SnoPocaGeddon ’13

I find that when you can’t overcome or prevent something, it’s best to just give yourself over to it fully.

We woke up this morning to snow that was just beginning to fall. Over three hours, we accumulated about seven inches and it’s still falling. The gnomes were not impressed.


Neither was the dog.


At first the kid was less than thrilled.


But wait, this is kind of cool.


Nah, Daddy, I got it.


Ok, that’s enough. Pick me up now!


Final verdict? I think it’s safe to say that while our son is genetically identical to his father in appearance, he’s totally Texan deep down in his blood like his mama and is not a fan of this cold, wet, sticky mess!


35 weeks: Still rockin’ and rollin’

I wrote this morning on Twitter that I no longer feel human. That I feel like an incubator glued to a couch being fed Cheez Its as fuel.

I think that accurately sums up the last month of pregnancy. It’s just not fun. Your brain stops working, everything is beginning to swell and hurt and your uterus thinks it’s fun to randomly contract here and there. Because of the excruciating heartburn, there are like six things you can eat without burping lava.

It’s a miracle that I’ve got makeup on in this photo of my 35th week. My hair is even done. I am wearing a bra.


We had a little bit of drama a few weeks ago with the pregnancy. I am currently classified as high risk for some issues, and so every week I go in and have a few tests done on the baby to check that he’s growing well and is healthy.

Well, during one of these tests, the baby was terribly uncooperative and decided to take a nap. Not just a light snooze, mind you, but one of those mouth-open, deep-sleep on the couch naps you take during the first trimester. Nothing would wake him up, no amount of buzzing or shaking would get him to respond.

So the doctor stamped a big ol’ FAIL on our test results and sent us up to Labor and Delivery for an afternoon of constant monitoring.

I was kind of in shock, having expected a quick 30-minute visit first thing in the morning. My phone wasn’t charged, I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and I had other plans.

But, nope, we got into an actual labor and delivery room, had to put on a gown and get into bed and get strapped with heartbeat and contraction monitors. I was so nervous that I put the gown on backward. (In my defense, I was thinking, “Well, they’ll want access to my front so it should open to the front.”)

Check it out:


Whatever, backward or not, my lovely lady lumps and I totally rocked that gown.

Anyway, baby further frustrated people by turning himself so his back was against my back and his hands and feet were in my belly. The monitor couldn’t pick up his heartbeat for more than a few minutes, so we couldn’t get the 20 straight minutes we needed to be released.

I sat there for four hours with my mischievous fetus until the doctor finally decided I’d been tortured enough with hospital food to let me go home with a clean bill of health.

Luckily, we passed our tests last week (I may have visited Starbucks on the way to the appointment) and didn’t have to repeat this procedure, although I’ve been warned that it will most likely happen again, and in the event that he doesn’t cooperate and pass monitoring in the hospital, it’ll be “Happy Birthday Baby.”

Meanwhile, life goes on as usual around the household. Hubs is still working lots of hours and is so very much my hero lately. He takes care of so many things that I normally do and to show him my appreciation, I planned an afternoon of fun this weekend at a traveling music exhibit.

My husband is a music geek of the highest caliber. His iTunes collection is massive, we have all kinds of noise-making apps and gear and I’m often treated to long lessons on music history, theory and various performance critiques. (Well, it could be worse, he could be addicted to baseball too. Oh wait…)

Anyway, Union Station in Kansas City is serving as the first stop for a traveling exhibit called The Science of Rock. The exhibit is extremely hands-on and a blast for all ages and levels of musical experience.

Along with a couple of our friends, we marveled at the displays, played with the instruments and laughed as Monkey made it his personal mission to try on every pair of headphones in the place.

On the way out, we had to do some train watching, of course.

SoR collage 1

soR collage 2

sor collage 3

If you’re in the area and would like to visit the exhibit, you can plan your outing here. In addition to the exhibit, Union Station offers many activities perfect for family outings and also serves as a great date night destination.

Linking up with Greta and Sarah for #iPPP this week!


Santa, no. Trains, yes!

Union Station is one of my favorite places in Kansas City, especially during the holidays. Every year we go downtown to see the model train display and marvel at the Christmas decorations. The majestic architecture of the train station is beautifully complimented by the brightly lit trees and sparkling snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.

This year we figured Monkey was old enough to enjoy the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express, a train “unlike any other train in the world, with its smiling engine “Rudy”, gingerbread boxcar, flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village, snow covered stall filled with model train displays, the elves’ workshop and even a little red caboose.”

If you want to catch the Holiday Express, you have the option of standing in a three-hour-long line OR, if you’re quick with the internet skills, reserving VIP tickets online so you can enjoy the not-so-cheerful glares of others as you skip ahead to the front. We got lucky this year and snagged reservations before they ran out.

We did not get so lucky with the Santa picture.

My son HATES Santa. HATES HIM.

But he loves trains, and so through the Holiday Express we went.

At the end, Monkey received a big red bag of candy which he later enjoyed, minus the parental chocolate tax. We posed for a quick picture in front of Rudy the locomotive, checked out a few Extreme Gingerbread Home Makeover Prize Winners and got home in time for dinner and snuggles and (unfortunately) another football game on tv.

Next weekend, Texas invades Missouri and we’re looking forward to the house full of chaos with my mom, sister and our nephews. Our chances of a white Christmas are slim, but no matter the weather we’re expecting a festive holiday full of food, friends and family. We wish you all the same!

