Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I'm attempting to 'live blog' right now. The trick-or-treating has commenced and Lubbock is taking his extra late nap again. I don't really mind since the time change is this weekend and once that happens, his naps won't really be all that late.

So far, the 'cereal' killer has been the most creative costume. My way down the street neighbor had her little three month old with her. I just don't remember Lubbock ever being that little. I'm so ready for another.

This morning, Lubbock and I joined Gretchen, Maureen and Brennan (in the picture as Luke Skywalker ... update ... my sister told me that he's not Luke Skywalker ... but since I've never really seen any of the movies ... what do I know?) for brunch at one of my favorite doughnut/breakfast places. Then we went to Geneva Commons to enjoy the warm weather. Originally, we were going to go there for trick-or-treating, but Jen had called and left a message saying that they weren't doing that today. Sugar! (As Maureen said today ... pretty funny stuff.) Gretchen fed Lubbock a little bag of M&Ms before brunch as a way of bribing him to like her (her words, not mine). I think Lubbock likes anyone that smiles at him, so the sugar was just an added bonus. She says Lubbock is a very serious child and reminds her of her daughter, Meredith, when she was younger. He can take a while to warm up to people.

Since then, we've been at home. I was able to find an overhead projector that was just delivered for the weekend. YAY! For free, too. I love all the help I've been able to gather up.

So far, so good ... until ... This group of five kids and three moms came by. The last kid dropped his wrapper on the sidewalk up to my house. When I gave his piece of candy, I asked him to please pick up his wrapper. He said okay. I waited and he acted like he couldn't find it. I walked down and pointed to it. When he got over to his mother, he waited for a second and then dropped it again. This time, I yelled ... "Sir, pick up the wrapper you've dropped for the second time now!" Both he and his mom were stunned, but he picked it up. What is wrong with kids (and parents) now-a-days? She gave me such a dirty look like I'm the one who was wrong! Sigh.

Lubbock's eating and then we're going to head out to go to a few houses.

We're back ... Lubbock's first trick-or-treating adventure was pretty fun. We stopped at the neighbors house (the picture of him on the porch). He just thought that we were going to go in everybody's house. He'd climb up the steps and they'd open the door. He'd try to nudge in. Yup, he pretty much didn't get it at all! Next year. Our last stop was Heather's house. Since we play there at least twice a week, he got really excited and ran in the house. We couldn't keep him out. Eleanor came to the door to tell us about her Halloween adventures and we decided to come back home. Kevin walked the whole way and I didn't want to push him too far since he was not using crutches. Lubbock took a break on the walk back, providing another great picture.

I think the funniest thing about today was that he was totally creeped out by Aunt Lo in her sheriff's costume. He really didn't want anything to do with her and it wasn't even like she was wearing anything completely crazy!

That's it. Almost all the candy was passed out and Lubbock's down for the night.

Winner of Giveaway

The winner of the second giveaway is Jen! You're on a roll! I'll give it to you at our next playgroup.

I would have liked to use my new favorite website,, to select a winner, but when there's only one of you ... there's not much random-ness to selecting the lucky friend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Randomly Cool Website

Super cool website. I'm always 'tripping' over weird websites in my internet travels. This one will flip a coin, roll a die, shuffle a deck of cards, pick your lottery numbers, and re-arrange a list. How fun! (Or further proof that I'm beyond help.)

Good night!

Early Halloween, Part Two

This morning, Aunt Lo (as we're calling her around here) joined Lubbock and I as we ran some early errands. We went to Barnes & Noble to look for a book of children's skits (no luck) and purchase my 2009 planner. I can't believe it's already time for that!

We then went back to Norton Farm to purchase our pumpkins. Heather had called and I suggested she join up with us there. She was able to see what fun the children's area will be next year (it's almost completely torn down already). The guy running the stand said that in addition to all the play areas, they give free hay rides, too! I can't wait until it's open again. We were able to let the kids look at the animals, though. There were bunnies, ducks, roosters, goats, pigs, and others, but I can't remember.

We attempted to get a picture of the kids, but that was even less successful than yesterday! I was able to get a pretty cute picture of Eleanor and Lubbock trying to escape with their pumpkin selections!

I bought some pumpkins for the front porch and some small items for decoration on our kitchen table. I think next year, I'll just buy 'horse apples' to fill the container. They look great with the colors in my kitchen and still very fall-looking.

We then went to Panera to meet up with the Tri City Tots group for lunch. I can't believe how many people showed up. I invited Heather, thinking it would be a great opportunity to meet some of the other moms in a casual setting, but the room was so full, there was no chance to really visit. (Sorry, Heather.)

