Saturday, January 30, 2010

01.30.10 Jaime's Girls for Christmas

Juan's brother, Jaime, brought his three girls over today to celebrate a belated Christmas. The girls were with their mother in San Antonio over the holidays and once they returned I was recovering from surgery. We gave Orianna and Amore scrapbook kits with all the photos and supplies necessary to complete an entire album. We gave Amani, the youngest, a playdough kit; but she wanted to scrap with the big girls, so I gave her some old paper and extra photos and she went to town. All three girls spent hours with their scrapbooks and even finished a few pages. They are so sweet and always excited to come over and craft.

01.29.10 White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I love Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake! Ever since I moved to Dallas, almost 10 years ago, the Cheesecake Factory has been one of my favorite eateries. I am sad to say that we have not been there in over a year, so tonight we headed there for dinner. In my opinion, their food is just ok, but the dessert makes the entire trip worth while. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is my favorite.  My husband is not much for sweets, so he didn't order a piece, just wanted to steal bites from mine! So I told him I wanted him to be my POTD and this is how he posed... LOL he cracks me up! 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

01.28.10 Project Life Albums Arrive

Yeah! Our Project Life Albums have arrived. I bought one for my sister as an early birthday present. We attempted to put them together this evening, but realized very quickly that we would need the photos each week to be satisfied with the layout. Neither of us are the types to just select randomly, everything must be planned and coordinated. The kit is beautiful though, the colors are bright without being overpowering. I'm anxious to print out my photos to date. Oh and by the way, Jakob LOVED the box they came in!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

01.27.10 Science Fair Judge

Today I was invited to judge the science fair projects at Christie Elementary School. My friend, Miriam, is in charge of the Science Fair.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the imaginative creations of these youngsters.  It is amazing to see these 3rd, 4th, 5th, even 1st and 2nd graders grasping the Scientific Method and create their own hypothesis, test variables and come to their own conclusions. This year I helped judge the 4th graders and there were quite a few projects that contained all of the individual aspects of the Scientific Method, as well as an interesting experiment. The best part of the day was the interviews of students whose projects we felt were 1st place contenders. We interviewed four individuals and they were amazing to listen to. I expected at least one of them to confess their project was completed with A LOT of parental help; but instead each student was articulate in how they came up with the idea, how much help they received, and how they were amazed by the outcomes. It's a joy to see that there are obviously teachers doing something right and steering students into Science; or at least fostering their intrigue.

01.26.10 Dinner with Miriam

Juan and I met Miriam for dinner at the Grand Lux in the Galleria this evening. I hadn't seen her for what seemed like weeks. She told us about her new pet, a hairless rat! That is one crazy girl. We laughed a lot and entertained the waitress completely. Afterwards, we headed out to the mall to see the other Doghouse's that were designed and donated for DIFFA. I was surprised that there were only four, but the one Juan was involved with turned out very cool.

Monday, January 25, 2010

01.25.10 Morning Wake-Up

I am NOT a morning person, especially on Mondays. Even if I go to bed early, I am a girl who loves her sleep. My office hours are 7:30am-4:30pm daily. Juan's office hours are 8am-6pm Mon-Thurs and 8am-noon on Friday. This means I am the one to set the alarm, turn off the alarm, and get up first; at least that is the plan. Our alarm is set for 6:15am every morning, yet I am lucky if I manage to drag myself out of bed before hitting the snooze button at least 5 times. I even set both the radio alarm and the buzzer alarm, to no avail. For the past year or so I have tried to trick myself and set the clock 15 minutes ahead, hoping that I will get up sooner; but I know it's 15 minutes ahead, so I just do the calculations in my head before slapping that snooze and turning over for .... just 5 more minutes.  Pretty pathetic, I know.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

01.24.10 License Plate

My new Texas License Plates have arrived. Juan put them on for me this afternoon. Texas requires both front and back license plates. I was surprised to see they have changed my license number. They are for my little Honda Civic. For a 2004 model it is still chugging away brilliantly.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

01.23.10 Dallas Aquarium

It rained all afternoon, so our planned excursion with Vanessa and Jakob to the Arboretum turned into a trip to the Dallas Aquarium. If Jakob had his way, we would have ran from start to finish in about 20 minutes. He was not as interested in the animals as he was in walking as fast as he could up and down the path, completely oblivious to the people. He is one independent kid! He did not want to be hung on to, nor did he look around for us or his mother. We spent most of the time chasing him around, and man is he fast. He was interested in all of the other little ones running around, and tried to make friends with a couple. We had a good time, but we were all ready for a nap on the way home. Jakob was thrilled to have Tio Juan sitting in the backseat with him and managed to stay awake the entire trip.

