Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So there we were, running errands, and I smelled a dirty nappy. Zeke and I finished our shopping and changed his nappy on the front passenger seat. Whilst I was wrapping up the mess Zeke climbed over into the driver's seat--one of his favorite play places (so much so that Daddy often uses his car as a playpen when he's working in the garage). I left the nappy on the floorboard, walked around to the driver's side to get Ezekiel, and then happened to spy a garbage can up by the store. I closed the driver door so my son wouldn't fall out, walked around to the passenger side to grab the dirty nappy, and was walking back around to grab my boy and my purse. Then I heard it.

***BEEP*** followed by the click of the door locks.


Immediate panic. My purse was in the seat because I didn't want it getting in the way when I was handling a dirty nappy. Apparently The Boy stepped on my purse and just happened to hit the lock button on the clicker. My purse, the keys, my phone and my boy were all locked in the car. There is an extra set of keys at home, but it is 90-some degrees outside, and who knows how hot in a closed car, so we didn't have time to have Abe drive from work to the house to get the keys and then to the store to save us.

Zeke was getting little sweat drops on his nose, just laughing and smiling and driving. I immediately rushed into the store and borrowed the phone to call 911. They sent a fire truck with the lights and sirens. They worked on the locks but couldn't get them opened. They finally had to break the back little triangle window to get to the manual door lock.


The whole time The Boy was playing and bouncing and smiling, even with all 4 firemen working and a few onlookers and me saying over and over, "Push the button. That little one on the door. No, that's not it, the other one."

Just another day in the life of The Daniels.

On the serious side, I was so relieved to hear the sirens and know that my baby wasn't going to die in a hot car. Next time you see the firemen having a fund raiser, thank them and put in some money. They're underpaid for the important work they do.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Top 10 Road Rash Observations

(compiled by Abraham during his week-long trip on vicadin--I mean his week-long recovery period from his bike wreck)

10. Showers are for real men.

9. Clothes--who needs them?

8. Asphalt gives the best Texas titty twisters.

7. Vicadin--good for pain relief, bad for focus, strange for dreams.

6. Pain is like an iceberg. It's the internal bruising that you can't see that hurts most.

5. Six--the number of times you can tear scabs in one maneuver to get out of bed.

4. Toddlers know how to find your injuries and poke them. All of them. Repeatedly.

3. If you don't get the precise art of bandaging, you'll tear all the healed skin off for that day and start the healing process from scratch.

2. Possibility of infection gets you out of all your chores.

****************drum roll****************

1. Bandages will cost twice as much as the emergency room.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Am I EVER going to learn?

Let me preface this by saying that I like painting for about 5 minutes. Literally. I knew this about myself but ignored it. I have seen so many cool paint jobs on HGTV that I decided that I could paint my house.

All of you HGTV junkies out there know what I'm going through. It looks so easy and cool when they do stuff--it makes me feel like I--yes, even I--can be a redecorating superhero. So I decided we need color. The walls and ceilings are all a very neutral sand color, and a toddler can't have that in his room. That's almost child abuse.

I had been collecting paint splotches for months. I narrowed my colors down. I found 3 colors for Ezekiel's room, 2 for the study, one for the dining room and 1 for our bedroom. The day finally came when I was ready to make a move and buy the 'auditions'. The name of the little sample can was so cute I was excited to get home to sample my colors. The store was out of some ingredient that makes dark colors, so I could only come home with 2 colors, but they were both colors for The Boy's room, which my first priority. I rushed from the car to Zeke's room to try them out. Talk about raining on my parade--the only 2 colors I had did not make my 'audition cut'. So when I went back a few days later I tried a new light blue and a new green, and I got the other 4 dark colors. I applied to new light blue and green with the dark blue, only to decide that I liked the original light blue and green better. Feeling a little distressed with my lack of judgement in color splotches, I put a small spot in the office and a large red spot in the dining room. I thought if I made a big spot of red that I would have to paint that room, even if I didn't want to after undertaking the first room. Pretty smart of me, huh? However, I decided not to put the sample on our bedroom wall, you know, just in case I didn't want to paint a 4th room.

