Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Didn't Think I'd See it Here!

This post is mostly for the Harvey's who left Houston for Colorado cold, IT IS SNOWING IN HOUSTON!

(Sorry, I'm not feeling ambitious enough to post a picture.)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


So anybody remember a post that started out like this?

Well, calling myself a complacent second time mother was more true than I let on at the time. We are happy to announce the Marielle Show will be turning into a duet sometime around June 15th!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gem for the Day

This morning I was organizing my computer files and ran across one of my favorite emails. Here's the back story: The summer after my mission I worked as a customer care agent for an online real estate company, Realtor.com. I started with phones but soon got moved to the email department. It was an awesome move since when people yell over email all they can do is put EVERYTHING IN CAPS and it just comes off as funny when you read it. The email department was quite a bit less stressful than phones and easier to answer questions, since you can just copy and paste the regular answers rather than having to sit on the phone and try to describe where the refresh button is and how to push it. Anyhow, with that rather lengthy preface here is my all time favorite email received that summer. The last line is really a zinger!

From: Shahin Hashemi [mailto:shahin808@
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 8:51 PM
To: CustomerCare@Realtor.com

I am trying to find a nice apartment or house in San Francisco around the University and close to metropolitan area in city of San Francisco.

your web page is very very confusing. Do not give any picture of any apartment or house.

Do not give any information about Berkely or Metropolitan area.

DO asked many stupid question that is not necessary.

IS not any one business when I want to move there and when I want to live there . What this has to do with any on want to buy properties.

I have and No one have any idea what is that’ll OR what every you asking is to continue.

The loan or other financial mater SHOULD not have any thing to do with people able to continue see what you have to offer.

Some people DO not want to have loan or have any thing to do with these silly question FIRST. People can pay without need to get loan too.

You Not only not helping people in this mater, you are pushing away people to not bother at all look at your web. First show some thing before get the people going through millions DO and Do so they get fed up and shut down the computer.

Are you people need have have business or just out of your mind and happy to have web and confuses people.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Nap Time"

Look what I found today when I went to get Marielle out her crib today. Not much sleepin' going on here during nap time.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Kitchens are Merging...


As previously mentioned, Marielle got a kitchen set for her second birthday. She and I both love it because it keeps her busy all day. Yesterday while I was making dinner, she was right on my heels so I thought I'll just bring her kitchen in my kitchen and we can cook together. This worked great until I noticed she started adding accessories to her kitchen from my drawers. Now what is it they say about two women in the kitchen??
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


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Monday, November 3, 2008

Yee-Haw and Happy Halloween!

Happy Birthday Marielle!

Our little Marielle turned two last week. We still call her our baby, but she really is growing up! Marielle's grandparents made the trek out to Houston for the birthday celebrations, so had lots of birthday fun all weekend. Here's some of the highlights:

Marielle's B-day Breakfast
Dad went to work late so we could all enjoy a pancake breakfast together. Marielle got her name spelled in pancakes (MaryL since her whole name was getting kinda long!) and she ate almost all the letters! Parents got some fun shapes too.

We sang happy birthday to her and she kept saying "all gone," so hopefully that will go over better next year.

Later that weekend...
We had pizza for dinner and Marielle got her own personal pan. She ate her pizza all by herself, so I felt I made the right dish since she couldn't really request her favorite.
She opened her presents with "oohs" as each new item was pulled from the gift bag. We also had a butterfly cake which she hardly noticed because she was too busy playing with her new kitchen set.
I finally got her to even sit down to eat some cake and ice cream by letting her sit in her special chair and using a spoon from her new kitchen set.
Here's one more in her new birthday dress. So cute! Happy Birthday Marielle!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Broken Arm...Take Two!

