Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Guest at Playgroup

Lubbock decided that the kitchen needed some decorative help and unloaded the cookie cooling racks onto the ground. What a big helper!

Moshmee arrived on Tuesday night and it's been non-stop since she got here. We had dinner and stayed up late with Lauren talking about what's gone on in the last few months. Lubbock woke up the next morning and Aunt Moshmee was amazed at everything Lubbock did (as any good aunt would be). He ate mango and waffle for breakfast and then took his bath. Moshmee gave him a lobster bath toy (while on vacation in Maine) and a cute little Reebok wind suit for the fall. He loves the lobster. You wind it up and his tail goes crazy. Lubbock kept handing it to me to wind and I'd drop it in the tub. Once it's done, he picks it back up and hands it back to me to wind. Endless fun.

At our playgroup yesterday, we hosted Jen & Haley and Brandy & Evan. Everyone had so much fun and Moshmee got to see Lubbock's little friends. I made the salads I had prior to my massage last week (raspberries, red onions, toasted pistachios, feta cheese (instead of goat cheese) and pomegranate vinaigrette on mixed greens ... it's so good). Lubbock took a short nap then Moshmee and I took him to Target for coffee and an indoor walk. I didn't buy anything again. In fact, I returned a shirt I wasn't crazy about. I really need to try things on first, but it's so easy to return it that it's not worth getting Lubbock out of the cart, into the dressing room, keep him from looking under the stall at the lady next door or crawling under the door when I've got my shirt off ... you get the picture.

When Lauren got off work, we went to run errands. Moshmee must be impressed with how exciting my life is as a mom! I had my last photography class last night, so Kevin, Lauren, and Lubbock took her out for dinner. I got home about when they did and we played Apples to Apples for a little while.

Today is going to be way more exciting. I let Moshmee sleep in (as much as she could while crashed on our couch). After Lubbock's done with his morning nap, we'll go to the outdoor mall for lunch and wander around H&M (her favorite store ... they don't have them in Texas yet). We're going to try to fit in pedicures before having girl's night out at the karaoke bar. Then, she leaves tomorrow to go hang out with Nadine in Chicago. It seems like her visit always goes so quickly. We might not get to see her again until Christmas time.

Off to do a load of dishes!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies and a Clean Kitchen

Since my kitchen is clean, I decided to take pictures for the purposes of documenting that every once in a while it can be pretty. Our kitchen is definitely a retro-style kitchen. The stove is a working model from the early 50s and the cabinets and sink date back to the late 40s. The previous owner completely refurbished everything and it's what made me want to buy the house. It's so bright and happy. The tile back splash reminds me of a sunny day! My kitchen still looks cluttered, I guess, but there's some things I keep out because I use them so much. The little black thing on the top left of the stove is a heat protecting handle to put on my pans after I pull them out of the oven. It's kind of the joke around here, but whenever I pull a pan out, I always warn everyone else that it's hot, so be careful ... inevitably ... I'm the one that gets burned. So, I keep it handy, so I remember to use it.

Then, the next "clutter" I can't live without is the big yogurt container by the sink. We don't have a garbage disposal, so instead of throwing food scraps in the trash can, my neighbor and I started a compost pile. I keep my scraps in the yogurt container and once or twice a day, I empty it into the composter. Neither one of use thought it would work very well, but it actually produced great fertilizer. I don't use it because I don't plant things. I just buy them in the pots already and kill them before the season is over. I just got back from grocery shopping and I'm leaving a few things out. I bought the necessary ingredients for Kevin's favorite peanut butter cookies. I'll put the recipe on here in a minute ... believe me ... they are the best ever! I worked hard at adding and taking away ingredients and have mastered this recipe over the last five years of baking them for Kevin.

Then you can see the one mess I haven't cleaned up and that's Lubbock's kitchen toys. They're a set of dishes that are the same colors as my kitchen. (That way I don't mind when they're scattered all over the place.) And a sandwich stacking game. He's too young to play it right now, but he likes to put the pieces up to his mouth and say "Mmmm" ... I guess he's seen me do this enough that he started imitating me.

Anyway, there's a close up picture of his kitchen toys the way he left them. We're working on putting things away. He likes to put something in the basket and then clap for himself because that's what I've been doing. If I don't clap, too, he takes it back out of the basket and throws it on the ground. If I do clap, he pulls it back out and puts it back in and claps for himself again. It's a pretty silly cycle and ultimately winds up with a messy kitchen and an upset one year old!