Back to Lowe's to buy gallons of light blue (that I wasn't totally crazy about but liked it better than the 2nd light blue I auditioned), red and a primer. OK. All ready to paint! I took advantage of summer and recruited the help of my teacher friends. (Thank you Soph, Jen and Lindsay.) I marked off the big horizontal stripe myself, taped it and painted it before they got here. I was about half way done when I ran out of paint in my little audition can, so off to Lowe's to buy a 2nd audition of dark blue.
So far so good. The girls helped me paint the walls light blue. I wanted to do the ceiling, too, and they informed me I didn't have enough drop cloths, so I took a quick trip to get more drop cloths whilst they were here still painting . The girls and I painted the lower part of the walls and up to the point that we could reach without a ladder; this is not the top of the walls, by the way, because we have 10 foot ceilings. Unfortunately this was the week of swimming lessons, so we had to stop at 4:30 so Zeke and I could go to class.The girls have done a lot of painting in their time and thought we had enough paint left to finish the walls and ceiling; I should be able to whip it out in no time with the help of Abe once Zeke was in bed. Mmm hmm.

After swimming, dinner, and bath time, Abe and I went to work. I was feeling like a trapeze artist on a ladder, as part of the ceiling slants, and that ceiling is darn high. We were dangerously low on paint, but I didn't think we needed much more, so I ran to the store just before closing time to buy another audition can (the name wasn't as cute at 9:00 at night with half a ceiling left to go). I dumped the baby can in the paint tray and you could barely tell I had put more in. By this time the store was closed, so we quit for the evening.
Friday. I went to the store and bought yet another light blue audition can. I couldn't paint during the day because I had my little buddy with me who loves to climb ladders and rub his hands in trays of paint(luckily we discovered this in the garage and not on the carpet), so I waited until Abe got home. We had plans to meet some friends that evening. So as soon as Abe got home from work, we went to work with my new little can. How stupid am I??? Once again, it barely looked like I had added any more paint to the tray. We were meeting friends right next to Lowe's, so I said I would pick up more paint on the way home. This time I wisened up and bought a whole gallon. Oh, yeah, I'm beating this paint thing.

We had plans to have Abe's family over on Saturday, so we really wanted to finish painting and get his room somewhat back in order for our guests. Friday night I'm ready to stay up all night and git 'er done. But I can't. Most of the ceiling was covered with a light coat of paint, but it was very splotchy in the daylight. Unfortunately by night it looked fine, so I didn't know where I needed to touch up.
Saturday morning. First thing on the agenda for the day is to get the ding dong paint on the ceiling! After most of the afternoon I was finally finished with the time-consuming part. Or so I thought.

I pulled off the tape on my stripes expecting to see a beautiful clean line. Nope. The paint bled into the texture. I reapplied the tape to paint the green pinstripe. This time I was oh, so careful to paint away from the tape so it wouldn't bleed. After drying, I pulled off the tape on my stripes expecting to see a beautiful clean line. Nope. This is the paint job that just won't quit giving! Next I went back with a tiny brush and tried to clean it up. I had to touch the dark blue on the top and on the bottom. Then I had to touch up the light blue on the top and on the bottom. Thank goodness I had about 3/4 gallon of light blue left to touch up the stripes!

We're still in the process of decorating. Here is the airplane that my Dad and my husband have made. We also need to finish the rest of the decor, but the paint job is finally done! Actually, I need to buy just one more audition can of dark blue...

Zeke likes to bring people in there and point to the walls and tell them all about our painting experience.

He also enjoys sitting in his rocker and reading books.

I think I forgot to mention that I was silently cursing everyone and everything the whole time I was painting, which, by the way, was a long time. Well, if you ask Abe it wasn't always a silent cursing, but you know how husbands tend to exaggerate the truth. At this point I never want to see another can of paint--audition or gallon--ever again in my life. Here's the kicker--now I have this huge red spot on my dining room wall. Sometimes I hate me. How did I know that I would not want to paint another room once I was finished with one?

A month passed from the start of my painting experience. The combination of of time and more HGTV, and I was warming up to the daunting task of painting the dining room. After all, I was going to have a hard time covering up that big red spot. However, the little purple and green one in the office can be covered. Just an audition can of the original paint color will take care of it. Now I just need to find the paperwork that has the original paint color and hope I can find it somewhere to buy.