Oh, the complacency of a second time mother, that is, second time my first time child broke her arm. This accident happened about two weeks ago and I am just now getting around to posting about it. So the story goes like this: Ryan came home from work and as usual in our home started chasing Marielle around the house. She was running with one sock and one sandal and then on transition from living room to kitchen tripped and fell hard. She threw her hands out in front of her and collided with the fridge. She cried a good bit, but didn't seem too shaken up about the ordeal. After dinner, I checked her arm and thought it might be swelling a bit. Then I performed "the test." When Marielle broke her arm last March she couldn't push herself up from sitting on the ground. So, flash forward to Oct, I sat her down on the kitchen floor and said "Come here to Mom, Marielle!" To my dismay, she tried to get up, but failed and burst into tears. Since it was the same arm, we figured we'd better get it checked out. The Dr recommended we wait till morning to get her arm X-rayed since Marielle didn't seem to be in too much pain and could avoid an emergency room wait. The next morning I took her in first thing for x-rays, and was told the Ped. would call me in about two hours. I kept my phone with me all day, with the ringer on the loudest setting, and vibrate so I wouldn't miss the call. By 3:30 I'd heard nothing, so I called again to make sure they had the right number. I taught piano that afternoon so by the time I was finished the office was closed and still no word. The next morning I skipped the phone and just walked into the Pediatrician's office and asked if someone could just tell me if the arm was broken. By now I assumed it wasn't, since Marielle was using her arm and not acting like she was in any pain. The nurse comes out after about ten minutes and confirmed it was in fact broken. Sheesh, you think you'd want to get that message back to the parent. Anyhow, we saw our Orthopedic Dr. and he said the break wasn't as bad as last time, and she would only need her cast for three weeks.

Ryan got to field lost of questions about her arm at church on Sunday. His standard reply to the "AGAIN?" questions was, "Well, I broke five bones growing up, and Mary Karlee trips all the time, so Marielle doesn't really have a chance." Good luck Marielle! Here's to many nights on the couch, because if it's broken today, it'll still be broken tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Quick Little Tag

Here is the tag: Go to my pictures and click on the fourth folder, fourth picture and see what comes up. Here we go... (I am in anticipation too!)

Oh now that's just great. Horrible picture of me! This was my 26th birthday. I am over-exaggerating blowing out my candles. This was actually the day after my birthday since I had been with Ryan in Utah on my actual birthday. Ok, your turn. I'll be checking your blogs...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Marielle Makes Breakfast

his video is mostly self-explanatory so I won't say much by way of introduction. However, I will mention you can see Marielle's inspiration here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Survived Hurricane Ike!

The storm is over. The rain has stopped and the air is finally still. What a week this has been for our family! Living in Houston we often hear of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes that could potentially come our way but they usually blow over or move a different direction so we didn't stop to listen much when they started talking about Ike. But the talking just kept getting louder and louder until we decided we better start listening. Especially since Ryan and Marielle were flying out to Seattle on Thursday and I would have to brave the storm by myself. We watched weather forecasts and storm path predictions and debated back and forth if Ryan should even go. About two hours before his flight he decided it would be an awful weekend for both of us if we were apart, so he decided to stay. He got to come home early on Thursday and take Friday off to prepare for the storm which was scheduled to arrive around midnight on Friday. It was an eerie thing to prepare for disaster. The grocery store was packed with lines all the way to the back of the store. As I walked in there was literally one cart available and probably only because it had a bad front wheel. I bought lots of pantry items since we were told we could be out of power for a week or two. Ryan cleaned out our rain gutters and found a wasp nest. I think he had fun annihilating them. We opted not to board up windows, but did create a storm shelter in our walk in closet, and updated our 72 hour kits in case we wanted to leave after the storm.
We also found time to play Guitar Hero. All in all it was interesting day of watching, waiting, and trying to get ready for the unknown. By around 8:00pm we were ready to get our minds off of things and watch a movie. We watched Step Up which upon reflection the following morning, would have been a very embarrassing last night on earth activity if we had died during the hurricane.
We went to bed around 11:30 listening to the winds that were starting to pick up. Ryan fell right asleep in accordance with his "sleep anywhere, anytime Mullen genes" and I tossed and turned and fretted about the thuds of pine cones hitting our roof. Around 2:30 our power shut off, and by 3:30 we decided to move into the closet to get away from any windows. The closet was cramped and very hot, but it muted the sounds of the storm better than the rest of the house and we felt very protected and secure. Marielle, unfortunately, woke up in the move and would not go back to sleep. She cried when we turned off the light and started saying "turn on fan! turn on fan!" Sorry Marielle! She fussed for a while and then gave a nice big yawn and just when I thought she was drifting off, we hear in a very chipper voice,"momma, fli flaw?" (Translation: why else would we be in the closet than to put on flip flops?) After about a half an hour, we gave up on getting her back to sleep and turned on our flashlight and just hung out for a while. Marielle read books, played with toys, watched some videos on Ryan's palm and Ryan and I talked about life.
By about 5:30 the three of us got back to sleep with the aid of Ryan fanning Marielle and I with a big book. The little breeze made a huge difference and I drifted off to sleep until 7:30 or so. By 8:00 I couldn't stand the hot, dark, closet anymore so I woke Ryan up and made him stand up so I could open the door and escape. We listened to the radio reports and decided that the worst of storm had passed us and we could go see how our house fared. When we looked out at the yard, Marielle exclaimed, "Wet!"
Marielle lined her animals up to see outside of the ark The yard was a crazy mess of tree limbs, pine cones, leaves, and puddles from the rain but our house had no damage. We'll check the roof later, but for now we think everything is ok. We also thought it was funny when Marielle dragged a chair over to the light switch to turn on some lights since apparently her parents were lazy and wouldn't turn them on. Funny how she couldn't get them to turn on either...
We don't know yet how our friends in other areas of Houston fared, but our area did pretty well. Lots of trees and fences are down, but there appears to be no major structural damages to homes or windows blown out. Our gas and water were intact after the storm and our power came back on around 3pm. So all in all, we felt very grateful that we were safe and without too many inconveniences. Let's just hope that life is not like Super Mario Brothers in which passing level one means you move on to level two.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cuddle Up with a Good Book

