Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nancy Pelosi is such a moron!

Below is the speech Nancy Pelosi gave prior to the vote on the bailout.

First, a few words of my own ...

I don't think the bailout needs to happen. I believe we need to allow the free market to correct itself. The poor lending habits began under the Clinton administration when Bill asked the banks to 'loosen their pockets' (not a quote ... I'm just summarizing) since the budget was balanced. The result? Mortgages based on no income verification ... mortgages given to illegal aliens ... no interest, balloon loans that only postpone the inevitable for 5 years.

Wall Street caused this problem and I don't believe it's the job of the government (with my money, by the way) to solve this problem. Maybe by not doing this, it's the only way to 'tighten the pockets' of Wall Street. In fact, it's time for everyone to accept responsibility and not live beyond their means. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I'm certainly not going to blame Washington for my problems.

"Main Street," "middle class," and "working class" are all terms democrats keep using to make it seem like they care. Excuse me, anybody that works is part of the working class ... $20k to $5m a year ... all working class. And everyone is part of Main Street, regardless of if they have a job or not. Why are we so concerned what leaches on the system think? If the politicians care, please vote this down. McCain ... if you're listening ... I am disappointed that you believe this to be the best way to move forward. Not so disappointed to vote for the opponent, however.

Madam Speaker, when was the last time someone asked you for $700bn?

It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies: policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system.

Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital. But left to its own devices, it has created chaos.

That chaos is the dismal picture painted by Treasury Secretary [Henry)] Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman [Ben] Bernanke a week and a half ago in the Capitol. As they pointed out, we confront a crisis of historic magnitude that has the ability to do serious injury not simply to our economy but to the American people; not just to Wall Street, but to everyday Americans on Main Street.

It is our responsibility today, to help avert that catastrophic outcome. Let us be clear: This is a crisis caused on Wall Street. But it is a crisis that reaches to Main Street in every city and town of the United States.

It is a crisis that freezes credit, causes families to lose their homes, cripples small businesses, and makes it harder to find jobs. It is a crisis that never had to happen. It is now the duty of every member of this body to recognise that the failure to act responsibly, with full protections for the American taxpayer, would compound the damage already done to the financial security of millions of American families.

Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush administration.

I must recognise the outstanding leadership provided by [the chairman of the House financial services committee and Democrat of Massachusetts] Barney Frank, whose enormous intellectual and strategic abilities have never before been so urgently needed, or so widely admired.

I also want to recognise [Illinois Democratic Republican] Rahm Emanuel, who combined his deep knowledge of financial institutions with his pragmatic policy experience to resolve key disagreements.

Secretary Paulson deserves credit for working day and night to help reach an agreement, and for his flexibility in negotiating changes to his original proposal.

Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street.

The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardise the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilisation bill.

So we insisted that this bill contain several key provisions. This legislation must contain independent and ongoing oversight to ensure that the recovery programme is managed with full transparency and strict accountability.

The legislation must do everything possible to allow as many people to stay in their homes rather than face foreclosure.

The corporate CEOs whose companies will benefit from the public's participation in this recovery must not benefit by exorbitant salaries and golden parachute retirement bonuses.

Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over. The era of golden parachutes for high-flying Wall Street operators is over. No longer will the US taxpayer bail out the recklessness of Wall Street. The taxpayers who bear the risk in this recovery must share in the upside as the economy recovers.

And should this programme not pay for itself, the financial institutions that benefited, not the taxpayers, must bear responsibility for making up the difference.

These were the Democratic demands to safeguard the American taxpayer, to help the economy recover, and to impose tough accountability as a central component of this recovery effort.

This legislation is not the end of congressional activity on this crisis. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will continue to hold investigative and oversight hearings to find out how the crisis developed, where mistakes were made, and how the recovery must be managed to protect the middle class and the American taxpayer.

With passage of this legislation today, we can begin the difficult job of turning our economy around, of helping those who depend on a growing economy and stable financial institutions for a secure retirement, for the education of their children, for jobs and small business credit.

Today we must act for those Americans, for Main Street, and we must act now, with the bipartisan spirit of cooperation which allowed us to fashion this legislation.

This not enough. We are also working to restore our nation's economic strength by passing a new economic recovery stimulus package, a robust, job-creating bill that will help Americans struggling with high prices, get our economy back on track and renew the American dream.

Today we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years, with the failed economic leadership that has left us less capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a new direction to a better future.

Cleo's Departure

Prior to Kevin taking Cleo to meet her foster family, I knew there was one person who would appreciate saying goodbye to her ... our neighbor.

