Sunday, June 29, 2008

Devin's Doozie

In recent weeks, the Pruetz family has been passing something around that's had our stomach in knots. If it's not nausea, then it's a lack or appetite or indegestion or...worse.

Anyway, we've been using the term, "stomach bug," to describe this general malady and today, out of the blue, Devin asked, " big is a stomach bug?"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear Abby...

If I were to write a letter to Dear Abby at this very moment in time, it would go like this:

Dear Abby,

My son is running around the house in nothing but a pair of too-tight denim shorts and a his sisters' pink feather boa around his neck.

So my question is this:
Should I pour myself another martini?

Erin Pruetz
San Antonio, TX

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Big Four-Oh

This past Thursday, June 19, my Todd-e-o turned 40 years old. This is especially fun for me, since I am still in my 30s. My early 30s. :)

We celebrated the occasion with Todd's parents, his sister Jill, her boyfriend Tom and my dad. We had a feast of a dinner, topped off by a specially made cake by me -- in the shape of a coffin. I joked that we were mourning the passing of Todd's youth.

It was a fun evening, but I wasn't about to let his momentous occasion slip by without doing something special for my husband.

A few weeks ago, I booked a room for us at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel and set us up with reservations at one of the fine dining establishments on the river.

But I didn't just want to take Todd to a hotel and to dinner -- I wanted to make it a production full of surprises and unexpected twists. As my sister ZZ always says, "I love a good caper!"

So I kept all of this, except the dinner, a secret from Todd.

My dad came into town under the guise that he was just here for a visit. After Todd returned from a Saturday morning church meeting, I told him that I was going to visit a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in forever (thanks for the excuse, Polly!). Instead, though, I took a pre-packed bag down to the hotel, checked in and set up our room with chocolates and champagne.

I returned home from "visiting with my friend" and my dad said to us, "I'm here, so why don't you all just go down to the river to hang out? There's no reason to have to wait until your 6:30 reservation!"

So we decided to go ahead and head downtown to the river.

During the drive down there, though, I told Todd the story my dad, sister and I had concocted the night before.

A little background information: When I was a kid, my dad commuted from Houston to San Antonio every week so that our family wouldn't have to be uprooted. Subsequently, he became very familiar with San Antonio. That helped aid in the story I told Todd to get him to the hotel without any suspicion.

I told my unsuspecting hubby that when my dad was working in San Antonio, he used to take his clients to a little-known, private bar at the La Mansion Hotel. I told him that it was a converted hospitality suite that was open to the public, but that you had to know it existed and that you had to ask for a key from the front desk, the concierge or the bar tender. The bar, I explained, was simply known as "Room 430."

I explained that my dad had gotten us a key and that there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us there.

The whole ride down there, Todd talked about how cool it was that we were going to get to be a part of this exclusive club and that he couldn't believe we'd never heard about it. He bought the story hook, line and sinker.

So we got to the hotel and I pretended to not really know where I was going (the hotel is 150 years old and has been built in stages, lending itself very well to my story). We finally made our way to "Room 430" and I said, "Well, I guess this is it." I took out the "special" key and we both leaned into the door to see if we could hear any voices from inside.

We heard nothing (of course), so Todd said, "Well...try the key. See if it works."

It did, of course, and I opened the door into our beautiful riverview suite, replete with a private balcony.

Todd stepped into the room, looked around and said, "This isn't a bar."

I was standing behind him and as he turned to me, he saw the smile on my face and realized that he'd been duped.

"We're staying here tonight?"

"Happy 40th birthday!"

We popped open the champagne and stepped out onto our balcony to people watch (a place like the San Antonio Riverwalk is a great place for people watching). We relaxed for awhile and enjoyed the quiet and solitude of our private room.

We then hopped a River taxi to the Fig Tree Restaurant and sat down for what was one of the best dining experiences of my life. White linen table cloths, waiters who attended very need, an extensive wine list and award-winning entrees. It was fantastic.

