Obey your master

Powered by the fact that I know who runs the house, on with the latest update.

Willow is getting nice and strong and putting on plenty of weight at this point.  There were some early problems, but I think the worst is behind us now.  She’s somewhere around 7.5 lbs (born at 7 with nadir at 6 lbs 6 oz.).  I’m hoping that the super stressful parts of the birth, etc., are behind us now, which would be a good thing.

I’ll work on posting more pictures soon, including re-posting previous pictorials.


Yes yes, I know: I am one evil dude.  Fact is, I roomed with Saddam back in college, and we used to play Dungeons and Dragons with Kim Jong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, of course, Barney the Purple Dinosaur.  Now do you see how deeply evil my evil runs deep?  And all because I haven’t posted any pics on the site lately.

So, with this post, I will try to make up for my horrible sins.  After much pondering, thinking, and thoughts, we have decided to password protect the pics on the site.  This is for security reasons, which is really kinda depressing.  Alas, I feel it a necessity so that our pictures do not meet an inappropriate means.  Also, I have watermarked our pics.  If you would like clean pictures, please email me.  And, of course, if you want the login information, you’ll need to write Monica or I.  If you don’t know our emails?  Well, you’ll just need to ask us then, eh?



We didn’t mean to worry anybody about the baby’s fever. It wasn’t anything to worry about, and all seems to be better now. And, outside of the typical chronic lack of sleep, things are pretty good all around. If anything, the baby hasn’t slept a whole lot today, though she has certainly been active and alert. She didn’t really want to be awake until about 10pm or so last night, so if she’s adjusting to a more classic human non-goth/vampiric circadian rhythm, all the better. She does like to nurse, and, BOY HOWDY!, can that girl throw a fit when she ain’t happy. And is she ever gassy! Takes after her mother, natch.

As far as pictures, I am putting together a new base computer, but it’s being a real, errrrr, nasty thing about something. I can’t even get it to post, and I have tried all sorts of solutions. Once I can get it up and going, I’ll make pictures a priority.

And now, the part some of you have been kinda sorta waiting for: The Name.

Now, while we appreciated some of your wonderful suggestions, such as Six, Seven, Color (Owen’s suggestion), T (my boss), Smoltzie (why be a hater?), Pickles, and Samuel Joseph, we regret to inform you that you have been completely and utterly ignored. Especially the Smoltzie thing (why oh why the hate???). We have decided on:

Willow Fonteyn Mueller

Let’s be clear of one thing. If you’re named William or Bill or Willie or Mortimer, don’t flatter yourself. Willow was not named for you. Monica and I really liked the name Willa from one of Owen’s stories, but I preferred the tie-in to nature with Willow over Willa. Thus, we have Willow. Willa is a perfectly acceptable nickname. For those of you who know about my relationship with Owen’s name, you would know I probably wouldn’t remember his name if I didn’t write it occasionally.

As for Fonteyn, Monica loves ballet. Nuf ced (and you can check the link above if you don’t know about Margot Fonteyn [cuz wikipedia is always such a reputable source of information]). Of course, I like Maya Plisetskaya more, but I got Willow and, heck, Fonteyn is much easier to spell than Plisetskaya.

Signing off for now.



Things have quieted down enough for a quick entry.  We had a family onslaught with a house chock-full-o-people.  Errr, not to mention Owen bouncing off the walls.  Poor guy didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night, so he’s in total hyper-overdrive right now.  He’s blowing off some more energy with Roger, Colleen, and Adam right now, so that’s a good thing.

Monica appears to be doing really well.  The baby was and is running a slight fever, but it’s still under 100.  We’re concerned, but not worried.  I don’t think the baby has left the bed since one point last night.  Oh, no name yet.  Monica and I only talked about it for a couple of minutes today.  Maybe we’ll have something tomorrow?  Maybe.

Birth Live-Blogging!

Update – October 1 – 12:30am: From the time of the last post (7 pm) til now, things have been a bit wacky. At least they are slowing down. We’ll/I’ll do a more thorough post with extra-added gory details, but the bottom line is that we are the proud parents of a baby. What sex you ask? For now, that’s a closely held secret, just so we aren’t bombarded with name suggestions. Monica and the baby are both healthy and looking good. Oh, the baby weighed in at 7 lbs and 21 inches.  Born almost right at 9pm, you can see that things really moved along, and both children were born on the 30th of their respective months.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to post a couple of pictures soon.  I wanted to end with this: the baby was born at home, and Monica was a superstar throughout.  I mean, really, all that she was missing was the M on her cape.  More coming soon!*

*soon means at some point, not necessarily in the next couple of hours.  I want to go to sleep!