Before heading out to the Aquarium, Vanessa realized she forgot the diaper bag and had to run home to get it. Juan and I entertained Jakob while she was away...or rather he entertained us. Juan dumped about a hundred marbles on the coffee table and Jakob just stood in awe as they all rolled off the table.  After a couple of times, Jakob decided he would help the marbles get off the table..there were marbles everywhere!  Check out the video link.      Watch Jakob Attack the Marbles

Friday, January 22, 2010

01.22.10 DIFFA Doghouse Auction

Juan participated in another design team project at Perkins+Will. This one was a doghouse that would be displayed at the Galleria for two weeks and then auctioned off to raise money for DIFFA, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Their team of 6 consisted of: Kelly Whitney, John Smith, Amber Pickett, Fred Pena, Brian Svedman, and Juan. They came up with the design and then had our friend Jim Kuchera, from Kuchera Designs, build it. It turned out great. Juan wants to bid on it for our dogs. I told him that he was crazy.

01.21.10 Jakob and Vanessa

Vanessa and Jakob came to visit this evening. She found a Christmas present that she forgot to give me. It was 2 dragonfly drawer pulls, very cool. Also, Jakob has been teething bad and she wanted an excuse to get him out of the house. We had a ball watching him play with the refrigerator magnets, the dining room mirror, and of course Juan, once he arrived home from work. He distracted Jakob with pecans, marbles, a box, a slinky, and the stairwell. Juan hung from the stairwell and dropped the slinky and then hung Jakob. He is such a happy little boy, Jakob not Juan.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

01.20.10 The Standard

I traveled to West Hills, CA today for a Schematic Design meeting at the West Hills Hospital and Medical Center. I stayed overnight at the Standard in downtown LA. This is a very unique hotel as they advertise it to be "modern".  All of the rooms have beds on a floor platform with the shower/bathroom completely enclosed by glass. You can lay in bed and watch someone in the shower or vice-versa. Very wierd to me, but we get a good rate and the architect's like to stay there. They also have a cool rooftop bar, but we did not get to take advantage of that feature on this trip.

01.19.10 Get It On

Juan and I have season tickets to the new Wylie Theatre downtown. Tonight was the 2nd performance of the season, "Give it Up!". It was a pop musical based on the comedy of ancient Greece: Lysistrata, written in 411 BC by Aristophanes. It was modernized from the old comedic war story to a contemporary American college: Athens University-where the school's basketball team, the Spartans, hasn't won a game in years. The head cheerleader convinces the rest of the cheerleaders to "Just Say No" to the basketball team unitl they win. It was surprising funny and not at all what we expected.

Monday, January 18, 2010

01.18.10 Juan, Jakob, and the Blocks

We went to Mom's house tonight to visit and she was babysitting Jakob for the night. Juan had a great time playing with our nephew. Mom and I had a great time laughing at the two kids! Juan was putting blocks onto Jakob's head and I snapped the photo just as the block was falling. Jakob then tried to put a block on Juan's head. If you ask Jakob how a frog goes, he bounces. He laughed hysterically when Juan said "Ribbet, Ribbet" and jumped over Jakob's toys. I took a couple of great recordings of the two of them.   Watch Jakob Show you how a Frog Goes   

01.17.10 Wine Remnants

Yesterday, while Juan was tearing apart the peach, Mom and I finally took down my Christmas decorations. We decided it was a good day to complete this long overdue task.  I bribed her with the promise of Sister Creek Muscat Canelli Wine.  It is my family's favorite wine, by far.  Mom, Vanessa and I have been to this Texas Winery and the Muscat Canelli is a fabulous sweet white wine that goes with everything.  Mom and I chose to drink it alone while we worked.  Today I noticed the remnants of empty bottles and glasses and felt they made the perfect daily photo.

01.16.10 Goodbye Peach

Juan participated in a storybook design competition at the Arboretum with a few of his co-workers from P+W.  They had one of the winning designs and built their creation "James and the Giant Peach" last spring.  Today was the day they said goodbye to the peach.  The team went back out to the arboretum today and demolished their creation.  It was tough work and took them almost 7 hours just to get the peach broke down and loaded into the truck.  Juan was already not feeling good and the physical labor just about finished him off.  They were all glad when their work was done.

01.15.10 Overland Park Regional Medical Center

I traveled to Kansas City today to write a narrative for a Surgery/Endo Renovation at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Ks.  It was crazy cold there, with all sorts of snow piled up along side the road.  We even caught a few flurries that afternoon. We spoke with both the Director and Supervisor of Plant Operations and then toured both the Central Plant as well as the existing areas planned for renovation. This photo is of their existing generator. Writing pre-design narratives for new projects is one of my job duties. We determine existing deficiencies and what modifications the renovation or expansion will require to the existing MEP systems. We write it in narrative form so the owner can review the required scope as well as get preliminary budget pricing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

01.14.10 Bedroom

My mom is our wonderful housekeeper. She comes over once a month to clean and do laundry, we do pay her of course. Today was her day to clean. I love those days, coming home to a clean house, fresh smell of laundry, and a perfectly made bed! I love our queen bed. We have my mother and sister Vanessa to thank for the handmade comforter and pillows. They are amazing.

01.13.10 MoMo's

Juan and I have become frequent visitor's to MoMo's Italian Restaurant by our house. I love the atmosphere with the burning fireplace and fish tanks. They also allow you to bring in your own wine for a small corking fee. Pesto pasta with chicken is my favorite. Juan usually tries different fares, tonight it was chicken fettucini that caught his eye. YUM!