She is a bit over the edge (in my opinion) when it comes to pet care. She has 7 cats (she's recently adopted a cat that belonged to a family down the street, because she didn't feel they were taking sufficient care of it). She pretty much hijacked it, but the family didn't really care because it was basically just a stray that liked their yard. But they fed it. She takes two of her cats for acupuncture. Her dog is on more medication that most humans and is taken in at least every month for a check up. For what, I don't know. She ripped up her carpeting and purchased wood floors last year. The flooring was dropped off and then she found out her cat needed surgery, so she had the flooring taken back so she could afford the surgery. She lived with subfloors the rest of the winter. She's threatened to call the cops (but I really think she means Animal Control) on us when our dog is out in inclement weather. To her, this means anything lower than 60, higher than 80, any humidity in the air, winds over 10 mph, and more than 2 hours (as I have gone out to run errands and came home to find her inside ... for unknown reasons ... I really should ask for my key back!). I know some people out there are cheering her for all she does in the animal community, but ... I just can't go that far.

Anyway, Neighbor Lady came over and said her goodbyes and then in a not so subtle way showed her disapproval by saying to Cleo "you've done everything right" and telling me "I hope this does help you because it would be sad to have her suffer so much for you." Sigh. I shouldn't have said anything to her to begin with.

But, now that I got that part out of the way ... Kevin came home and I helped him gather up Cleo's things. I asked him if he wanted a picture and he didn't say anything. He told Cleo that she had been a good dog for him and that this was the right thing to do. He said that he knew she'd be happier. He was crying so much. I had a lump in my throat trying to keep down the words "oh, Kevin ... I'm sorry. Let's keep her here." But, I just knew what that meant. They left.

He called about 45 minutes later, but I couldn't get to the phone. When I called him, he said he was talking to his dad and he'd be home soon. When he got home, I gave him a beer and asked what the lady was like. He said she was nice. She has two other bassets and they play together during the day and all sleep in the same room. I think hearing how that seemed like a more pleasant life than her present situation may have helped him. I didn't ask anything else. I let him finish his beer.

A little later, I told him I hadn't made dinner because I didn't know what he'd be up for. He suggested a gyro place that I despise (due to it's proportion of dead bugs to people inside the restaurant). I agreed. When he got home, we ate in mostly silence. He then said ... "Now that Cleo's not here ... can we get a rug for the living room?"

I think he's over it already. Guys are weird like that. I know he misses her. I hear phantom noises still. Her scratching at the door or her nails clinking on the floor. I'm sure in time, those will go away.

I do feel better today. And I really love Kevin for doing this. I know Cleo is in a better place for her and I feel that Lubbock is safer, too.

I still feel like crying for the whole situation, though.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update on the Little Miss

The bus dropped off four kids. Everyone but Little Miss. Her boyfriend (term used only to indicate the boy she was walking with on Friday) walked by and looked at the sign and then noticed me standing in the doorway. I do realize I am attempting to annoy a 12 year old, but I really don't know what else to do.

Perhaps her just knowing that I know she did it will keep her from doing it again.

And, Jen ... I'm ignoring your Democratic (aka Socialist) posting and instead am going to post a yard sign that says "Vote No to Socialism." See you Wednesday!

I'll write more about how the whole thing with Cleo went later.

The Long Funk

I've been in a pretty bad mood lately. It's not an every day, every minute kind of bad mood, though ... which is almost easier to deal with. It just gets triggered and is hard to get out of. For instance, I caught the little piss-ant that was ripping my McCain sign out of my yard. It's one the junior high students. With my sore knee, I wasn't able to follow her well enough to find out where she lives. Her name is Julie or Julia, though. I was going to stand outside and take her picture this morning while she waited for the bus (for purposes of which I don't know ... it just seems like a good idea), but none of the students waited at the stop today. Maybe because I yelled at her on Friday or maybe because it looked like it was going to rain ... who knows. But, it put me in such a bad mood.

I can't really say that anything happened on Saturday. I did the grocery shopping. Oh, my knee felt a little better, so I helped Kevin with the yard work. I trimmed our bushes and swept the leaves off our front lawn. Lubbock fell down the two steps at the end of the yard and got a good bump on his forehead ... again. Went to bed early.

Sunday was pretty bad. I woke up with Lubbock and he is still cranky ... he's been cranky for a few days. The poor guy has his hand in his mouth and is slobbering all over the place. His mouth must really hurt. I can acknowledge this intellectually, but it doesn't keep me from screaming at him when he bites my belly or tries to flip off the changing table when he's got a mess all over him. I feel bad after the fact. Some days I'm better equipped to handle this whole 'being a mother' thing.

Today is the day that Cleo goes to her foster family. I don't know if that's part of my bad mood or not. I was a little irritated with Kevin all weekend because he didn't even play with her. He just put her in the back yard and ignored her. I asked him a few times if he was going to let her in and he said he was keeping her out there because of me. He's totally putting this all on me. I can't feel that bad about it, though ... I am doing what's best for everyone ... Cleo included.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

In the mean time, I can't decide if I need to get my medication adjusted or wait and see if it's the dog. Ya, I said it. Medication. Some of you know about this. I even sometimes joke about it ("No amount of medication can make me okay with the dog biting my child" for instance). But, for the most part, it's really helpful. I think I'll wait to see if Cleo's departure helps.