The only 'art work' we have in the kitchen are some canvases that I painted yellow and have placed pictures of Lubbock with a messy face on them. I like it because it's the dining room and so it's kind of fitting. I meant to get a good messy picture of him with his birthday cake, but he wouldn't touch it! He didn't like it at all. But, I do have a picture of him after he ate some cherries last week. I just need to get it printed. The middle picture is of his first bite of baby cereal. He didn't know what to think, but it's a pretty cute picture. It reminds me about how little he used to be, too. I never really noticed how the middle picture is higher and not very centered until now ... I'll have to fix that.

Lastly, there's a picture of the curtains I had made for the kitchen and dining room. I attempted to make them myself, but it was a complete disaster. I am not handy enough to keep myself from going insane. I'm great at picking out the fabric, but that's it. So, a friend from work made them for me a little while ago. It was really nice of her. She laughed because it wasn't even like I needed anything fancy ... just sewing straight lines ... how hard should that be?

Okay, here's my beautiful peanut butter cookie recipe:

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. shortening
12 oz. jar of peanut butter

cream together above ingredients

2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
2 tsps. vanilla

add and beat well

stir together next ingredients and add in small b

3 1/2 c. flour (sift, then measure)
2 tsps. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

shape into balls about the diameter of a quarter (I use a cookie scoop sized for 2 tsps and make it a little fuller).

roll these in sugar. place on cookie sheet.

bake at 375 for 8 minutes, remove and place peanut butter cups in the center and push down slightly. bake 3 more minutes.

they'll look under-baked, but let them sit on cookie sheet for a few more minutes and then let cool for a while before eating. before placing in cookie jar, you'll have to let them cool over night since the peanut butter cups will take a while to 'un-melt.'

Monday, July 28, 2008

Laid Back Weekend

Ah! What a relaxing weekend. When Kevin got home on Friday, we just hung out and talked about our upcoming road trip to Texas. We both went to bed early and Lubbock even let us sleep in until 8:00 a.m. We went to Geneva and walked around an art fair and stopped in for a bite to eat at a local Mexican restaurant that we hadn't tried before. It was actually fairly decent for this area. What a surprise! I tried giving Lubbock a chicken quesadilla and some fried corn fritters. That kid won't eat anything fried. He must not be my child. He doesn't like chicken nuggets either. I am actually really happy about this.

Then a lady stopped by from freecycle to pick up some old wood framed windows that were stacked in our basement from the previous owner. It was nice to not have to put them in the land fill and the lady that picked them up is turning them into some sort of art, shabby chic thingy. I recommended that she take out the glass and put a piece of corkboard on one side and metal on the other side and turn them into a message center. Maybe I should have kept one and done that for myself! I also told her about all the paint I've been collecting and she agreed to come back and pick it all up when I'm done with it.

We just hung out the rest of the day. Sunday morning, Kevin went to the Jalapeno Grille and got some breakfast burritos ... they were so big and good that I wasn't hungry again until dinner. We walked around the local outdoor mall for most of the afternoon. I think I've done so much purging lately in an effort to actually fit into our "cute" little house, that I've become more picky about what I buy and won't buy things just because they're on sale anymore. I have a $10 gift card to DSW, but I couldn't find a pair of shoes I liked enough to buy. There must be something wrong with me if I can't find a pair of shoes!

Lauren and I watched Mad Men last night. It was a little bit of a disappointment because I didn't feel like any of the questions I had at the end of last season were answered. I think it will get better based on the interview they showed of the writer ... hopefully it's just off to a slow start.

Oh, I spent most of Saturday evening cleaning Lubbock's toys since we're hosting the playgroup on Wednesday and with all the sickness going around, I want to be extra cautious. I think he's got too many toys if it takes me more than an hour to clean them all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pictures from the Concert

Short story: Lubbock was obsessed with the wood chips by all the flowers.

I found the brick below to be really funny. Most of the others were things like "In Memoriam" or just a person's name, but "Graham Cracker" just tickled me!