Marielle has taken to Princesses as most young girls seem to do. We got a Cinderella "pin-cess" book at the library last week which she loves. She even likes to sleep with it curled up in one arm. Last night we couldn't find the book, so I told Ryan to grab any book and just hand it to her since it was dark, and she was already in her crib. Marielle held the book up to the very dim light streaming in from the hallway and noticed right away it was an impostor! The next five minutes were her screaming, "book! book!" while Ryan and I looking all over the house for the book. Since we do have another princess book (much larger and probably not as nice to cuddle with), I took that in as a close second. As I walked in she held out the other book disdainfully and traded for the real thing. I snuck in a few minutes later to see if she was still holding on to her book and the rest you can tell is Disney Magic!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guess the Architect!


In other words, looks like Marielle is going to have GREAT science projects.
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to Get Your Child to Eat Oatmeal in Five Steps or Less

1. Make a nice warm bowl and offer to child. If child says no, proceed to step two.
2. Listen as your child whines about cereal while you try to explain that the milk is "all gone" at least ten times. (You must really be out of milk for this to work.)
3. Out of desperation invent "milk" by diluting yogurt with water and pour into cereal bowl.
4. Watch as your child promptly spits out the cereal and "milk" the second it hits her taste buds.
5. Offer the oatmeal again, and watch as child eats up without complaint.

Works like a charm! Trust me, I've tried it. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're Ba--ack!

We are home from our trip to CA and add in a visit from my parents and Ben the week before, so it feels like we've been gone a month! We got home late Sunday night but I didn't finish Breaking Dawn until this morning, so only can I start getting back to real life. So we'll start with a slide show of pictures from the visit to Houston and hopefully later this week I'll write up our California va-cay. I am sure everyone is just dying to hear the update. Right? Right?

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Husband is Left Handed

I've heard that lefties are more creative and this definitely holds true for Ryan. It is so fun to be married to him because he plans awesome birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. He also plans very fun date nights, although they come around a lot less often then they used too. But this week my parents came into town (pics and details to come later) and he had time to pre-mediate and execute a very fun date night. We left home around 6:30 and headed to Barnes and Noble. First off we gathered large coffee table type books and then sat down to look through them. Ryan told me to mark my favorite pictures which I found a little hard to do since I knew he something up his sleeve. After looking at a few of his selections I had a better idea and started choosing pictures. After about a half an hour the photos were selected and the plan was revealed. We were to re-create the scenes in the pictures to the best of our abilities. There were no rules or time limits, we just had to get creative with locations and props. We took stealthy pictures of the photos with our camera and then headed out to stage our photo shoots. We had a great time sneaking around stores, hiding from clerks, turning ordinary things like barbecue tongs into machetes, and basically acting like teenagers. Here are the results of the night I loaded the picture from the book and then our creation. The last one is my favorite...you'll see why!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What 'Chou Talking About??