In other news ... I've had two entries in my giveaway. It's a start. I asked my sister if she was going to enter and she said she didn't have a Google account, so she didn't enter. Whatever. If there's two entries, I'll just flip a coin to see who wins. It's still fun to give things away.

Anyway, Lubbock's taking his nap. I'm going to take a shower and document the newest pile of things for Goodwill.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sometimes ... When I look in your eyes ... I can see your soul. -- James

Amazing concert. It's a little after 1am.

First ... special shout-outs to everyone who made this possible. Heather: for watching Lubbock for two hours when I promised you it would only be one. Kevin: for feeding our son and putting him to bed all on your own. Sean!: for driving us to and from the train station. Mom: who doesn't know it yet, but for feeding Lubbock breakfast while I try to sleep for an extra hour in the morning ... you are sleeping on my couch after all. Lauren: for seeing that James was in town and being such a fun date. And to the four people we asked for directions in Chicago. Thank you!

Second ... while I enjoyed the concert, I do have to get one thing off my chest before I can go any further. I'm so sick of going to concerts and being bombarded with a musician's political stance. Especially when they're not from the US. I won't go so far to say I won't give you my money anymore, but if you're so interested in telling me how you feel about our unjust war ... hold a Q&A session after the concert so that I don't have to just listen to you sing some dumb song about towers falling and troops dying and how you just can't understand why it's happening. You're a musician and I get it ... you can write a song about whatever is on your mind, but I'm going to the concert to be entertained, not aggravated.

Third ... Amy MacDonald was the opening act. She was really great, too. I couldn't watch her perform, however, because her boobs were really bouncy and she was playing a guitar and the whole bouncing, dancing, strumming thing was too much to watch. She has a really strong voice and great emotion and energy in her lyrics. I'll have to download some of her stuff tomorrow and see if it is just as good non-live.

Lastly ... Amazing concert. I'm a little confused, though. They have an album prior to Laid and he (singer, Tim Booth) kept referring to Laid as his first album. Maybe he just meant his first one to 'hit it big.' They sang some stuff from the newest album and I hadn't heard it yet, but it's mostly pretty good stuff (except for the previous ranted about song, which is the title song). He did the songs you'd expect, so there were no disappointments there. His dancing was a cross between MC Hammer, Kermit the Frog (or maybe a Fraggle), and the dude from R.E.M. The trumpet player was wearing a long red dress, Tevas, and sunglasses. He seemed pretty comfortable. The violin/guitar/drum backup/tambourine player was a little all over the place. He had no understanding of personal space. He'd play the violin and walk around the stage and get about 8 inches from another guy and just stare at him. It was kind of weird. But, the song selection was great, the sound quality in the Vic Theatre was perfect since it was a pretty small venue. The light effects were good because they didn't distract too much from the music. When it came time for the finale, the singer came out on one of the side balconies (about 20 feet from where we were) and sang from there. It was nice to have him that close and be able to feed off his energy. The finale closer was Sometimes. The audience sang along and when it came to the line (see the title of this entry) it repeated to the point that I think he regretted writing the line. Mostly, I think we just didn't want it to be over. But it was.

And I'm tired, so I'm going to crawl into bed with Kevin and try not to wake him up since he has to go work hard tomorrow. What a guy! Thanks again, Kevin.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Self Diagnosis and an Announcement

I have diagnosed myself with runner's knee. The course I have mapped out has a bicycle lane that I had used for the first few days of walking. It is slightly sloped toward the curb and this creates more stress on my left leg (it's always the "short" leg). I did notice after the first day that it was sore and after a few days, I noticed the slope, so I moved to the sidewalk. I think it was too late and damage was done. According to the internet, I need to rest, ice, and stretch. I think I'll get back out on Monday and take it slower for a few weeks. Just an update for everyone out there.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse self diagnosis as this is not an effective way to determine possible long term damage!

Also, I'm starting a giveaway on my blog! One of my favorite blogs does this and (while she has many more readers than I) she had almost 900 people enter in her last one. How fun! I think it would be a fun thing to do and a great way to draw comments out of people! Can I use any more exclamation points!?!

Here's the first one ... a handmade card by yours truly. The little metal tag says 'happy day.'

To enter, just post a comment on this entry ... you don't need to say something specific, just 'hey' or 'I think you're the most beautiful person on Earth' will do. I'll have Lubbock pick out the winner next week.

Good luck to all my readers.

I better get some work done before I have to hop on the train for the James concert ... I can't wait.

I'm back ... I found this awesome website ... http://www.grocerylists.org/ ... I hope you find it as fascinating as I do. It's a collection of found grocery lists. I don't know if it's real, but it is really funny. They also have an "Ultimate Grocery List" that you can print out, but it had a bunch of stuff that I never buy on it (hot dogs ... yuck!) ... perhaps a good start, though, if you're trying to make a master list.

