent picture for her birthday invitations.

Rachel is learning to walk, and while she started off none too happy about going place on two feet – in fact, she cried every time we tried to get her to do it – she’s getting a lot better at it…and she doesn’t cry so much anymore.

Walking with mommy

Month Eleven

Dear Rachel,

Today you turn 11 months old. And you are sick today, so I stayed home from work to take you to the doctor.

Rock Star Hair

We’ve been pretty fortunate in that you’ve been a pretty healthy baby during this first year of your life. The doctor said that you have a cold and are probably teething (again?!) which is why you’re running a fever. As I’m typing this, you’ve been asleep for the better part of two hours. Hopefully, getting some rest will help you to feel better.

Baby teeth

We have been really busy this past month, and you’ve had a couple more firsts.

Petting Zoo

You went to the zoo for the first time a couple of weeks ago. We saw all kinds of animals and birds, and you were intrigued by some, bored by others. You fell asleep about an hour into our visit, but I think you liked the animals you saw.

What's that?

You also went to your first Fiesta event. Actually, you went to Oyster Bake and King William Fair last year when you were inside your mother, but this year, we went to Market Square, and you loved looking at all of the colorful things. Then it started raining. Pouring, actually, but you didn’t seem to mind. Luckily we had brought the Cadillac stroller and you were covered the entire time it was raining.

Rachel and Mama at Fiesta

You are still pulling yourself up on everything, and are trying to walk a little. I’ve been trying to get you to walk around holding on to the foot rest on my recliner. You’ve started doing what my friend Ed called “furniture surfing,” but you’re not surfing very much yet. You’ll move between the footstool and the couch if they’re right next to each other, but you won’t move yourself down the couch to actually get to the footstool. You’d still rather plop down on your butt and crawl to whatever you want to get to.

Stand up!

One of the funniest thing you’ve started doing is giving things to us, and to the dog. It’s so cool that you know that you’re supposed to give the dog his toy and not anything else. It’s really funny when you take your paci out of your mouth and try to put in in Mommy’s mouth. You’re very good at giving me the TV remote when you’re playing with it, because you know it belongs to me, and not you (or Mommy). You’ll hand us your bottle when you’re done with it, and you had us your sippy cup when you’re done with it…usually after you’ve turned it upside down so your milk spills out.

Such a tease

Speaking of which, girl, you love your milk! We started giving you whole milk a few weeks ago and you just can’t get enough of it. You look so happy when we bring it to you, and I don’t know if it’s because you like the taste, or because it’s so cold, or what. I hope you continue to like it because you need to drink lots of milk to grow up big and tall like your Daddy.

Rachel and Daddy at Fiesta

You’ve also started eating a lot more regular food. We give you parts of our dinner whenever we can, and you seem to like most of it. In fact, until this past week, there wasn’t anything you didn’t like. Mamma found out, though, that you don’t like whole peas. You’d open your mouth for them, but as soon as they were in, you’d start crying. You didn’t seem to mind when they were all mashed up as baby food, so maybe it’s just a texture thing. I’m glad you eat like me, though, in that you’ll pretty much try anything we give you. That’s going to make life much easier for us in the long run.

tall girl

Your mother and I are very excited for your birthday, and we’ve started planning your party already. We’ll have plenty of alcohol for the adults, and I can’t wait to see what you do with your birthday cake.

Winning smile

We love you very much.


Another NEW CAR!

Monkey see, monkey do.

Actually, I had been thinking about a new ride for quite a while. As much as I loved that truck, my commute every day was killing me in gas, and I didn’t use the truck as it was intended often enough to justify the $60 per week it was costing me to fill ‘er up.

So I researched, and I worked the numbers, and I researched some more. And this is what I came up with:


A 2007 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. Sporty, yet a family car. Great power(175 HP), but awesome gas mileage. It gets 34 MPG highway, and will save me somewhere in the range of $1000 a year in gas.

It’s the first brand new car I’ve ever owned. Yup, that’s right, I’m 35 years old, and this is the first time I’ve ever purchased a new car. It’s also the first car I’ve ever financed for less than 5 years. I’ll have this one paid off by the time Rachel is 4 (that’s 36 months, for the math-impaired).

My new ride

I’m amazed at the leg room in this thing. I can actually stretch my legs out completely in the driver’s seat.

I did have to change one thing right away, though. I got new wheels put on it. I hated the stock wheels, but wasn’t going to pay the dealer $1200 for new ones. I went to Discount Tire today and got the ones you see here.

Nice rear


I can picture Rod Roddy saying it now:

This 2007 4Runner comes with everything you need to go to the beach, take the kids to school, or go on that road trip to Montana.

Equipped with power windows and locks, automatic transmission, an AM/FM stereo with MP3 CD player, roof rack, climate control and California Emissions.

And it could be yours…if the Price is Right!

A new car!

Monica has had it for just over a week now, and she loves it. It’s a little dirty already because it’s been raining a lot here in south Texas, and it feels a bit like south Florida lately with all the humidity.

Rachel is holding her set of keys in the picture.