Update – Sept 30 – 6pm: From this morning until around noon, there wasn’t much to talk about. Over the past few hours, though, things have picked up. Over the past 1 1/2 hours, even more so. It’s definitely getting closer, and it appears my full moon guess is about as accurate as the Texans winning the Super Bowl this year. Oh well.

7pm – Monica having the major urge to push.


Well, it’s been quite a while since we’ve posted here, so let’s re-kick it off with a bang, shall we?

Monica’s contractions, which had been kinda erratic over the last couple of days, a few here and a few there, have become considerably more consistent over the past 10 or so hours. At this point (1am CDT), they are about 8-10 minutes apart and definitely picking up in intensity. My begging and pleading with her to get some rest hasn’t been terribly effective, so I hope she is able to get some sleep before long. I kinda wished I had slipped her some sleeping pills in the wine I just gave her. *cough*

I’ll do my best to keep the updates going, but I make no promises. Signing off for now.


RIP – Angelyn Johnson

Edited from the Victoria Advocate:

VICTORIA – Angelyn M. Johnson, 98, of Victoria, died Sunday, May 14, 2006.

She was born Sept. 6, 1907, in Shiner, to the late Thomas and Rose ***. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served the church’s Ladies Aid group. She was a charter member of the Victoria Couples Club.

Survivors: daughter, Nyle Ruth of Victoria; sisters, Anita and Viola, both of Victoria, and Georgia Mae of Austin; three grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: husband, Herman O. Johnson; sister, Vlasta; brothers, Rudy, Irwin and Ted.

Memorials: Hospice of South Texas or donor’s choice.

New Year’s Day Toast

For a while now, Owen has enjoyed toasting our glasses, which he calls for us to do by saying, “Let’s cheers!”. This morning, after spending a fun night at Austin’s first First Night celebration and having a night of good sleep, Owen woke up in a very happy mood. We all snuggled together, and at one point, Owen said ‘Body cheers!’. Indeed, it felt like we were toasting each other with our kisses and hugs. I really love this image.

Latest Haps

We’ve been pretty busy lately, not posting on the blog for over a month now. And there was good reason…

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, Nov 28th, Monica and I had to vacate the house for a week. In case you don’t know, we have been remodeling the house. For that week, they were re-doing the hardwoods, which meant that we literally had to move everything on the hardwoods, which was every room except for the bathroom, kitchen, and the new utility and bathroom.

SO, everything in our house is in one of these rooms or in The Pod we rented (one of those big freaking things that sit in your driveway). The week we were kicked out of house was pretty crappy, for me at least. Ma and Owen stayed in way south Austin with my uncle. The first night, Monday night, I was able to sleep at the house, but it was pretty Spartan. The second night, I drove down to my uncle’s, but getting to work Wednesday morning took 90 minutes as it doubled my commute! At that point, I knew I was pretty doomed, so I roughed it the next few days. I slept in the bathroom twice, back porch twice, and at my uncle’s house Friday since I didn’t need to go to work. Owen had an absolute blast playing with Adam, so that was super cool. Yeah, living vicariously through my 3-year old.

Because the floor guys didn’t get their stuff done Saturday, doing it on Sunday, we weren’t allowed back in the house until Monday (December 5). On Monday, the carpenters were supposed to replace all the 1/4″ round molding that goes along the floor. All of it was ripped up to re-do the hardwoods. Of course, the carpenters didn’t show up, but we had to get everything out of the utility, bathroom, and kitchen by Wednesday night as the linoleum was going to be laid! Turned out that the carpenters didn’t finish most of the house until Tuesday night (Dec 13th), or 8 days later!!! So, for a solid week, most of our house was literally in the center of our living room bunched together so that the carpenters could put in the molding. Oh, and because the carpenters screwed up the flooring where the linoleum was being laid, the linoleum wasn’t laid until Monday.

Tuesday night (Dec. 13th), we have to caulk almost all the molding because the carpenters hadn’t done that yet because, YES!, the pod people were taking the pod back first thing Wednesday morning (or it was gonna be another $200). We caulk, paint, and unload the Pod Tuesday night, finishing it all up around 10:45 (thanks a ton to Dad, Roger and Shirley). I jump in the shower (because I stank like all hell), and lay down. I am tired, but excited, as it this whole ordeal was coming to a resolution.