The Bad Wife and the Blood Pressure

*Sigh* We got the call last night. Cleo will leave our house on Monday. I feel like the worst wife ever. Kevin's dog has been such a stress in my life since I have been at home. I can literally feel my blood pressure rise at times when trying to deal with her and it makes me more short tempered when taking care of Lubbock. I just know that giving her away is the right thing to do for me, but I worry about how Kevin will deal with it. He'll take her to her 'foster family' on Monday after work. I know he'll be sad, but I know it's the right thing to do for me and for Cleo. It's still sad.

With that said ... I hope Kevin can forgive me in time for my selfish request to remove her from his life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll Catch You!

In today's mail, I finally received our McCain/Palin yard signs. I proudly posted it in our front yard and walked out to throw the trash out, it was thrown in the street. It was only up for two hours!

My current theory is that the high school kids did it on their walk home. I'll have to stand guard tomorrow. It sucks to live in Barack country.

Fair warning to the students of Batavia High School: I'll be watching you.

I need a life!

Grandparent's Visit

My dad and Colleen came to town Thursday. They left yesterday. Of course, Dad probably packed more for Lubbock than he did for himself! Lubbock's such a lucky guy to have so many people that love him. As far as I'm concerned, there aren't enough people in the world to love him.

I had so much planned to do while they were here. There's a butterfly house near me ... its just a little greenhouse with lots of butterflies and I thought Lubbock would really enjoy it ... and it would be a great photography opportunity for me. But, when I looked up the hours of operation, they had just closed for the season. I guess I'll have to wait until next year.

I also planned to go on a river cruise on a paddle boat. I had told everyone we would go on Sunday and then on Sunday (I don't even remember why), I decided we could wait and do it on Monday. Guess what? They're only open on the weekends this time of year! I guess Kevin and I can check it out with Lubbock before it closes for the season, too.

We were able to go to Cabelas where Lubbock got an early Christmas gift ... his snow suit. He looks so cute in it. It's got orange accents (imagine that!), but is mostly brown and gray.

I know I'm not an amazing speller (although, I once broke up with a guy in college for not being able to spell ... a story for another time, perhaps) ... but I always thought gray was spelled grey ... maybe I'm thinking of the bus line because now it looks right!

Back to the visit ... then we did a driving tour of Chicago. Kevin and I had seen a restaurant on the Food Network called Smoque ... a barbecue restaurant that features regional favorites. Being big fans of barbecue (sorry, but there just isn't a great barbecue restaurant here except for a local place where the service is HORRIBLE) ... he had to try it out. So, we finally found it and it was great ... well worth the hour+ drive. We parked in the parking garage by the Hancock Tower and went up to the 95th floor so that Dad and Colleen could see the whole city. Of course, the best view is from the bathroom, so Colleen and I went in there and I pointed out Navy Pier and the Sears Tower. It really is amazing what a big city Chicago is.

We cooked fajitas one night and my dad and I got in some quality football watching time. That's always nice. We took Lubbock to the park and he got to show off his sliding abilities and made a girlfriend while he was there. I just don't know where he gets his flirtatiousness from.

Lubbock and I took them to the airport yesterday and he was really sad when they got out of the car ... he cried for a few minutes. I think he really got attached to my dad and Colleen. He even gave Colleen a kiss!

In other family news ... Kevin most likely has a torn ACL. His knee has been bothering him for a long time. Last November, he had the hardware taken out of his ankle that he had broken about eight years ago and his knee has bothered him ever since. I think it was probably just his ankle hurt worse than his knee, so he didn't notice the knee until the ankle was fixed. But, about two months ago, he slipped in the tub and hit his knee against the edge. It was really bruised up. Since then, it's hurt worse, so he finally went to the doctor. They're doing an MRI on Saturday to confirm what the doctor suspects. I feel bad for him because I know the recovery will be hard, but I also think he should have it repaired now, while Lubbock is still young.

Once Kevin started talking to me about his knee, I started having sympathy pain in my knee. Last night, I bent down and my knee popped and now I'm having knee pain, too. I don't know if it's mental (I freely admit to having hypochondriac tendencies) or real pain, but I think I'll give it a few days of rest before starting back to walking. Which, by the way, I went once while my dad was here. 42:20 (I think).

So, now I'm to today. I dropped Lubbock off for his day out program and have about an hour and a half of me time left. I haven't turned on the TV and really don't plan on doing much around the house. I have mopped about ten times this week and the ground outside is so muddy, every time the dang dog comes in ... it's another mess. So, dishes and laundry are about all that's on the agenda for today. I was going to do the grocery shopping, too ... but I can't find my wallet. It'll turn up.

On Thursday, Lauren and I are going downtown to go to the James concert. It was one of the only bands we could agree on when we were younger. I haven't actually listened to any of the new stuff (and by new, I mean since 1993 or so), so I hope I like it. It should be fun just to get out for a little bit. After Kevin and I go see Hayes Carll, we don't have any other concerts planned! I can't believe it. I guess I should wait to see how Kevin's knee turns out before bringing up any new events, though.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Have a Bedroom?