Making Progress

The picture of the white flowers and bug is one I took last night. I tried getting one of the biggest bee I ever saw, but he moved too quickly for me to capture. He was really big, though! After class, I walked down to Heather's and we just had a nice talk. We have so much in common and it's nice to be able to not feel judged when you say something stupid. For instance, I was telling her about how I wasn't wearing a bra the first time I met her and I've always felt bad about that. I dwell on silly things sometimes. I don't know why I'd feel weird about that since she knocked on my door completely unexpected. But, it's just one of those things I think about every once in a while.

I got home at 10:00 pm and sat down to watch The Baby Borrowers. This is one of my guilty pleasures when it comes to TV watching. I also admit to liking Judge Judy. I like her line about "don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

Tonight, Lubbock, Lauren and I are going to another outdoor concert in our little downtown area. It should be fun and provide Kevin with a night to himself. I think that's one thing I appreciate about my relationship with Kevin is that we both understand the need to have time with our friends and time alone. I think it keeps us sane sometimes. I do feel bad, though, that Kevin hasn't really made any friends outside of his job. I realize it's kind of like setting up a play date for him when I try to introduce him to my friend's husbands, but, seriously, how else is he supposed to meet anyone? I think he liked RJ when he came to fix our water heater, so that's at least a start.

I'm not sure I'm going to get much further downstairs until this weekend, but I took a few pictures anyway. There's a picture looking north and one looking southwest. The southwest picture shows the table and set of drawers I was able to snag up. I need another set of shelves to get the rest of my stuff organized. Then, I took a picture of all the paint I've been able to collect on freecycle! I actually have 4 more cans in my car and am picking up another three this weekend. I need to start looking for a projector to borrow from someone so that I can get the mural drawn on the north wall and start painting. That's going to be so much work, but I'm sure I'll have fun doing it and it will look really cool when it's done. I'm sure it's going to be the room we live in the next few winters, so I should put as much effort into it as possible.

I can't wait to start.

I'm going to go make a salad for lunch ... mmm ... avocados, tomatoes, onions, maybe even some bell peppers. Lubbock will have his traditional chicken and veggies. Crud! I forgot to make him some chicken yesterday. He'll have fruit and veggies and chicken for dinner. Why not mix it up and have a little fun? You know you're a mom when you consider having chicken for dinner "mixing it up!"

Oh, this is the picture I'm basing the mural on ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I forgot to talk about my ingenious 'invention' yesterday. Lubbock had mango for breakfast, but was having a hard time grasping the pieces. I crushed up some of his On the Go O's (Cheerios) and coated the mango pieces with those crumbs. He loved them. I'm so smart!

Today, I'm going to visit West Chicago. I've got some stuff I'm dropping off to some people from freecycle. One lady is collecting scrapbooking supplies for a lady at her church who is stuck at home now and is picking up a new hobby. I had some punches, scissors, paper, and stickers I couldn't really see myself using. Also, I'm taking some plastic drawer towers to an organization that helps mentally challenged adults with vocational training in the gardening industry. I bought all my potted plants from them earlier this summer and when I saw that they needed these, I was glad to help out. I hadn't completely decided if I wanted to get rid of them, but since I got the drawers at that garage sale, I decided I could part ways with them. Then, after that, I'm stopping off at a lady's house who has some purple and pink paint for my mural. She lives in my friend Brandy's neighborhood, so we may call ahead and see if she's up for some company.

I met Brandy in Target about 9 months ago. She has a baby a few days younger than Lubbock. She was looking at the Bumbo seats and I started telling her about how great they are. (They were recalled about three days later!) We exchanged phone numbers and Lubbock and Evan are now best friends. We call each other our "Target friend." The Target is halfway between our houses, so we always call each other if we're going to see if we want to meet up and walk around.

We need to leave in a little bit to run our errands, so I'll sign off for now. My photography class is tonight, so I may write some more then.

Here I am in photography class. The first picture I posted is of a little fellow on my front porch I noticed on my way out the door to class. I think he's a cool color. He reminded me of a highlighter.
There's also a picture of Lubbock from a while ago. I borrowed my sister's memory card for class to see if there were any photos on her's that I wanted. Moshmee will appreciate this photo because she's a University of Texas grad and it looks like Lubbock's saying "Hook 'em Horns!"