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel, where I suggested we stop by the hotel bar (the real one) for a drink.

We made our way through the lobby and into the quiet bar, where about a dozen of Todd's closest friends, including his sister, were waiting to celebrate with us.

This is the point where Todd cried. So many people were there to wish him a happy birthday and celebrate with him. It was just magical.

We had a great couple of drinks and enjoyed our friends and finally retired to our room around 11:30. We had another glass of champagne and ate the cake that the hotel had placed in our room for Todd's birthday.

We fell asleep around midnight and didn't get up until 10:00 this morning. I don't recall the last time I slept until 10:00. It must have been high school.

It felt so good.

We ordered room service and ate our Eggs Benedict out on the balcony, as we watched the Riverwalk awaken for another busy day of tourism and fun.

We headed home around 11:30 and here I sit, quietly typing as my family takes a rest. It was a wonderful weekend and I am so happy to have been able to celebrate Todd's birthday in style. Thanks to my dad and my sister for helping set everything up and for everyone who came to the bar to celebrate with us.

Happy 40th birthday, Todd. You are loved beyond measure.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Chocolate Spoon

When I was a freshman in college in 1994, I got care packages from my mom a couple of times a month. Cookies, cards, pictures and trinkets were always a part of the mix and one time I got an extra-special treat -- a bunch of chocolate-dipped spoons! I loved these things, as they released just the right amount of chocolate in your coffee as you stirred it with the spoon. Definitely one of man's greater inventions.

I used just about all of the spoons and enjoyed them immensely. I got down to my last one, though, and decided to save it. You know -- for that perfect, cold day cup o' joe. It was worth waiting for.

So the spoon stuck around for the rest of my freshman year. It also stuck around for my sophomore, junior and senior years. I just never found the right "time" to use the spoon.

Around that time, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and I clung to everything she gave me, knowing that care packages and trinkets from my mom were things of the past.

So the spoon stayed on through college and moved to my first apartment. Two years after graduating, I bought a condo and the spoon moved to the condo with me. Two-and-a-half years after that, Todd and I got married and moved to San Antonio. My mom died a little more than a year after moving into our current home and I just couldn't bear to throw the spoon out. That chocolate-dipped utensil has sat in our silverware drawer for more than six years now.

Until today.

While I was on the phone with a friend of mine with whom I needed to do some major catching up, I turned my back on the twins, knowing they would amuse themselves with baby dolls and other such notions. I watched them carefully enough to pluck them from the kitchen table a few times and break up a fight over a pacifier, but didn't pay much attention as they started rifling through the drawers I allow them to rifle through.

But when Grace toddled into the living room with a huge hunk of chocolate, I knew immediately what had happened. My mom's spoon -- 14 years in the making -- was being devoured by two little devils in my very own kitchen.

I didn't cry. Actually, I laughed. Th whole thing is pretty silly and it was just my obsessive-compulsive personality that made me keep the spoon for more than a decade. I knew my mom was laughing hysterically up in Heaven, watching my girls get chocolate all over themselves and laughing at me for holding onto something so inconsequential.

But the whole thing did raise one very important question:

Is 14-year-old chocolate bad for babies?

The answer to that question will be in the next 24 hour's diapers.

Monday, June 16, 2008


A few months ago, Faith jumped out of her crib. We thought it was an isolated incident, because she didn't do it again. We just assumed it scared her and she was going to stay put.

Two weeks ago, she did it again. Todd and I both wondered when this would become a habit.

Today was the day! All was quiet around the house and suddenly, "THUD!"

I ran upstairs to find Faith standing next to Grace's crib, looking a little stunned, but obviously trying to help her sister get a dropped pacifier and blanket.

As soon as Faith saw me, she started to cry, so I picked her up, rocked her and made it clear that she needs to stay in her crib from now on.