Nap time was a complete bust today as well ... Lubbock fought it when we got home, so I decided to get back out to finish our errands and he got crabby. So, here we are at 4:30p and he's just now fallen asleep. At least I can try to get my fall centerpiece done! I'll post pictures when it's ready.

Photo Tag

If you're reading this ... you're tagged ... Go to your picture folders ... Open the 6th folder, 6th photo ... Post it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Early Halloween, Part One

Lubbock and I went to Brandy's today to celebrate Halloween a bit early with our playgroup. All the kids were so cute and absolutely clueless as to how thrilled we, as moms, are that we can force them to be whatever it is they are this year. They're still too young for an in depth discussion about what they want to be and if it's feasible this year or not.

Brandy made delicious cupcakes and Lubbock actually ate some of his. She also made homemade lasagna, too ... what a good friend. She was up at 6a just to feed our sorry butts! Gift bags with funky glasses and jack-o-lantern balloons topped off the morning. Jen brought her friend, Mandi, to the playgroup and she even volunteered (or I roped her into it) to host one of our get-togethers coming up. She has the cutest little newborn. Well, not so little ... she said he weighed 12 pounds at 4 weeks. She also has a little girl and we definitely need more estrogen in the group. What great additions they will be!

For Lubbock's 'costume' ... He's wearing his Tony Romo jersey and two little bandaids that I colored in with a black Sharpie. I thought he would just smear eyeliner all over his face if I used that.

At the party, we had a peacock, a character from The Incredibles (I haven't seen it, so I can't remember who it is), Yoda, an elephant, and Tony Romo (I think that's Jessica Simpson by his foot). Jen said she got a better picture, so maybe I'll steal her's from her blog later. It's so hard to get a picture of five munchkins where you can see all their faces at the same time.

We played and talked for a while and then sat all the kids down from lunch. Apparently, Evan partied so hard, he couldn't even make it through lunch. I love hanging around Evan because he's such a loving boy. He gives hugs to everyone and I take them where I can get them. Lubbock has no interest in snuggles, so Evan has to fill that void for me. Sometimes, Lubbock sees Evan doing this and gets jealous!

I better get to work around the house so that I can go to my sister's movie night tonight. She's hosting a bunch of the girls from her work for a scary movie. My blood pressure is too high as is, I don't think I'll stay for the movie, but I'll make an appearance at least!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Weekend Hangover

I think the worst part about having such a lazy weekend is the lack of motivation to get the week started. I couldn't even muster up the energy yesterday to pick my towel off the ground! Just stepped on it all day. Ugh.

At least I made it to physical therapy. She stepped it up a bit. I'm walking backward on the treadmill. I was so sore when I got home. I walked about 1.5 miles today between Norton Farm and the mall. If it were warmer, I'd get back out this afternoon, but Lubbock won't keep his mittens on, so he gets cold.

By the way, I'm so sad that I just discovered Norton Farm. Today is the last day they have all the stuff set up, but for $2 (free for under 2 ... bonus!) ... they have a big pile of hay you can throw around, a pyramid made of hay bales to climb, caged roosters and bunnies to look at, two horses (or donkeys, or something like that ... I'm such a city girl), a big wooden train to climb through, a maze, and lots of other things to do. They open again in May, but I'm sure the hay stuff doesn't come out until later in the season. I can't wait to go again next year. But, we went today and it was a great time. Lubbock wore his winter coat for the first time, too (thanks again, Grandpa John and Grandma Colleen). I bought some local honey from the Farmer's Market area. Yum! I think I'll have to have a peanut butter and honey sandwich later!

Then we went to the mall to play in the indoor playground with Heather, Eleanor, and Joey. Well, that was the plan. They've already torn it down to make room for Santa. That's sad, too. We walked around the mall for a while, rode the carousel, had lunch, and came home for Lubbock to take his nap.

He's not fallen asleep yet. I think he's skipping today's nap. Oh, well. We've still got to buy the Halloween candy before it's only the icky candy left. You have to time the purchase of the candy just right. Not so soon that you eat it all and not too late that you get stuck buying Whoppers (my apologies to my friends who happen to be fans of Whoppers!).