The least utilized room in my house is my bedroom. (I will post pictures, but not until my bedspread is clean!) **Added later** I decided to post in it's present state ... bed unmade and everything. In the first picture, you can see the room color. The red blanket isn't the bedspread ... the bedspread is up by the pillows. The second picture shows the entertainment center and the photos in our room. The ones of me are when I was pregnant and then one of Kevin & Lubbock (shown last). We still need to move them to the wall with the mirror (third picture ... sorry it's blurry), but that's a project we just haven't gotten to. We re-arranged the furniture a while ago, but didn't move all the wall decorations around.

First, I hate the color. In an effort to 'get my way' with the decorating of the rest of the house, I agreed to let Kevin pick out the colors for that room. Sigh. He chose dark, deep red with chocolate brown trim. It's a fine color combination, but not when some people have garages bigger than your house. I don't like being in there since it feels like the room is smaller each time I go to bed.

Second, it's really the cat's bedroom and I'm allergic to her. If I'm in there too long, I start to sneeze and have itchy eyes. I have to take allergy pills before going to bed just to sleep through the night.

Third, I forget about it. I know that sounds weird, but it's a completely out of sight, out of mind mentality when it comes to that. When I go to bed at night, it's dark and I can't tell exactly how dusty it is.

I sleep in there, wake up and don't go back in until I am going back to bed at night. Therefore, I honestly can say that I'm not sure I've done a thorough cleaning in there since Lubbock was born. Sad, I know. But, this was the focus of yesterday, clean the least visited room in our house. It's almost done, but it meant bad things for the rest of my house. Things that don't belong in our bedroom were moved out of it and haven't found a new home yet. I guess since my dad and Colleen are coming tomorrow night, I should get busy.

We hosted our playgroup today. Rachel & Austin couldn't make it today, so it was Brandy & Evan and Jen & Haley and Sergio. Sergio is a new addition to our group since Jen is watching him during the day. If there's one thing our group needs it's more testosterone! Poor Haley doesn't have any other girls to play with in the group. It's okay, though ... they all get along really well and I have a fun time talking to the moms. Mostly about kids stuff (Is this normal? How do you get them to do this?), but it's really great that we understand the life of a stay at home mom.

Lubbock's now down for his nap and when he wakes up, we're going for a walk since I didn't get out this morning. Not for a lack of wanting ... I went to the first meeting of the year for my sorority alumni association last night. I'm the youngest member in the group by at least 20 years. I kind of like it because it's fun to hear old stories and be reminded that things don't really change that much. But, man! Can these ladies talk! I arrived at 7:30p and started to try to leave at 9:00p without much success. And they can drink, too. I didn't have anything because my intent was to get up this morning, but when I got home and it was well past 10:00p, I decided it would be best to get a good night's rest. I can get out in the afternoon. There's another group of moms that walk once a week or so and I haven't really met them, so I'm excited to see what they're all about. I like having friends in different "circles" and being able to have them all over is always fun.

I promise to post pictures of the bedroom today ... hold me to it.

Okay ... pictures added as promised. The last picture is my favorite of Kevin and Lubbock. Lubbock was 8 weeks old in this picture. He was so little!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why I Love Staying at Home



I was so excited to get done with my walk this morning (let's call it what it is, right?) ... not so excited about the time. It was 45 degrees out this morning and I was just wearing my capris and a tank. My ears and fingers were freezing. I passed this lady at one point and she was bundled up in her winter gear. What's wrong with these people? I'm from Texas and I can handle it! I do think, however, that I need to find my gloves and headband to cover my ears.

Lubbock had his 15 month appointment (I'm a month off with appointments) and the doctor says he's doing fine. He's 31 3/4" tall and 25 pounds 7 ounces (or was it 24 pounds 7 ounces) ... I can't remember. He got his flu shot, too. He was understandable cranky the rest of the day. I dropped him off at Aunt Lauren's for some quality time with her while I picked up some groceries and she said that he picked up her work tie and tucked it under his chin and then held it there by pushing his chin against his chest ... kinda like he was trying to wear her tie. She cracks me up when she shares stories like other moms!

By the way, I went to the grocery store to buy something that is usually designated for my husband to buy ... Velveeta! I love the stuff, but don't like having it in the house. I was buying slices to make nice ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches with. I had no clue there were 8,000 different varieties of American cheese slices.

The longer I blog, the more I realize I have little to talk about! But, like getting out in the morning, I just need to do it sometimes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Tile Options

I'm trying to decide between these two floor tiles ... I think I like the octagon ones better, I just can't make up my mind.

We're having the leaky surround ripped out and putting tile up on the walls, too. At first, I wanted the 3x6 subway tiles, but our bathroom is kind of small and I thought having all the small floor tiles and small wall tiles would be overwhelming, so I decided to go with an 8x10 tile placed in a subway-style pattern.

It should be done early to mid October, but the downer about it is that I'll be without a bathroom for at least 36 hours. We've only got the one bathroom and the toilet will be removed in order to lay the tile. I should really make sure my neighbors will be home while I have this done!

Input appreciated!