The photo of Lubbock's rear end is one of my favorites. I took it off my sister's card. We were at the Salt Lake City airport in June and they have a little play area for kids. Lubbock was obsessed with the little orange blocks ... no other color, just orange. (He's going to OSU for sure!) Side note: There were some wood blocks in with all these plastic blocks that had been chewed up and the paint was chipping off of them. I took the liberty of protecting any children that may have been subjected to ingesting paint and threw them away. Mothers of America, you're welcome!

The other photo of Lubbock is also from my sister's camera, but it's more recent. She took him to an outdoor concert one night while I was in my class. It's probably from about 5 or 6 weeks ago. Man, so much has changed since then ... he's had a hair cut and he no longer takes a bottle!

The last picture is from my drive home last week. It was too dark to post, so I waited and fixed it up in class today before posting.

Our instructor has invited us to go outside and take some photos if we want. I think I'll take her up on that. I'll be back!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Planning for a Birthday and a Visit

Kevin's birthday is next month and I can't really decide what to do. I didn't do much last year because we went to Texas that week and we were with his mom and dad at their lake house. I thought about getting tickets to a concert, but the only person coming anytime soon (that Kevin would want to see) is Pat Green. And that really isn't until the end of September. I also thought about doing one of those dinner cruises in downtown Chicago. The one that's the Saturday after his birthday is going on during some other festival, so it features a fireworks show. I don't know what I'll do. He always just takes me shopping and lets me pick out what I want. Maybe we'll just spend the day together ... that's always fun. I could always get him tickets to a football game, but it doesn't look like the Cowboys are coming here this year.

Moshmee is coming into town on Tuesday. I really need to get the house cleaned up. But, here I am sitting at the computer while Lubbock takes his nap! To my credit, I was able to get all the laundry put away before sitting down. I think I'm going to try to get the kitchen cleaned up while he eats lunch. Then, all I have to do is sweep and mop and that side of the house is done for about one hour ... my sister and my dog can mess it back up pretty quickly. Housework is my own personal demon.

Well, he just woke up ... looks like I played around on the internet too long to actually type anything. Kitchen cleaning ... here I come!

Later that day ... I got some work done in the kitchen, but mostly concentrated on Lubbock's room since I could clean it today and it'll be fine for another month. He doesn't go in there except to sleep and have his diaper changed. He's started doing this thing lately where after he goes to the bathroom, he'll walk into his nursery and stand by the changing table. Everyone keeps telling me that he might be ready to potty train, but I am certainly not going to begin doing that with a 14 month old. I think that's way too young. I'd like for him to be able to sit on the toilet and he's too small for that.

I took pictures of the nursery after I cleaned it. It's obviously sports themed, but we agreed to not allow any one team to be represented since Kevin and I (Texas Tech and Oklahoma State) have our own universities and my dad loves BYU. I always tell Kevin that Lubbock will go to OSU and he says if Lubbock ever threatens that, his response will be, "Son, if God intended for you to go to OSU, he would have named you Stillwater!" Our next boy will be named Payne (the county OSU is in) ... Stillwater would be a funny name.

Well, Kevin is home and he's going to fire up the grill for some blue cheese burgers and garlic fries ... yum. (I may post more pictures of Lubbock's room, but the site is acting weird right now.)

About Yesterday

It was my first missed day! I'm not going to beat myself up about it. Lubbock's eating breakfast, so I came in just to say that I hung out with Heather a little yesterday morning, then went grocery shopping ($160, with one $.55 coupon ... go me!), and then went to my doctor's appointment. I really need to find a closer doctor. He was close when I worked, but now it's about a 45 minute drive. He switched my meds, so I'll see if these work any better. He also said that the one I was on has weight gain as a side effect (12 pounds in 3 months). I told him I couldn't entirely blame the medicine because I am the one shoving the food in my mouth and making decisions about what I eat. He laughed and then said maybe I have a thyroid problem. I told him that I'm probably just not as careful about what I'm eating as I used to be. He sent me off for blood work anyway. *sigh* I suppose it is the American way to always want to have an excuse for any problems they have. Why should I be any different?

So, I made it home around 5:00 and made chicken with fettuccine alfredo and green beans. Don't be impressed about the alfredo ... it's the frozen bag from Trader Joes ... that stuff is delicious. I love Trader Joes!

Again, Lauren and I worked downstairs for about an hour. I can't really say we accomplished much because we ran into an envelope full of love letters from my high school boyfriend. Lauren was having a lot of laughs at my expense. He was quite deep for an 18 year old, but also very sappy!

