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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gus = Linus x 3

When it comes to his blanket, Gus doesn't mess around. He started getting attached to it shortly before we moved, so around 9 months old. Grandmother gave him the blanket so when she learned that it became his "lovey," she got him a back-up.  And somewhere along the way, she bought him a third one.

That might sound excessive but we need all of them--one for upstairs, one for downstairs and one for the car.

He pretty much has one of them all the time. If he's not holding it, it's somewhere nearby. If he sees it or touches it (even if it's just with his foot), he immediately puts his thumb in his mouth. He rarely sucks his thumb without it.

He takes it places which means he drags it around sidewalks, stores and even public restrooms! That's the beauty of having three of them; I can wash one or even two while he's "using" the third one. I'm never sure which one I've washed, though, so it's possible one of them is never getting washed.

For some crazy reason I only brought one to Houston for Thanksgiving. When the time came to wash it, poor Gus was a mess for about two hours. I'll never make that mistake again!

Our system works pretty well except Gus just doesn't trust that there will always be another blanket. So when he gets out of his crib in his morning and we start to go downstairs for breakfast, he insists on taking the upstairs one down. Later, when we get out of the car to come inside, he wants to bring the car blanket back into the house.

So that means we end up with three blankets in one place!

And Gus is in heaven.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Are you a stripper or a maker?

When I stay in someone's home and it's time to leave, I always ask: "Are you a stripper or a maker?" I'm referring to how they want me to handle the sheets: should I strip the sheets and put them in the laundry room? Or should I make the bed?

This debate is as intense, but not as split down the middle, as soggers v. crunchers.

I'd say eight times out of ten, they're strippers. Most people prefer that you take all the sheets and pillow cases off the bed so that they can wash them that day and then put them back on the bed for the next guests.

I happily strip if that's what my host requests but I myself am a maker. Here is my case for the makers:

1. If someone strips the bed, it's like, "Okay, so I guess I'm doing laundry today."
2. Or worse, if I don't get around to doing the sheets that day, I've got piles of them sitting in my laundry room.
3. I'm not sure I want guests seeing what my pillows and mattress actually look like sans covers.
4. A few days before guests arrive I wash the sheets and put them back on the bed. Then the sheets smell very fresh!

Since it was Thanksgiving last week I took a poll and as I suspected, the strippers were the majority. Here was their case:

1. They like guests to strip the bed so they can get the sheets-washing over with. Then they don't have to wonder whether the sheets are dirty or clean on the guest bed when the next guests arrive.
2. They don't really like the idea of making up a bed with dirty sheets on it.
3. When it comes time to prep for guests, they want to focus on other things like meal planning, rather than changing sheets.

Those are all valid points but as you can see, we makers have four reasons while the strippers have only three.  And the fresh smell of clean sheets should really count twice.

Now, whether you're a stripper or a maker we all have the potential to encounter another obstacle in this sheet situation: the destroyer. My sister-in-law dubbed her husband this when I was quizzing her about strippers v. makers. She said he sometimes goes to sleep in the guest bed on the clean sheets and then she has to wash them all over again!

My husband and I can both be destroyers. However, since I'm a maker it really isn't as detrimental. I mean, then we're the ones sleeping on the dirty sheets and that doesn't really bother me (unless the last person who slept in our guest bed was a drifter who we took pity on or something). If I were a stripper and my husband said he wanted to sleep in the guest room because I was coughing too much, I would say, "NOOOO! I have clean sheets on that bed! Just go sleep on the couch!"

And while I completely am in favor of changing sheets in between guests, is it really fair to call the sheets "dirty?" Even if someone sleeps in them one night, hosts go crazy fumigating them as if their guests have leprosy or bed bugs or swine flu. (Is that thing still around, btw?) Think about it: guests and other randoms sit on your couch all the time and when's the last time you cleaned that?

Having said that, I do want to assure you (in case you plan to stay with me), that I do participate in the tradition of changing sheets prior to guests sleeping in them. I just maintain my status as a proud maker. This holiday season my wish is that strippers and makers can put aside their differences and understand that BOTH ways have merit and both yield the same end result--clean sheets for loved ones. (It's just that one of the ways makes SO much more sense.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Leo's Austin Adventure with Dottie the Dove

Leo had the honor of taking home the class mascot, Dottie the Dove, last weekend. Luckily, we had some big plans--Leo would be attending his first University of Texas (or "Texas Fight" as he calls it) football game. Gus stayed with Granny Jo and Popsy who were in town for Aunt Kathleen's 60th birthday. Here is the journal "Leo" wrote for his class: 

"Dottie, you are going to come with us to Austin for the Texas Fight football game!” I told her. She wanted to leave right away but I said that first we needed to rest up for the long drive! So the two of us relaxed on Thursday afternoon, watching Jungle Junction. The next morning we took a little snooze while daddy packed the car for our trip.  

Dottie sat next to me the whole way. We played on the iPad while my little brother Gus watched. Dottie loved the drive!

Here we are at the hotel. Dottie wanted to order room service. Silly Dottie! 

On Saturday I dressed Dottie in a University of Texas t-shirt and brought her to the stadium! She looked great in orange and she loved cheering on the Texas Longhorns to a win against Iowa State. 

We walked around campus where I showed Dottie the UT Tower (seen in this picture) and we ate at one of the dorms. Dottie had so much fun that she wants to go to college now. I told her that we both need to finish preschool first!

Bonus pics: I didn't want to be a show-off so I decided to stop after six pics. But here are some that didn't make the book. Sorry, Paloma! 

Gus got a chance to hold Dottie:

Dottie enjoying the tribute to legendary UT coach Darrel K. Royal 

Leo with the statue of Bevo: 

Dottie with Paloma, whose name means Dove