Marielle and I are communicating a lot more with each other these days. I no longer have to repeat all phrases at least twice as communication with my daughter. Now my questions are answered with "yeah" or "no!". Even though we are making great strides, we still have a lot of gaps. Like yesterday when I walked in the bathroom and found my liquid foundation all over the tile floor. I called Marielle in and pointed at the ground and asked her what happened. She did her best to explain. I didn't understand a single word she said but she was definitely trying to tell me something. She jabbered on and on, using hand gestures and voice inflection. Although I'll never really know her true plea of innocence, I think the gist was "things just got a little out of control mom, before I knew it that pink stuff was everywhere!"

Later in the afternoon we went to the mall. Living in Houston, we can't just go to the park in the summer, so we hit up the playplace at our mall. But seeing it was four o'clock that place was crawling with kids, most of them way taller than height requirement, and leaping off tall bridges, trucks and waterfalls. Poor Marielle didn't stand a chance. She played for about 20 minutes and then sought safety by sitting with mom on the bench. I wasn't ready to head home yet, so we went off in search of other mall adventures. I let her walk at her own pace and she wandered in and out of stores. She loved the computers at Build a Bear and the Pet Store seemed like a regular zoo with birds, bunnies and puppies just a window pane away. (The funniest part was Marielle wagging her finger and telling the puppies "No, no!" when they nipped and crawled all over each other.) After a nice afternoon of air conditioned playing, we headed back to our car. On the way there Marielle saw a Backyard Jungle Gym on display. I knew it was trouble the moment she yelled "park!" and started running. I caught up to her hanging on the fence next to the sign "Display Only -- No Climbing!" We sat down and I tried to explain to her that this was a park where children don't play (I was too tired to try and drag her away at this point). As I continued to explain the unimaginable to a toddler, I could see Marielle was having the same experience I had had this morning with the liquid foundation mess. She didn't understand a word I said, but the gist was "you ain't playing here baby!" I saw some colorful brochures and Marielle took one home with us as a very distant second to actually playing at the "park." And so mom and daughter carry on. Not really understanding each other, but nodding and smiling a lot and looking forward to the day when Marielle can talk.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mom Baby

I'm not sure what happened. Somewhere in the past week my cute, smiling, easy-loving baby girl got lost in the time stream and replaced by a temperamental, no-need-for-Dad, wants-only-Mom baby. I'm tempted to buy/steal a flux capacitor so that I can go back in time to find my daughter that doesn't cry every time she sees me, but then I'd have two Marielles. One of which who still doesn't like me, and the other who would become that way in a week. And from what I've heard, having 2 babies is so much easier than 1 it can hardly be called Parenting anymore. (Right, Alex?) Mix that all in with the scientific research presented by Napoleon Dynamite and Marty McFly on time travel, and I think it's all just a little too risky.

We just need to ramp up the Daddy-Daughter one-on-one time so Marielle realizes I am not the bad guy. Accordingly, yesterday when I got home from work, Mary Karlee had packed as some sandwiches, and we went off to the park. I quickly learned that MK had been neglecting our daughter's education because she didn't even know how to make explosion sounds. I taught her to drop a pebble down the ladder chute and say "Bombs away! and then "Brrgggghhhh!" when it hit the ground.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Results...

The gift card finally made it home. After knocking on several doors (guess my memory wasn't so great) over a couple days with no luck, I gave up the search. I figured I had given it my best shot, but I just couldn't keep knocking doors. Just for the record I "cleaned up" the story a bit by just saying I found the gift card on my way home one day. Then yesterday I noticed someone was throwing away a crib box. Figures the answer would also come from the trash heap! The mother to be was very happy and grateful, and I was glad to the saga was OVER!

Now to completely change the subject-- if you feel like stalling before you start your dishes, here is a great song from youtube. I heard this song on an old time country station and loved how mellow and relaxing it is. I later found it on youtube and enjoyed watching the pictures that go along with the lyrics. It'll make you smile, I promise. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Who Am I?