Chick O Cheat

I gotta tell you, the last thing this mama wanted to do tonight was go trick or treating. I was barely getting by on the three hours of sleep I’d gotten after last night’s Madonna concert and still being waterboarded by my own snot thanks to this lingering cold.

For some reason, my husband was determined that we go, so after a short nap I dragged myself out to the truck to head over to our friends’ neighborhood for what ended up being probably one of the best Halloween evenings ever.

Last year, Monkey dressed as a gnome and rode around in the wagon for most of the night. His dad would carry him up to each house for treats and he’d just stare at all the happy, friendly candy pushers.

This year, he quickly figured out what an awesome deal this whole Halloween thing was.

You mean, I just wear some silly outfit?

And I get to pull the wagon around in the street?

And if I walk up to a house and yell, “Chick O Cheat” they’ll give me candy? (Don’t forget to say thank you! See you later!)

And Mama will let me eat my weight in M&Ms as long as I turn over all these orange square things?

So up and down the sidewalks we went through a neighborhood full of clowns and witches, fairy princesses and well-muscled super heroes. The dads toted small coolers full of autumnal brews while the big kids filled pillowcases with sugar-laden treats to be bartered for extended bedtimes later.

The moms wheeled the smaller kids around in wagons and strollers, stashing the good chocolate in their pockets when no one was looking. Ok, so maybe just one mom did that. Shut up.

After we’d filled the buckets and baskets, we headed back to our friends’ house for some pizza and warmth while the kids sorted their candy and the men chilled on the porch with their drinks and cigars.

On the way home, Monkey was asleep before we hit the highway. His father slipped him quietly into pajamas and under the covers before stretching out to gently snore on the couch.

And Mama is tired, and still feeling under the weather. But she is also round and content and grateful to be able to live such a beautiful, simple life with some truly excellent people.

Kansas City, let’s go steady

I’m from Texas. Part of my heart will always belong to the Lone Star State. But I have a confession.

I’ve been having an affair with Kansas City, and it might be getting serious.

I’ve written before of my love/hate relationship with the place I’ve called home for going on four years. There’s plenty to do, but the weather aggravates me. The Kansas Prairie has given me a best friend whom I love like a sister, but I’ve also met some really craptastic people. The BBQ is amazing, but there’s no Wienerschnitzel.

There’ve been many, many moments over the years that I’ve wanted to throw my hands up in the air, burn down the house and move back to Texas. I pine for my family sometimes. There are occasions where I’d like to climb to the top of the Liberty Memorial and shoot the whole city the finger.

But there are also times like these.

Times where I see how beautiful the city can be when it struggles to experience a rebirth. Times where I drive down one of our scenic highways and breathe deeply of the clean air. Times where it seems like the city unites into a family against a common enemy. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Robinson Cano.)

This weekend, I expected to be bummed and depressed. I expected to be missing my family now that they had gone back to Texas and to be worried sick about their recovery after the accident.

And on Friday night, I was. I wallowed a bit.

But then my husband came home with two tickets for the All Star Game Fan Fest, and…I wallowed ever harder.

“Man, eff baseball,” I thought. “I don’t even like it that much. And the Royals are terrible.”

But I went, mostly because of the shining joy in my husband’s eyes when he talked about who and what would be there. And I had a surprisingly great time.

We took lots of silly pictures, got to see a few of the women who played ball during WWII – I totally teared up during this, those women are amazing – and hubs got to test drive a Chevy Volt.

We ended up with bags of swag (that word makes me laugh) and my husband got a new hat and had fancy ASG logos put on it right then and there. He was on cloud nine, and I was thrilled to see him so happy.

The Monkey had a pretty great time too.

Then today while hubs was at work Monkey and I met some friends at the zoo who we hadn’t seen in over a month. The weather had finally cooled off and the clouds gave welcome relief from the sun. As I walked the miles between the cages and enclosures, I felt like I belonged.

No, not at the zoo, smartass.

I felt like I was at my zoo. In my city. That I wasn’t just a tourist. I wasn’t just passing through.

I felt a feeling of permanence, and it didn’t make me go running for the closest exit.

Later that day, I got the good news that a Freebirds was finally open in our area. It was just a “preview” opening, but for a $5 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you could get an entrée and drink.

We had to wait in line, of course, but the whole experience was a freakin’ blast. It was breezy, everyone was in a great mood, and the atmosphere inside the restaurant was as one would expect at a Freebirds – funky and fun.

When we got home to eat our burritos, we sat down to watch the Home Run Derby on TV. There was quite a bit of controversy concerning Cano and his remarks about choosing Billy Butler to hit for the AL, then not choosing him after all. Then he made a comment about loving to come to KC because there were always more Yankees fans in the stadium than KC fans.

And that pissed me right off.

I wasn’t the only one either. A sea of powder and royal blue booed Cano as he stepped up to the plate and hit ZERO home runs during the derby. They cheered every time a hit fell short.

And yeah, it was rude of them to do that. But they were rallying around something important – not just a sporting event.

People here are proud of their city. Sure, they bitch about it from time to time. They fight and make up with it, just like family – and nobody talks shit about your family.

I was proud of KC tonight. I was proud that they didn’t just sit there and twiddle their thumbs and put up with yet another insult. I was proud that they had a little fire in ‘em, a little attitude.

I’m proud to be one of them. I’m proud to be a Kansas Citian.

More KC love here.