That was yesterday ... I'm going to have my coffee and start today.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Abandoning Budgets

I think I'm too impatient to work within my budget of $100 I set for myself for the downstairs craft/play room. I was able to locate a table with white legs and a maple top (similar to the wood on the other items I already purchased). I found it for $30 on craigslist and they live about a mile away, so it's super convenient (especially since I'll be on the way to the airport when Kevin goes to pick it up). So, I've got $28 left in my budget ... I think. I don't know that I'll be able to do what I need to do. Maybe I should establish a new budget of $200. That's still a pretty low number and I'd still feel good about getting the area done. I took pictures last night and moved some things around in the basement. It's unfinished and not tall enough to finish, so it's one of those old school basements with limestone walls. Pretty cool except for everything gets really dusty. All this is to be expected in a home that is more than 100 years old. We just had to have the charm of an old home.

When we bought our first home in Oklahoma City, we bought a house built in the 40s. It was awesome. It had so much character, but also said a lot about how society has changed. The kitchen cabinets weren't deep enough for our dinner plates! We loved working on all the different projects around the house, mostly ripping up carpet to expose beautiful wood floors and painting walls.

Then we moved to Fort Worth and had to buy a house in one weekend ... well, we didn't have to, but we did. We focused on a new house because we figured we had already experienced an older house, so we should try to relax for a while. We hated it. All the houses in our neighborhood looked alike, there was nothing exciting going on in the interior of the house, the tree was only 5 feet tall and every house in the neighborhood had that same little damn tree! It felt like suburban life at it's most expected.

So, we got the opportunity to move north and decided to go with an old house that had most of the updating done for us this time. We still have projects ahead of us. We need to add a bathroom ... how we've survived two years with one bathroom is beyond me! Kevin would love a deck and I'd like to have a garage. We've used his bonus every year to do something new to the house. The first year was just decorating ... paint, curtains, a pull out couch for the guest room/study/currently serving as Lauren's bedroom, and all the furniture and "start up" baby supplies needed once we found out we were expecting. The next year, we hooked up our house to the city's sewer line. I hated having a septic system. Our tank was so small that we could either take do laundry or dishes in the evening, but not both! So, that was a necessity. I can't decide what I'm going to rally for at the beginning of the year, but I'm thinking a bathroom will be nice once Lubbock's a full fledged bathroom user!

Maybe once I get home from the airport (Grandma Dianne is leaving), I'll post the pictures I took last night. Nothing too exciting going on anyway. Forgot ... Mad Men season premiere tonight on AMC ... Must watch television ... Does Peggy keep her baby?

Update ... just realized Mad Men season premiere is next week. So, nothing happening tonight after all!

Update, update ... posted pictures are of the room in the basement I will attempt to turn into a craft/play room. All photos are taken from southeast corner. First photo is of the south side, second of the west side, third photo is looking north. I've done tons of work, but my sister is kicking me out of her "room" (aka my study) so she can go to bed!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Girls Day Out

Aaahhh ... what a wonderful day. I met my friend Maureen just before lunch in Geneva and we shopped a little bit. I found 7 awesome spools of ribbon for $1 each at my favorite card and gift wrap store. They were in a tiny basket at the back, tossed aside and I had to bend down to look at them before I noticed they were all $1. Score!

Then we went to my favorite resale shop for clothes and toys. I ran through the toy area super quick to see what they had. Sitting right in the middle of the room as if it were placed there just for me was an awesome wood activity table with red accenting. It's another perfect find for the room downstairs. It was $16! So, I'm $42 into my budget. I know I still need a large table for me, a chair for me, two chairs for Lubbock's side, two bookshelves, and some sort of toy container for Lubbock, too. Oh, a TV/VCR, but I'm sure I can find that on freecycle. $58 left. I hope I can do it.

Anyway, we had lunch at the Harrington. I had a wonderful tomato cream soup and a goat cheese and pistachio salad. Then we met up with Gretchen and had massages. These were our Valentine gifts from our husbands that we are just now using! It was so relaxing and I feel very rejuvenated.

When we were done, I called Kevin to see how things were going, but he said he wasn't feeling well. I decided to come home instead of joining the gals for a glass of wine. I'm glad I did because Kevin has 102 temperature! So, he's in bed and I guess we aren't doing anything tonight. Oh well, maybe when my mom and sister get home, I can go do something downstairs by myself.