I've been tagged. In case you were wondering who is Mary Karlee, really?

1. My Rockstar Name:"Muffalo Villager" (first pet, current car)

2. My Gangsta Name:"Rocky Road Reefs" (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite shoe)

3. My Native American Name:"Purple Parakeet" (favorite color, favorite animal)

4. My Soap Opera Name:"Karlee Ogden" (middle name, city where you were born)

5. My Star Wars Name : "Mulma" (first 3 letters of last name, first 2 of your first)

6. My Super Hero Name :"Blue Strawberry Lemonaide"
(second favorite color, favorite drink)
7. My nascar Name :"Walter Barney" (first names of your grandfathers)

8. My Stripper Name :"Love Spell Peachie"(favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)

9. My TV weather anchor name :"Loman Louisville"
(5th grade teacher, city that begins with same letter)

10. My Spy Name :"Spring Tulip"

(favorite season/holiday, favorite flower)

11. My cartoon name (favorite fruit, article of clothing you are wearing now):"Pineapple Socks"

12. My Hippie Name :"Fruit Oak"
(what you ate for breakfast, favorite tree)

I am tagging anyone who has ever legally changed their name...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

So as I was driving home today I noticed someone was throwing out a whole bunch of gift bags. They were separated out from the rest of the trash and looked clean, so I stopped, scooped them up, stashed them in my car, and hurried home. (This is just a glimpse into my cheapness, I will go where many draw the line.) While at home I started sorting through the bags to decide which bags to keep and I found a gift card to Target. It still had the card around it so I discovered it was worth $60! Now my dilemma: return the card and have to admit that I went through their trash or spend the money and feel the weight of my guilty conscious? What would you do? Some additional information to keep in mind -- I have never met these people. This would be my first interaction with them. Do I really want that kind of first impression? Second, I am not completely sure which house it came from, so a drop and run might not be effective. Finally, these were gift bags from a baby shower. By the looks of things this family cleaned up. I am placing a poll on the sidebar and invite your opinions. Comments are welcome too. I'll post in a few days what the finally decision and outcome becomes. Until then, wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lunch with Dad

I wish we lived closer to Ryan's work. Especially after a lunch that was so much fun. Marielle and I don't go to often because it means around 40 minutes of driving and havoc on the nap schedule, but when we do it is always so fun and such a great break from our regular routine. I met Ryan and we took our lunch outside to the patio and enjoyed a nice lunch in the shade. As soon as we were done eating we went to visit the koi fish pond. It actually took Marielle a little while to realize that these fish were the same as the fish in her books. But soon she was making her famous fish face and trying to reach in the water.

Both parents taught Marielle lessons that we regretted. I taught Marielle how to throw a pebble in the pond. Seems harmless right? Not if there aren't any other pebbles in the pond because they keep it so clean. Luckily the water was kinda murky so as far as we can tell the five or six pebbles have not been detected. We'll be watching his next paycheck for any possible deductions. ;)

Ryan taught Marielle how fun it is to put your feet in the water. So fun that you just want to get all the way in right Dad? Well as you probably guessed we had to escort Marielle away from the pond and back to baby safe areas rather quickly. It was still a really fun lunch. Thanks Dad!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marielle's New Cousin!

Check out this new little cutie!!! Welcome Zoe!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Marielle Graduates!

Many of you may remember Marielle's birth announcement proclaiming her many great skills and high ACT score achieved in the womb, so it should come as no surprise that she has accomplished the unthinkable -- High School Graduation at age 19months!!! (And 6th in her class too!) All right, all right, the HS graduate was Ally! So all the honors go to the last and final Mullen at Eastwood which includes not only all five kids, but their mom too. How's that for loyalty? :) Included in this post of many pics, you will find: Mike sneaking into our pose with the celeb of the day photo, Kurt constructing a crime scene around Marielle, Dad and daughter smiles and the cookie table! Both Kurt and Marielle remember getting fed at this table and would sit at it waiting for someone to bring something sweet like a cookie. Lucky for them, most of the time it worked! Photos you will not find: Ally at her Piano Recital, the Eastwood Alum picture, and video of Kurt kissing Marielle. (Read: Ally or Megan, please send them our way and I'll update the blog. :)