The Asthmatic Couch Potato

When I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced asthma. Nobody had ever heard of such a thing, but I've always had a knack for having weird medical things. To remedy it, I was placed on steroids for a good portion of my pregnancy, used an inhaler, and did breathing treatments two to four times a day. It was awful. The worst part, though, was the three months it took to diagnose it. My asthma had pretty much remained at bay since giving birth, but I do notice on extremely humid days, that it sneaks back.

My point in bringing this up is this ... we had record rainfall in the area. Officially, Chicago got 6.44" (correction ... 6.64") of rain, but I think my area got more. On Friday, I drove the course that I jogged and discovered I hadn't quite reached the 3 mile point ... it was more like 2.5 miles. But, I found the turn-around point and knew where to get to to make my morning run an official 5k distance (3.1 miles). On Sunday, when I woke up, I was coughing a lot, but was determined to get out for my second ever run. I decided to time myself as well ... a sort of "couch potato benchmark." My time was 45:50 ... mostly a fast paced walk since I couldn't catch my breath after my jogging spurts. A 15 minute mile is completely embarrassing, but that's my time. At least I know.

This morning, the humidity was much better and I was actually able to do my alternating jogging and fast walks for about 2 miles. My time this morning was 41:30. Now that I have a good idea of what I'm dealing with, I think I'll set my goal at a 35 minute 5k by the end of the year. I think the colder it gets, the harder it will be for my asthma, so I'm going to have to keep a close eye on it, but I think it's important for me to just get out there, even if it is a well-paced walk.

Other than that, Heather and I got out for a little mom alone time yesterday. We had lunch at a local restaurant that makes its own beer. We each had a different beer and they were both really good. I ordered a cajun chicken pasta dish and Heather got Ahi tuna. I've never tried it before so I decided to be brave and give it a try. I had a hard time getting over the fact that it looks like raw chicken, but the taste was pretty good.

We then went to a local children's resale shop and I was able to find a cute red long sleeved shirt with a train on it for Lubbock. We had been talking about exercising over lunch and we talking about needing more clothes to get out in, so we stopped at Dick's and tried on lots of clothes. I got two tank tops in a light, bright color. Most of my tanks are dark and I thought it would probably be better to wear brighter colors since I'm out before the sun rises. We went to Best Buy where I got a new pair of ear buds (the pair that I had kept falling out of my left ear). I got Skullcandy ear buds. They have different sized covers and it turns my left ear canal is smaller than my right, so I wear a small in my left and medium in my right. An added bonus is that it has a volume control on the cord, so I don't have to take the Ipod out of the arm band to turn the music down. Then we went to Gander Mountain to look at children's coats and a rain coat for me. (Apparently it takes 6.44" of rain for me to notice that my only rain coat says "Alpha Delta Pi - Oklahoma State University" on it. I suppose I'm past the phase of wearing sorority gear!) I was able to find a Columbia snow suit for Lubbock, but they only had the red/black color combination in his size. I liked the orange/brown one better, so I thought I'd investigate online prior to plunking down the money. I also found a rain jacket, but it's $100 and, although it's VERY comfy, I find it hard to justify that expense. I want one comfortable enough to run in and all the less expensive ones were really bulky and too plasticky to be that comfortable. I'll keep looking, but will keep that one in mind for my Christmas wish list.

Ugh! Christmas ... so close. I can never think of what I want for Christmas, so I should document ideas as I think of them. Heather showed me her Martha Stewart Cookies book she just got. It's so pretty and the table of contents has a picture of each cookie, so you know exactly how it's supposed to turn out. That goes on my list, too!

Lubbock's got his 15 month doctor's appointment (a month late) ... so, I should get my day started so we can get out the door.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bed Head

When Lubbock woke up this morning ... he had the cutest bed head and I just thought I'd share ...

He must have slept pretty hard last night. He's cutting all his incisors at the same time, so I gave him some Tylenol before he went down. His top two have already poked through and his bottom two are super hard and bulging. Poor kid!

You can also see in this picture that he apparently thinks he's a beaver by the teeth marks on his crib.

Run, Nata-Leigh, Walk

So, as I watched the marathon during the Olympics, I thought about how I used to run when I was in college and how good it felt to finally make it over that "wall" and to feel like you could go forever as long as you didn't stop. What a good feeling! But, it seems like such a chore to even get out of bed anymore. I decided to see if I couldn't get going again. I'm not a very good evening exerciser, so I knew I would have to go in the morning, but once Lubbock wakes up, it's at least two hours before I can manage to get out the door. The only logical solution? Go in the wee-hours of the morning.

I had Kevin kick me out of bed when he gets up (at 5:15am) and I put on my brand new running shoes and took my Ipod and shot out the door. I started at a brisk walk, then jogged for about 15 second spurts, briskly walking in between. It felt really good. I have no clue how far I went, but if I had to guess, it was 3 miles. I have to go to the bank today, so I figured I would drive the course and see what the car said.