Right at midnight, I hear what sounds like somebody pounding in the attic with a sledgehammer. A pipe burst burst up there! The new water heater sits right above the new area on the wall just off the living room expansion, and it’s spraying scalding hot water all over the attic and down into the living room on the stuff we had just moved in 2 hours earlier. I managed to get the water shut off within about 2 to 3 minutes of the pipe bursting, but there was damage.

OK, so the next day, ironically, the plumber is scheduled to be at the house first thing. He gets here, goes into the attic, says it’s freeze damage, takes the part and literally runs out the door. That bs wasn’t gonna fly, but he came back, eventually admitted it was shoddy worksmanship, and will cover the damages that were inflicted. Three walls were soaked, the ceiling was soaked in about a quarter of the house, all electrical pieces (sockets, lights, fans, etc) are ruined in the living and dining room, and the poor hardwoods, just a couple of weeks old, may be ruined (though they are settling back down nicely).

So, that’s what we have been up to the past three weeks. Into this “experience”, toss in two certification exams I have been studying for, and it’s been a really, really tough last month. If it wasn’t for Roger, I think I would have shaved my head and joined a nunnery. He has been incredible. Thought you might like to know about our wackiness. We’ll hopefully return, soon, to our blog-tastic ways.

Halloween and more

Owen is all about pretending these days. Half the time, he’s crawling around on all fours, imagining he’s a dog or a cat. A lot of times when he’s nursing, he likes to pretend he’s a little baby. And speaking of babies, he now likes to imagine that we have a little baby around the house. He calls her Lydia, after our neighbor’s baby, and likes to include her in our daily activities. “Where is Lydia?”, he will say, to which I reply that she’s sleeping in the other room or beside us on the floor. We had a funny moment today when I was relating this to Becky (the real Lydia’s mom), and about how we had forgotten Lydia at home… Becky then said something along the lines of not wanting to leave Lydia with us for sitting any time soon!

I wondered if I should include this bit of information, but I’ve decided to go ahead and do so, considering the broader ramifications. We’ve had some extremely challenging moments over the past week, and I wonder if a lot of the truly out-of-control behavior had to do with Halloween candy that Owen consumed the day of and the day after. As a preface, Owen normally doesn’t get a lot of candy… we might do desserts as a special treat occasionally, but generally not the regular stuff off the shelves. Anyway, he got several very brightly colored candies, as well as some chocolate, and basically went berserk. It made me think of an article I read recently that talked about synthetic food dyes (which are made from petroleum!) and how it can impact children by making them excessively hyperactive.

Tuesday night, nearly at wit’s end, we threw out the rest of the bright candy and then restricted his intake of chocolate both yesterday and today. Today was the first ‘normal’ day since Halloween, and he’s been sleeping much better than the previous two nights. I definitely attribute the change to the withdrawal of the dyes.

Here are some links that talk of this topic in case anyone else is interested in further reading:

I still love Halloween; the excitement of going out after dark, the intrigue of wearing the costumes, etc., but we will be seriously thinking about how we will celebrate in the coming years. I still want the fun, without the chemicals. Next year, we may try out the idea of the Halloween sprite, who brings another item in exchange for leftover candy; only, we may tweak it a bit and cull out the colored candy right off the bat.

While we’re on the subject of Halloween, hopefully, we can get some pictures of Owen in costume up on the site soon. After wanting to first be a camel and then a unicorn, Owen finally opted to be a ghost. I think several Halloween books from the library heavily influenced his final choice. Having already gotten the materials for the unicorn, though, I decided this would by my costume. This was partly so as to not let the material go to waste, but it also had as much to do with satisfying an inner desire to be one, leftover from a youthful infatuation with them. 🙂

Laguna Glorious

This afternoon was beautiful. The weather was a tad warm for mid-October, but the sky was sunny and the air clear (not to mention my nose, which had been clogged for a week, and is thankfully doing much better). We took a trip to Laguna Gloria to visit the grounds with Sara and Thomas, and I’m just so happy we did.

We threw coins into fountains, ran around the sunken rose garden, rubbed stone lions, sat on a pier, watched two herons soaring and fishing, played in the mud, and generally had a good time visiting. Sara and I reminisced about the Fiesta days and mourned the cascarones.

I’m just glad the park is still open to visitors. What a wonderful secret, so close to us. And Owen even fared better, emotionally, while having his second no-nap day in a row. I chalk it up to the outdoors.

(Thanks, Geoff, for making this blog possible!)

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