As luck would have it, I got a surprise visit from the paint fairy! Our friend Jason was over one day with his kids and said he'd help paint it. Su-weet! I don't think he thought that I had the primer, paint and supplies on hand. Too bad for him that I did. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jason. He got the primer and base coat on. Apparently, red paint sometimes breathes, leaving it looking very splotchy. However, he couldn't do a 2nd coat because we were out of red paint. I didn't want to go to Lowe's at 8:00, and since Jason had been painting since about 11:00am, he took his kids and went home.

Another day, another trip to Lowe's, another gallon of paint. My boy went down for a nap and I began the 2nd coat. I was about half way finished when he woke. Fortunately for me, Abe was home from work due to his bike accident (more blogging about that later), so he kept Zeke out of the paint and off the ladder whilst I finished. It was looking pretty good, but the large part of the wall was still breathing, so I had to put a 3rd coat on that spot.

When you visit, please tell me how amazing the paint looks. Even if it's a little white lie. The dining room was so much easier since the paint fairy helped that I'm ready to tackle another room. As I said earlier, am I EVER going to learn???

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


No, I haven't taken up golf. I'm referring to four years of marital bliss. To celebrate, we took a family vacation to Puerto Rico. Let me begin by giving travel tip #1: flying internationally with a toddler who is constantly on the go is not easy, nor I dare say even enjoyable.But we managed. My cousin Courtney and his wife Kelly are teaching in Puerto Rico for a couple years. They were fabulous hosts! Courtney, Kelly, and their dogs Winston and Miller live in Guayama, which is a small town on the south side of the island. It is off the beaten path of tourism, so we got to see what the locals do, which was cool. The first night Courtney picked us up from the airport and we met Kelly and her friends at the local beach called Brandemar Beach. It was about 5:00 or later by the time we got around to getting there. I got a little over-excited when I heard 'beach' so I changed into my suit as fast as a superhero changes clothes; Courtney was a little surprised to find me all kitted out. He informed me that this wasn't really a good swimming beach. Oops. It had a lot of pebbles that Zeke loved running his fingers through. He couldn't be bothered to look for shells and sea glass. Take note of my beach attire.

The next day we went to another local beach called Punta Giularte. We packed a picnic lunch and spent the whole morning and afternoon there. Travel tip #2: A day at the beach is not relaxing with a toddler who is constantly on the go; tethering him to a tent stake doesn't really work.Zeke did enjoy the inflatable boat Courtney and Kelly had. He would float for quite a while, and when he was done he was over the side. Zeke naturally wanted to walk in the water on his own, unassisted, and of course Daddy was braver than Mummy. The waves would come in and take him off his feet, head submerged. Little booger took it in stride, ignoring the salt water in his eyes and mouth, loving every bit of it.
Zeke also loved the showers. He and Daddy played there for more than 30 minutes, I'd guess. At least long enough for me to sit and drink a beer.The next day we got up early so our gracious hosts could drive us to another part of the island called Fajardo. Courtney and Kelly were sweet enough to babysit for us so Abe and I could take a couple dives. We did The Wall and Sebastian. It was pretty rough on the boat. Three people got sea sick, one of them being Abe. He's such a trooper, he just kept going without complaining. Whilst we were diving Zeke got to go to breakfast at Burger King, shop at K-Mart, and swim at another beach, where he fell asleep in the water laying back in his life jacket.

Courtney and Kelly have a great outdoor living space that we spent a lot of time in. Abe and I fondly named it "The Cage" for obvious reasons. It worked beautifully for keeping our son contained whilst giving him the freedom to run on his own, even if he did look a little pathetic peeking through the bars.

The last day the 5 of us and the neighbors, The Dills, took a boat trip to a nearby mangrove island called Isla de Barco. We just hung out, had a picnic, swam, snorkeled, and relaxed. By this point Zeke was a bit worn out, so we really did get some relaxation.

On the way to the airport, Courtney and Kelly took us for free drinks from the Bacardi factory and the Don Q factory. We got to see a bit of Old San Juan in 'baby got backpack' style, as they named it.

Then they dropped us off at the airport and our vacation was over. Abe and I were in survival mode as we tried desperately to keep our son entertained in the airport and on the plane...P.S. This year we remembered the passports (refer to the blog archives from a year ago if you are unfamiliar with the story).