I even made a special playlist on my Ipod with songs that had really fast, heavy beats. My playlist has:
  • Gnarls Barkley "Crazy"
  • The Apples in Stereo "Ruby"
  • Bowling for Soup "Ohio"
  • Chris Isaak "Diddley Daddy"
  • Dolly Parton "Why'd You Come in Here"
  • The Juliana Hatfield Three "A Dame With a Rod"
  • The Killers "Mr. Brightside"
  • The Killers "Somebody Told Me"
  • The Killers "Midnight Show"
  • The Killers "This River is Wild"
  • Lily Allen "Alfie"
  • Marilyn Manson "The Beautiful People"
  • Mute Math "Typical"
  • Modest Mouse "What People Are Made Of"
  • Old 97s "Doreen"
  • Old 97s "Time Bomb"
  • Old 97s "Four Leaf Clover"
  • The Roches "We"
  • The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army"
  • The White Stripes "Hypnotize"
  • Pat Green "Carry On"
  • Fatboy Slim "Gangster Tripping"
  • James "Sometimes"
It's a really ecclectic mix of music, I realize this. It's got country, rock-a-billy, rap, rock, I don't even know how you catogorize The Roches ... my sister turned me onto them. It's three women and a guitar and they have beautiful harmonies. The song "We" starts off pretty fast paced and gets faster, so that song was really nice.

I only make it half-way through the songlist, but I had it on shuffle so I wouldn't get a huge clump of The Killers (Lubbock's favorite band, by the way) or the Old 97s.

At some point on my walk back I noticed that the insides of both of my heels were feeling like they were slipping in my shoes, so I tightened my laces and it actually felt worse ... "power through it." I had two little blisters when I got home. Kevin suggested that I buy heel inserts for my shoes. He's probably right.

So, blog readers ... Dad, Lauren, and Melisa ... I am going to try to get out in the morning and see if walking (with spurts of jogging) can turn into a nice run before Kevin leaves for work. Hold me to it. Seriously.

At least until the first snowfall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pork, The Other White Meat

So I delayed making the pork chops until last night because I didn't have pork chops ... I thought I did, but it was chicken. Anyway, I was right. There wasn't much difference between cooking them separately and together ... it was just less effort. I'm not much of a recipe follower when it comes to cooking, so here's what I did.

I took pictures because I was bored! I'm such a dork.

Brown the pork chops in olive oil after seasoning them with pepper, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Set them aside after both sides are browned. The meat will complete cooking later, so don't worry about cooking all the way through.

Add more olive oil and one chopped bell pepper and onion to pan. Allow to sweat for a few minutes, then add garlic and pepper.

I then added about 1/3 c. of thick BBQ sauce and a large can of baked beans ... I prefer the vegetarian kind because I think the beans are less soft.

I buried the pork chops in the mixture and threw it in the oven at 350 for about an hour (covered). Then uncovered and baked for another 30 minutes to try to get it to thicken.

The original recipe called for brown sugar and chili powder, but I forgot the chili powder and am just not a fan of adding sugar to things ... I eat enough sugar in chocolate! Then good things about preparing it this way was the use of only one pan and the pork chops seemed to be less dry then when I make then separately. That's probably just because I always overcook my meat ... Kevin's biggest complaint when it comes to my cooking (if I had to take a guess)!

If I had thought about it last night, I would have made something else to go with it. Some seasoned red potatoes would have been good.

On a different note, Lubbock had his first "Day Out." I am so amazed sometimes at what I can accomplish when left alone! I didn't get as much done as I wanted to because my friend Heather and I met at Four Beans (our local organic, fair-trade coffee shop ... shop local!). We were laughing because we have never hung out during the day without the kids and the only times we've hung out without kids (at night), it's been over a beer or two. So, we meant to only be there for 30 minutes before getting to work, but that turned into an hour. It was time well spent in my opinion still because it was just very relaxing to not have our conversations interrupted and not have to keep one eye on the fight about to ensue over a toy.

So, I got home and cleaned swept and mopped and wiped down and made a few calls that required complete silence and before I knew it, time was up. When I got home, I set the timer on the microwave for 99 minutes (the most it will go). It was funny to look at it because I always feel like it take "FOREVER" to sweep the living room. Oh, it only takes two minutes? Why does it seem like such a chore. It only takes four minutes to unload the dishwasher? What do I do with myself all day? The time flew by, though. I was able to listen to some music and get things accomplished ... again, in peace.

The only things I didn't get done were mopping the bathroom and cleaning the toilet. But, now that Lubbock's asleep, I will eat lunch and then do that.

My timer just went off for my lunch to be done. I'll see if I can't write about my exciting bathroom plans later this afternoon. We're going to get tile ... YA! I'm so sick of the plastic surround and linoleum I could scream!

Oh, yeah ... and I need to figure out how to clean an oven. I've never lived anywhere long enough that I needed to clean it! I've always just paid someone to clean my places when I move out. So, if there are any good products that anyone uses ... Dad?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kane County Flea Market

Kevin and I have been trying to find things around town that can take up a good part of the day without 'busting the bank.' So, I've been keeping an eye on the paper for fairs and festivals around town. We found out that one the largest flea markets is right down the road from us. It's the first weekend of every month (until it gets too cold) and is only $5 a person to get in.