I'll have to take before pictures to post before I start doing anything!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Craft Room Furniture

My budget goal for the craft/play room is $100. I already bought a teepee and tunnel for Lubbock and that was about $40 or $50. To make myself feel better, I'm not including that in my budget! So, the budget starts today ...

My mom and I went to some garage sales this morning and I was able to snag up three pieces of furniture for $26. One is a low and long TV stand in royal blue with a drawer for movies. It's perfect for Lubbock's side of the room, is a nice bright color, and has wheels ... always a plus. The other two are for my side. They are a matching set as far as the wood goes (but I'll probably sand and paint them). One is a set of drawers (4 drawers) and the other is a shelf. I should be able to fit a large file in that one for my craft paper. I'm not sure if their tall enough to use as "legs" for a table, but it's a nice start ... and they're on wheels, too.

I almost snagged up a cute Sigrid Olson black polo shirt for $1, but then I noticed that it was missing a button and I'd never fix it, so I decided not to buy it.

Last night, my mom, Lauren and I went to a local bar and sang a few karaoke songs. We sang Crocodile Rock and Jolene. Love Dolly Parton! We were home before midnight and my mom let me sleep until 8am! Lubbock's taking his nap, so I'm going to get some laundry and mopping done. A mom's job is never done.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Surroundings

On my way home from my class the last few Wednesdays, I've begun to pay more attention to my surroundings. I live in a beautiful area with many old farms and buildings. The red building here is on a farm that sells mostly fall harvests like apples, corn, and honey. There are several corn fields between my house and the campus and they've planted the corn very late this year. I remember last year that Lubbock was about 6 weeks old when the corn was already showing on the stalks. They aren't even very tall yet two or three weeks later this year.

The "cider" sign is on the same building, just on the side. Even though it's in the mid 90s right now, just seeing the word cider makes me feel like it's fall.

My mom gets into town in about an hour and I'm about an hour away from the airport, but I prefer to be a little late so that I don't have to keep looping around O'Hare. That's a crazy airport and trying to weave your way through traffic drives me nuts. I can't wait for her to see Lubbock. She hasn't seen him since he started to walk, so that's been about three months. I'm sure we'll get the benefit of babysitting, but I'm trying to convince Kevin that we don't need to go out on Saturday. I'd rather try to get some work done on the basement. Our grand plan is to move all the stuff out of the side room and turn it into a craft/play room. Our house is really small and last winter was difficult trying to keep Lubbock entertained in only the living room, so I can't imagine what this winter will be like. I'd like to be able to split up the day and have two different areas in which to play. I've already got a diagram of where I want my bookshelves, tables, chairs, toys, etc. I need to start looking at garage sales for these things so that I don't have to buy it all new. (I've been keeping my eyes open on freecycle and craigslist, too.) I have a mural printed off that I want and have been collecting different colors of paint from everyone willing to give me their leftovers. Kevin's not very happy about that because I have about 40 different colors collected and it's starting to just pile up downstairs. I keep reminding him about how much money I've saved by finding it for free.

Last picture, just a pretty picture I took last night. I guess I should get going to the airport. I can't wait to see her. I'm sure she's excited to see Lubbock.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photography Class

I'm sitting in the last row of my photography class. I enjoy coming, but sometimes is excruciating to sit through. There's different levels of computer knowledge in here so sometimes when the teacher will say something basic ... she has to stop and re-teach that skill. Right now she's reminding some of the class participants how to open a file. I figured I would upload some more pictures while she does that.

This photo was taken in my backyard. I have no clue what kind of flower or plant it is. I just think it's pretty. We have all kinds of vegetation growing back there, but it seems to pop up and die quickly. My sister planted some little flowers in a pot and I think the rabbits are eating them because the petals are slowly disappearing bite by bite.

This is the same plant, just from a different angle, playing with background colors and focal points. I like the distress of the siding behind the plant. It's my neighbor's shed. Kind of an eye sore from a distance, but makes for some beautiful pictures. I guess that's what I like about photography. It helps me better appreciate my surroundings.

