The other post outlines all the excitement of our first day in TX, so I'll only indicate that we went downtown, had a picnic, visited the E&Y office building, saw the underground tunnels, and went to the zoo.
Bruce went to work the on the next day, I stayed home with Hailey, and so it has continued since.
Bruce enjoys his work. He has worked on two clients, Swift Energy and BP Wind. He generally enjoys his work, and his hours have been fairly good. He works 45-50 hours on a normal week and commutes about 45 min each way. He says that sometimes the traffic is really bad, and I believe him believe him because every time I ride in the car with him I feel like I am going to die of a heart attack and he assures me that "traffic is light."
We love having the boys around on the weekends, but recently they have been busy laying tile in the master bathroom.
Laurel and I have had some of our own projects. We made a list of projects and have not finished, or even started all of them, but have made good progress on many of them. We finished a Quiet Book that I started a few months ago. Laurel sewed the cover for me, that's why it's so cute! You can see each quiet book page on the March 4, 2011 blog entry (Quiet Book Link).
We began recovering the loveseat. Laurel recovered he couch a year or two ago and intended to do the loveseat, but never got to it. I helped remove all the previous fabric and learned a little about furniture construction. She sewed all the new covers and had been stapling the fabric to the frame. It's been a good learning experience, but it's too much work (or too important and too detailed of work) for me to try to do it by myself.
We painted the tabletop. She refinished the table and it seems to be an endless battle to keep the paint from chipping. Turns out table tops are used and abused. We slapped another couple layers of oil based paint to try and cover the chips in the old paint and to prevent further chipping. So far, it's faired better than water-based paint, but still occasionally chips. (We have the same problem with our table in Provo. I welcome any suggestions).
Paint Game Room
We painted the game room (an open room, usually located upstairs, common to homes in this area which is a sort of 2nd family room and is often used as a toy room) tan.
Laurel taught me how to alter tee-shirts to make them cute shirts, so I altered 2 shirts that she had started.
Playgroup, Story Time, Preschool
Laurel and I have gone to a few playgroups with people from their ward. It's fun to get out and meet people, and especially fun to do it in 70 degree weather! We've also gone to the library a few times for "Toddler Time." They are not as animated as the Provo storytellers, but I've also heard that the Provo storytellers are fairly renowned. We started doing preschool with Claire (Laurel's 3 year-old), but haven't done it recently. Hailey would join in but usually just distracted Claire. Whoops. :)
Hailey spends hours outside, walking around the neighborhood, collecting nuts from the sidewalk, and pushing the doll stroller or the lawn mower.
Claire and Hailey Riding the Bike together.
It's the perfect age to spend winter in Houston! The weather has been mild, and occasionally chilly, but always warm enough to go outside with a light jacket. We go for walks in the morning, wander in the afternoon, and make it to a park once or twice a week. Today we even washed the car!
Laurel talked me into getting my ears pierced, so I now have a pair of blue titanium studs in my ears. I wanted something a little more subtle, but this was the cheapest, so I'm looking forward to the 6 week mark when I can put in something that's not blue. When I was looking for somewhere to pierce my ears I was worried about sanitation. I did my research (I am an exercise scientist, after all) and didn't want to contract HIV, Hep A, B, C, D, E or any other strain they might find. Piercing guns can't be properly cleaned to eliminate the spread of infections, so I called and called looking for a doctor office to do it. There was one pediatrician, but they would only pierce their patients ears'. Anyway, I ended up going to the mall, filling out the papers at one place, asking if they use a gun (I had already called and they said they did not), she said they do (why did they tell me that they didn't on phone- I do not know), so I wouldn't let her pierce them. She was annoyed, but it's a matter of personal safety here folks. I asked at Claire's, she said they don't use a piercing gun, so I called Sarah, asked the tech again (you need to be certain about these things), and decided to do it. Laurel brought the kids in, and 2 min later it was done. It didn't even hurt, just a little pinch, and they haven't gotten infected yet, and they are almost healed.
The weather has been great for winter training. I haven't always been motivated to put on the mileage that I could (good weather, only one kid, and no time restraints means I could, and maybe should work out for hours. But I want to be in shape, not an Olympic athlete, and there are other challenges in Texas to overcome before you can run all day, like NO SIDEWALKS and 40 mph traffic!). Laurel and I do a walk/jog combo three times a week. I try to run by myself 2-3 days a week, and Bruce and I work out together on Saturday. We usually run or do a run/bike combo in preparation for our Sprint Triathlon in April. (Did I mention that Scott and Lisa are doing it and Lisa is particularly excited, so be sure to talk to her about it.) Because there are no sidewalks on major roads, I have found some very creative routes through neighborhoods, discovered a partial trail around a lake (or drainage pond, it's hard to know which), and run while Hailey is asleep if I want to run along high-traffic, no sidewalk areas.
Jaron Homecoming & Nana's Death
In January Hailey and I flew back to Colorado to see Jaron home from his mission. It was great to see family again, and especially good to see Jaron after 2 years. While in Colorado, Nana's health took a turn for the worse and she was moved to Hospice. It was wonderful to be able to help around the house and to stay the night with Nana a few nights so my Mom could get some rest. I flew home as planned, and Nana passed away two days later.