Fast forward about 15 minutes and I heard a lot of screeching upstairs. I went back up to the twins' room and opened the door. There was Faith, feet perched halfway up the rungs in the corner of the crib, ready to make a leap. I got there just in time to stop another, "THUD!" from happening.

I am not ready for these girls to be in "big girl beds" yet, so I guess it's time to purchase a crib tent.

It's just another day in paradise!

Devin's Doozie

This doozie happened a long time ago. In fact, I was pregnant with the twins when it happened! However, it remains one of my favorite memories of Devin and I am writing it down to make sure the moment is never lost.

When Devin was two, Todd decided it was time to teach him the ol' "Pull my finger," joke. You know the one. Don't make me explain.

So anyway, the joke became very popular in our house whenever Todd felt "the need." Devin was very impressed by his Daddy's ability to do such a thing on cue.

One day, while Todd was at work, Devin decided to play the trick on me. Not fully understanding how it works, he turned to me and said, "Mommy...pull my finger."

Being the fabulous mom that I am, I obliged, and pulled on the chubby little digit pointed toward me.

Upon doing so, nothing happened. Only silence and fresh air.

With a hurt look on his face and a question in his eyes, he looked at me and said, "It didn't work!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Darn It!

As we were filling out the paperwork to get the house listed and on the market, we came to a horrible discovery:

We are required to take the children with us when we move!

This changes everything.

*Big Smile Here*

Monday, June 09, 2008

Naked Baby

What is it about my child (specifically, Faith) taking off her clothes all the time?

It happens a few times a week. I'll walk into the twins' room, to find that Faith has taken off her shorts (we gave up on shirts months ago) and is sitting there in her diaper. Sometimes, shirts come off randomly in the living room or while she is sitting in her high chair. You just never know.

Yesterday, after nap time, I went to get the girls out of their cribs and there was Faith, stark naked, lying in her stomach, chin resting on her hands and feet in the air, looking like a 1920s poster girl for a burlesque show.

Today, I got back from taking Devin to Vacation Bible School and before I could even get Gracie out of the car, Faith had already taken off her dress and was running around the house in only a diaper.

I can't imagine where this comes from. ZZ? Any insight? :)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Movin' On...

It's been a long time comin', but we've decided to put our house on the market.

This is a bittersweet time for the Pruetz family, as this house holds just about every memory our family has made.

Todd and I bought and moved into our home after only nine months of marriage. We bought this four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home knowing we would start a family and fill the home with the pitter patter of little feet.

Sure enough, only 13 months after moving into our home, Devin was born and we went from being a couple to being a family.

We knew this house wouldn't be our "forever house," but it worked very well for our family of three. Devin had his room and bathroom, we had a study and a guest room, as well as our bedroom and bathroom, along with a big kitchen, a family room, a formal living room and formal dining room.

When there was some doubt as to whether or not we would be able to have any more kids, we started to think that this abode may be the one we sell after we retire.

And then the shoe dropped. Two shoes dropped, actually.

We became pregnant with the twins and suddenly, our house didn't seem quite so big anymore. At first it wasn't bad, but now that three kids are sharing one bathroom (a big bath with two sinks, but still not big enough) and we are swimming in toys ranging from baby dolls and toy high chairs to Hot Wheels and monster trucks, we just plain don't have enough room.

So, with some sadness and yet a bit of excitement, our home will have a "For Sale" sign in its front yard tomorrow.

We're looking to upgrade, but are resisting the desire to go hog wild. We'd like to stick with four bedrooms (the girls will have their own rooms, but can sleep together if we have guests over), three full bathrooms (Devin will have his own and the twins will share), a game room and a study.

Luckily, we live in an area of town with lots and lots of growth, so we don't doubt that we'll find something great.

But until then, we've got to keep this house clean with three kids and a dog living here.

Jealous? I didn't think so.

So if you read the headline, "San Antonio mom goes psycho after scrubbing kitchen floor for the fourth time in 24 hours," you'll know who's the star.