They were reporting last week about how when mothers look at pictures of their baby smiling, it boosts something in the mother and makes her instantly happier. That's what I thought about when I was able to capture this next picture. Lubbock was on Kevin's shoulders and was so happy. He got to spend so much time with Kevin this weekend. We woke up early on Saturday to get Lubbock his first ever haircut. Kevin told me that his first haircut is the last one I get to go to because from now on, it's a guy's day thing for just them. That's okay ... if I ever have a girl, we'll go get pedicures when they get their hair cut. Then we went downtown for our town's festival. We bought tickets to go on the rides. We didn't do the crazy ones. Kevin had Lubbock sit on his lap and they went down the really big slide. He was completely unimpressed. It cost $2 each for a 5 second trip down the slide and not even a laugh. He's a tough nut to crack sometimes. Then I took him on the little kid's roller coaster. It was so small, it made me dizzy. It only had about a ten foot circumference and they made this little ride go super fast. Ugh. I would have told the guy to stop the ride, but there was a 5 year old on, too, and I wasn't going to ruin her fun. There were two live bands playing. Lubbock danced for about an hour and a half. I didn't know we were going to be there so long and I didn't pack a dinner for him. I did find a vendor with bananas and got a chicken taco without the salsa.

He finally fell asleep and I was able to snap this photo with the moon light hitting him just right. I had to adjust the lighting on this photo in class since it was really dark. But, he really does look so peaceful. We walked home and put him to bed. The next morning, Kevin took Lubbock with him to get his oil changed. Kevin tried to keep him out of my hair so I could clean the house, but that's the day our water heater broke, so there wasn't a ton I could do with no hot water.

We're an hour into class and she just taught us something new. We learned how to cut things from one picture and create a whole new picture out of all these different pictures. Pretty exciting. I suppose if I had a bunch of cute portraits of Lubbock, I could make a triptych of him or make on of those funky new-age art pieces with four different color focuses. I just fixed this picture, though ... the coloring was off. I may work on making my bra strap disappear! I'm learning some useful things. If I could add makeup to pictures, that would be awesome.

That's one thing I've definitely quit doing now that I'm at home. I maybe do my makeup twice a month. I've never been a big makeup kinda girl, though. Kevin jokes that when we lived in Texas, I was a "girl." I wore high heels, skirts, curled my hair, wore makeup, and got pedicures. We moved up to Illinois and I quit doing all that stuff, except makeup because I had a "real" job. Now, I don't really leave the house enough to wear makeup. I might put some on to go to a play date, but the other moms know what it's like, so I know they won't judge me. So, Kevin will say things like "Back when you were a girl, blah, blah, blah." I think it's funny.

I actually bought a cute little red dress to wear next month to a concert we're going to. My friend from junior high and high school is coming up to visit. She's mostly coming to see Lubbock, but that weekend, we're all meeting some of her friends from downtown Chicago to see the Gypsy Kings. They played some song on Simply Mad About the Mouse (a Disney CD that I used to listen to when I was little) ... it's kind of Latin infused dance music. It should be a good time. So, Kevin should be happy about that. I might even curl my hair, too, but it's an outdoor concert, so I'll have to see how humid it's supposed to be. Well, I'm going to work on some other stuff. I'm done typing for now.

More tomorrow ... This whole blog thing makes journaling so easy. I know I'm not writing about anything in particular, but it still makes me think about stuff that's going on.

Can't Sleep

Last night was rough. My little guy woke up at 11pm (right after I finally fell asleep) and cried for about an hour. Kevin woke up at about midnight ... just as Lubbock was calming down. It irritated me at the time, but I think it's funny that Kevin has a knack for waking up at the exact moment that Lubbock's calming down and acts like "Oh, my gosh ... Lubbock's crying. You should go do something. " At the time, in my sleep deprivation, my reaction is something along the line of "F*** off, I've been awake the whole time, you selfish pig." Then he rolls over and goes right back to sleep. I secretly hate him at those times. Maybe not so secretly. I actually just hate the fact that he can sleep through everything and I have such a hard time getting to sleep in the first place and an even harder time staying asleep. I tried melatonin, but that just makes it really hard to wake up in the morning. Anyway, Kevin kissed me goodbye in the morning and I told him I loved him ... because I do.