01.12.10 Jakob and the Pecan

My mom was babysitting my nephew Jakob last night and brought him to our house to visit. Tio Juan kept him entertained all night with pecans and marbles. Jakob was enthralled with Juan's ability to spin pecans on the coffee table. Jakob is quite the little mimic and tried valiantly to copy his tio's actions. He also had quite a good time shaking Juan's marbles out of the glass jar. He just cracks me up....Jakob, not Juan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

01.11.10 The Unit

While I was recovering, I came across a TV show called the Unit. I was watching an episode when Juan came home and he really like it, so he went out this weekend and bought the complete first season on DVD. We watched six episodes of it today, while I scrapbooked. Juan is trying to spread them out, but we can't resist. I'm guessing we'll be through the entire season by tomorrow.

01.10.10 Skypebooking with Angie

My friend Angie and I skypebooked most of the day today. That is when two friends living in different states get on skype online and then scrapbook at their individual houses. This way we get to scrapbook together long distance. Angie even completed a page, which is quite the accomplishment for her! I finished 8 pages today and 12 pages this weekend.

01.09.10 The Pups

Our puppies, Mia and Dallas, have had a rare treat this winter. We have let them indoor every night for the past two weeks and most of the day, due to the cold. Juan bought them an outdoor heater, but even that did not seem like enough so he bought a gate with a door so they could stay in the tiled mud area at the back door. They have really enjoyed it and I'm sure our neighbors have enjoyed the peace and quiet for a change.

01.08.10 Fireplace

This has been the coldest winter since I moved to Texas. It has been to freezing temperatures for what seems like weeks. Our heater has not stopped since before Christmas. Mom bought us a ton of fireplace logs for Christmas and we have been using them daily. It has been nice and cozy on the couch with the fire burning this past week while I was recovering. Our electric bill this month was over $450! That's crazy. Come back sun.

01.07.10 Flowers from Juan's Family

These are the beautiful roses that Juan's Mother, Father, Thelma, and the kids brought to me at the hospital when I had my surgery. The surgery was only an hour but the time I spent in recovery was almost three hours more, so I didn't even get to get see the family; but it was comforting knowing they were there and that Juan was not alone. The flowers have brightened up my recovery for the past two weeks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

01.06.10 Flowers from P+W

Today I received flowers from Juan's wonderful friends at work. They are beautiful and made my otherwise dreary day bright. I am still struggling with the after effects from surgery and getting extremely bored with the afternoon TV dribble. I'll be happy when my body decides to let me participate in this thing called life.

01.05.10 Feel Better Plant

This is the plant Miriam brought me to make me feel better. She is so sweet. She came today and took me to Dr. Kumar's office because Juan was out of town in Kansas. I am still unable to drive due to the pain meds, but I was just glad to have a friend there for support.

Monday, January 4, 2010

01.04.10 Stickles

These are my new stickles, a scrapbook phenomenon that adds a little sparkle to any page. I have a ton, but I recently found out they had come out with new colors so of course I wanted them. I waited until after Christmas, but once my surgery was over, it was the perfect excuse to buy myself a little reward. They came today, 23 new fabulous colors. I am only missing one from completing my collection, "rock candy". I wasn't feeling well enough to create anything with them today, but they sure made me happy to just look at them.

12.12.09 Jakob's 1st Birthday

This is card I made for Jakob's first birthday. Vanessa had a wonderful little shark party for him. We got him a little vibrating cow and a college savings bond.

01.03.10 Toast

This has been my favorite site all week, my husband bringing me a plate of toast. Toast seems to be one of the only things that I can eat, and he has made me plenty. He has also brought me water, medicine, fruit cups, 7-up, changed my DVDs, and a million more little things I could go on to list. For the first three days or so I couldn't even get out of bed by myself and he came to lift me out every time I called him. He took better care of me than I could have ever imagined. He was so gentle and loving. I am blessed to have him. Juan's parents came to visit later in the day and brought me a ton of fresh fruit. They were really sweet to check up on me.

01.02.10 Visitors

Today was a day of visitors. It was the first day I felt well enough to venture onto the couch in the living room. Gracie and Marco came to visit and bring us Christmas gifts and Juan's birthday gift. We also gave Marco his unwrapped birthday gift. It was nice to visit with them and feel almost human again. Later in the day Miriam came to visit and brought me a beautiful little get well plant. She hung out with us for a while and we watched "Up".

01.01.10 New Years Day

This year I have new goals, new ambitions, and a new quest for a healthy life. 2009 was a wonderful year, as I married the love of my life and honeymooned in Spain; but it was also a difficult year. I was plagued by stomach issues and non-stop tests, the economy has been listed as the worst in the history of the U.S., I had a miscarriage, and financially it was one of the worst I've experienced since moving to Texas. I started the New Year's off in bed, recovering from gall bladder surgery. It was painful, but something that needed to be done. It also reminded me how utterly wonderful my husband is to me. He has taken such amazingly good care of me all week. Our first photo of the year was in our bed as we watched the ball drop in New York. This is our year!