By the way ... anyone else a Mad Men fan? How great was the season finale? Did you even know it was the last episode? Is Betty going to keep the baby? Are Pete and Peggy going to be together? Is Duck going to commit suicide? What's Don going to do with his $500,000? So many questions ... and we have to wait until next season?!?!?! I personally think the priest (who I just figured out is Tom Hanks' son) is going to leave the priesthood and marry Peggy. I also think that the baby Peggy's sister has is actually Peggy's and that her sister had a late miscarriage ... explaining why she's so bitter toward Peggy. I think Pete will tell his wife that he got Peggy pregnant and leave his wife, thinking that Peggy will take him ... but, Peggy's not that into him anymore. I think Don will give the $500,000 to his California wife and take Duck's position. He may even come clean to everyone about his real identity. I think Betty will keep the baby and she and Don will start a new 'chapter' of their life together ... but, will he be Don Draper or Dick Whitman?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Second Giveaway!

Okay ... drawing to take place on Friday, October 31 at noon-ish ... just leave a comment on this posting to enter:

The card uses ribbon and buttons to make fun little flowers with bows to make their leaves!

If you plan on sending it, I don't know if you'll need extra postage. Some of the buttons may be too thick! I didn't think about that when I made it.

The Least Successful Weekend Yet

I suppose that everyone deserves a completely unproductive weekend every once in a while. This was mine. I cannot think of a single thing I did.

I guess I helped Lauren move everything into her place yesterday. I watched the OSU game (we lost, but are ranked #9 in the BCS). Oh, yeah ... Lubbock and I walked around Geneva reminding people to vote. Almost everyone we spoke to had done the early polling. I refuse to say it was a waste of time, but ...

I didn't clean, I didn't do grocery shopping, I didn't even stay up past 9p last night. Pretty lazy. Why am I complaining about this? I need to be more positive.

That really should be my New Year's Resolution ... to be more positive. It would require the commitment of everyone around me to have a sort of secret signal they give me when I am being negative ... something like "shut up, Nata-Leigh ... you're being negative." That would work.

Something positive ... Today was so windy that there's very little work that needs to be done to finish raking the yard. The wind took care of most of it for me. I just have to sweep out the areas where the leafs (or leaves?) settled and it's done.

I had to look it up ... the plural of leaf is leaves. Leafs is a verb. I learn so much by blogging. But, I will leave it up as to show that I am not perfect!

Speaking of ... a while ago, I was reading Melisa's blog where she told us to clean up bubble bath spilled on a carpet, to soak up as much as you can prior to adding water ... "Duh, Melisa" ... her words, not mine. Today, I was in the kitchen and suddenly remembered my own similar experience. I was at a party with some of those little chafing dishes with gel fuel thingys. One spilled over and fire began spreading on the top of the table ... it was so fluid-like that I grabbed a napkin and tried to wipe it up. Yes, it caught fire and I was standing there like a complete idiot with a ball of fire in my hand. Duh!

I'm going to finish watching this game of the World Series and see if I can't wake Kevin up to crawl in bed. His Sunday tradition is to fall asleep on the couch.

The Documentation of Lubbock's First Birthday Celebration

I made the cards for his party prior to really committing to a set color theme, so the pennants on the card didn't completely match the actual party. OCD Nata-Leigh let this bother her endlessly, but normal me admits that it was something to learn from.

The theme for his party was "pennants." The colors were red, blue, aqua, and craft paper (I know that's not really a color). I found the wrapping paper with these colors and lined my table with it. That's one of my party planning tips. Using wrapping paper as a 'table cloth' saves clean up time and adds a festive touch to the room.

The cake was made by Kathleen Debus of Pastry Girls. I provided her with the card I made, a sample of the wrapping paper, and a drawing of what I wanted. She was pretty accommodating. She even suggested the flags around the bottom since I was at a loss of what to use as the base trim.

I used gift wrapping bows around the base of the cake plate to provide an inexpensive touch (especially since they can be re-used later in gift giving).

The cupcakes were simply topped with white icing and we used red and blue cupcake liners found on Confectionery House's website. They have so many colors, I bought almost every single one! I'm such a sucker.

I made little aqua pennant to go in each cupcake and set the platters on a gift wrapped box with a red napkin underneath.

The favor boxes were little craft paper boxes purchased from another one of my favorite websites, Paper Mart. I always buy boxes from them. I've used them for the boxes for my wedding favors and the boxes I give our Christmas cookie assortments in. They always have the size and color I'm looking for at a reasonable price.

I also put a '1' on each box in red so they would match the party invitations. The '1' was cut from card stock at a local scrap booking store. As long as you buy the paper from them, they let you use the dye cuts for free. So, I spent about $1.50 on paper and was able to get all the '1's I needed.

Here's a close look at the top of the cake ... again, our red '1' makes an appearance.

That was Lubbock's party. He hated the cake ... not that it didn't taste great ... I think he was just freaked out by the icing.