I never resolved the dinner issue yesterday because Lubbock was such a snuggly baby the whole day. His temperature finally went down, but he still cried a ton. I watched a lot of daytime TV yesterday and there were so many White Castle commercials on. I was craving their french fries by the end of the day and just sent Kevin out to grab drive-thru dinner. Maybe chicken for dinner tonight. Crap! I have photography class tonight. Maybe I'll make it anyway since my sister isn't working today and I have an extra set of hands. My mom comes in town for the weekend tomorrow and Kevin is having dinner with the president of his company, so I'm sure I'll wind up going out for dinner tomorrow myself. Yes, I'll make chicken tonight.

I'm actually excited about my class tonight. I didn't do my homework, though. But, it's just a community class, so there's no grading or anything. We were supposed to take some portraits using different lighting techniques. Unfortunately, it's difficult to explain to Lubbock that he needs to sit still while Mommy determines if the light is hitting him just right. Hell, I'm lucky if I can snap a picture of him with his head still enough to not be blurry. I'm mostly really good at taking nature pictures right now since it sits still! I'm trying to post one of my favorites, but can't figure it out yet. I'll keep trying to work on it after I have my coffee!

Yah! I figured it out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome to my first posting!

I decided to start a blog because I feel sometimes I can't remember what happens from day-to-day in my life. I used to keep a journal when I was younger, but can never seem to find time to hand write everything. I'm a much faster typer ... besides, this way all the grandparents can see Lubbock growing up, too!

Let's start with yesterday. Our water heater was on the fritz again. I say again because about a year ago, it quit working, too. I called the repair guy out and he showed me how to fix it, but Lubbock was a few weeks old, so I couldn't remember what he said. I knew it was the same problem, but had no idea how to fix it. Thank goodness for friends. Jen's husband, RJ, came out after he got off work and all he had to do was pull out some wire and brush it off (it was dirty, same problem as last year) and put it back in. Problem fixed.

I am attempting to make Lubbock a very adventurous eater and in this quest, I gave him tilapia for lunch. He liked it. (Both Kevin and I detest seafood.) He's had a huge bug bite between his eyes since Saturday. I haven't been too worried. But last night, after dinner, he was cranky, so I decided to give him some ibuprofen. This made him very mad and, in typical one-year-old fashion, he decided to throw up all over me. I needed a shower anyway ... at least I had hot water by this point! He's still got a bit of a fever (101.3), so I've been letting him sleep and giving him some baby Tylonel every 8 hours. His bug bite looks much better, so I don't think the two are related, but I figure I'd see how lunch went and maybe call the doctor this afternoon.

I'm trying to save money by using things out of my pantry. I was going to make a cake yesterday, but when I pulled the cake mix out ... I noticed that it expired in 2005. (Meaning we probably bought it in Oklahoma, moved it to Texas, moved it to our rental in Illinois, and moved it to our house we're in now.) That is some well traveled Betty Crocker! I thought at first it was a sign from God that I didn't need cake (believe me, I don't), but then took it as a sign that he wanted me to make brownies instead. Then, I noticed my eggs expired in April ... this was just a sign that I would use Egg Whites and make them "healthy."

I am trying to be a healthier cook, but Kevin is a red-meat and cheese guy. So, it's a big challenge. We had lasagna last night, but I admit it was just the crap out of the box thrown in the oven. I think I am going to make chicken for dinner since Kevin had steak on Sunday night. I also bought some textured vegetable protein product that is supposed to be a good substitute for ground beef, so I am going to try to use it for taco meat this week, too. We'll see if it fools Kevin. I'll keep you posted.

I think I hear Lubbock waking up, so I'm going to go get him.

Later in the day ... he's on his third nap. He's almost a one-nap-a-day kid at this point, so this is a lot of sleep for him. At least his temperature is going down. I've learned that one positive about him being so sick is that he's awfully snuggly! He's a very independent little man and doesn't let me snuggle with him. Since he was about 6 months old and learned to hold his bottle on his own, he hasn't really let me hold him for very long. He always wants to get down and see what is going on around the house. So, I haven't really done much today other than hold him and try to get him to eat something. He ate about half a waffle for breakfast, but didn't touch the grapes. Some broccoli for lunch with some crackers. I normally give him chicken at lunch along with his veggies, but thought the crackers would be better on his stomach.

Well, since he's back down, I think I'm going to try to start some laundry and make a final decision on dinner. My sister, Lauren, should be home soon. (side note: She moved in about two months ago because she couldn't stand to be so far away from Lubbock. She's such a good aunt. We're letting her stay here while she determines in what part of town she wants to live.)