We were going to go on Saturday, but I went to the class on how to be a vote center volunteer and sat by some woman with icky perfume. By the time I decided to move, the class was so full, I would have had to ask someone to move their bag and it would have just been a big commotion. So, I waited for break ... too late, though. I had the biggest headache. I thought maybe I would feel better after lunch, but we just went home and I took a three hour nap. That was really nice.

So, we went on Sunday morning and had so much fun, we will probably go again next month to spend more time ... and be better prepared.

I was trying to look cute and had my brown sandles and a denim skirt on. Definitely a tennis shoe event. The booths are set up on gravel, so every time I stepped wrong on a big rock, I felt like I was rolling my ankle. Also, I'll take better care of my caramel popcorn. I set my bag on the back of the car while I loaded the stroller up and ka-boom! It spilled all over the place. I was so sad ... but not sad enough to go buy another bag.

But, we saw lots of cute furniture and lawn ornaments. I could have gone crazy with aprons ... I love aprons, even though I hardly ever wear one. I don't want to make them dirty!

We were home in time for football. Kevin is really sad because Tom Brady is his quarterback in his fantasy team and he's likely out for the rest of the season. Bummer.

Today, Lubbock and I went to a 'make-up' playdate with everyone. Now, we're home and Lubbock went down for a nap. I think I'm going to try to get dinner started since it's a crockpot request of my husband's. It sounds totally gross to me, but his mom said it was good ... basically it's porkchops and pork n' beans ... I like both these foods, but what's the need to cook them together? We'll find out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Follows Me

Since I realize that I should attempt to not give crime a "leg up" ... I didn't feel the need to announce the specific dates of our trip to Texas. But, I will announce I'm back. Our little house is safe and sound and Lubbock is asleep. He's such a good traveler. I've taken him on five (I think) trips so far and he's been the most well behaved child on the plane every time!

(By the way, I should really think about getting rid of my Dewayne Wayne-style sunglass clips! I completely forgot I had them on until after I took all the pictures this day ... I just can't be bothered to get prescription sunglasses when the $5 cheapy clips work so well! They sure don't make for attractive pictures, though. And yes, that is a big bruise on his forehead. He thought he could walk ... no, run ... through the door the evening before vacation.)

Kevin took the whole week off and we left for Texas on Saturday. My mom was here for the end of the week and traveled on our flight with us. That was really nice to have three people to pass him between, but it wasn't really needed. He fell asleep about five minutes after we took off and slept on Kevin's lap the whole time. We landed and said good-bye to my mom and hopped into Kevin's parent's car. We took the two hour drive to Bullard, Texas. Bullard is on Lake Palastine, near Tyler. They have a lake house out there. We just spent most of the time relaxing. We were able to get one boat ride in, but then Hurricane Gustav made his presence known. We stayed in Bullard for the first day of storms and decided to head back to Plano a day early to go shopping.

Lubbock scored a pair of lime green Crocs. He's in love with them and after I put them on him he walks around in them and looks down and stares or sits down and smiles at them. He likes putting his fingers in them to touch his feet.

The best part of the whole trip was just getting to relax. I know Kevin's parents appreciate getting to see Lubbock and play with him. Poppi Buddy liked giving Lubbock dessert ... after every meal. Apparently a rice krispie treat immediately following breakfast is something only a grandpa can get away with. Grammy Mary liked teaching Lubbock little moves like the Home-Alone-both-hands-on-the-face-ala-Macauley-Culkin move. By this morning, when he saw her, he was doing it before she even said 'good morning.'

The weather today was perfect in Texas and our flight was only 15 minutes delayed. But, when we landed, Hurricane Gustav was waiting for us. We just saw on the news that our town got 3.16" of rain! And, of course, there's Chicagoland traffic. I think it took us longer to drive home from the airport than it did to fly from Dallas to Chicago.

We made it home in time, however, for a little bit of football watching ... ah ... football. It's that special time of year when I can feel completely justified to sit on the couch for an entire weekend and not feel one bit guilty. I've never been much of a Cowboys fan, but the longer I live in Illinois, the more I secretly cheer for them to do well. I don't think I'll wear any sort of Cowboys gear, but I am softening toward them.

Then we watched the McCain speech. I'm so excited for this election. Maybe excited isn't the right term. I'm interested in discussing the issues, but everyone I know pretty much feels the same as I do. I feel like my life would be made more difficult if Obama were to be elected and that McCain has the right ideas about how to make changes that will benefit those who want to help themselves. (My mom is a self-proclaimed socialist, so she would be completely stoked if Obama won!) We're placing our orders for the McCain/Palin yard signs tomorrow. I'm ordering two since I have several die-hard Dems on the street. I even thought about investing the $100 in a 3' x 6' yard sign, but decided that might be going a bit far!

Well, I'm going to get to bed and hope that Lubbock will sleep through the night ... something he did not do the entire vacation!