It was great to have all of his friends over and it was one of the first nice weekends that year, so it was nice to have the use of the outdoor space for kids to run around.

We requested that guests bring a donation for a local charity that sponsors an outdoor experience for local disadvantaged teens. We had such a great response to this that I think we'll continue doing this each year. As he gets older, he'll be able to choose the charity to sponsor.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lubbock's Second Birthday Party Preparations

Ya, I'm a complete birthday party freak. I spotted this really cool craft idea on one of my favorite blogs (Design Mom ... who linked us to Martha Kids). It's perfect for Lubbock's second birthday party favor.

His theme will be something along the lines of Tye-Dyed Two's or Totally Two or Peace (since when you hold two fingers up, it's the peace sign). Don't exactly know. But, it's got my brain super stimulated right now in 'party planning mode.' Yes, his birthday is more than six months away. But, you guys know how I am ... especially Brandy!

I'll have to document his first birthday party on here, now that I'm thinking about it. I think the only thing I was a little disappointed in with his last party is the lack of good favors that are appropriate for a one year old.

Today, Lauren and I went to Ikea to finally buy her loveseat (pulls out for guests), table and chairs, and a three-drawer dresser. She's such a smart shopper ... all that for $350. We were able to load it in the station wagon (I love my car) and it's now parked in my driveway. We haven't carried it up the three flights of stairs to her apartment. My mom watched Lubbock, so I was able to fold down the seat, but now I have no way of going anywhere since I can't put his carseat in the front seat (damn safety laws and airbags).

Tomorrow, Lubbock and I are helping out our local Congressional candidate, Jim Oberweis, by going door-to-door reminding people to vote. I can't believe it's so close! Other than having bagels at 9:30, I'm not really sure what we do. We're good at following directions, though.

I'll let ya'll know how that went and post some pictures of the First Birthday party on here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Laundry Day and Clutter

I spent a majority of yesterday putting up laundry. Lubbock had his Day Out (he stayed the whole time) and I caught up on laundry. I am pretty good at doing it, just not putting it away. I believe I have figured out the problem, though. We have too many clothes!

Kevin can't pass up a 'good deal' on lounge shorts. Since almost all of the laundry is clean, I was able to count ... 10 pairs of elastic-banded-can't-in-good-conscience-wear-out-in-public-eat-all-I-want-and-they'll-always-fit-until-the-elastic-gives-out shorts. Really? So, I've found his second contribution to clutter. (Tools being the first.)

Don't get me wrong ... I have my own 'collections.' Crafting supplies, dishes (for dinner parties I keep claiming I want to host), magazines, coupons, aprons ... and organizational tools (like boxes). Every clutter-minded person has a collection of failed organizational systems that adds to the clutter. I've gotten so much better in the last year (especially after reading The One-Minute Organizer, by Donna Smallin, and 1000 Best Quick and Easy Organizing Secrets, by Jamie Novak). The first book was a gift from Maureen. A pretty gutsy gift if I do say so (like giving a weight loss book), but I had been talking a lot about being so unorganized, so it wasn't like I didn't need the help. The second book has a great section about dealing with the emotions linked to your clutter.

I've totally digressed, but not really ... both books make a point of saying that if you have too much stuff, you'll never be organized. It's so true. When I have all ten pairs of Kevin's shorts clean, I can't fit them in his designated short drawer. So, they sit in the basket until I need the basket, so I put them in a pile on the bed. Then they sit on the bed until it's night time. Then, they go on a pile on the bench until Kat decides to take a nap on them and they wind up right back in the dirty clothes covered in hair.

So, here's my mission: Have ALL of Kevin's clothes clean by Saturday (I'm almost there, but on Saturday morning, I'll have to do another load of what he dirties today and tomorrow) and have him reduce his clothes until they fit in his drawers and closet. What a battle this will be!

This morning, Heather called to see if we were up for a quick trip to the outlet mall. Of course! I scored with two cotton winter running caps and two pairs of mittens for Lubbock. All that for $15. I'm really excited about the caps because my ears were getting cold a month ago when I stopped jogging, so I'm sure when I get back out there, I'll be freezing. I just need some gloves since the ones I have are dressy ones.

That said, I've been given a partial 'all clear' to begin exercising again. I can walk (not jog) 1.5 miles three times between now and Monday (my next appointment) at which time we'll see how I feel. If okay, she'll show me how to tape my knee and I'll try my 5k distance the next morning. I overall feel better. I can tell a difference in the days that I don't do my stretches. I'm just excited to start trying again. I think realistically that my jogging the whole 5k by the end of the year is not going to happen, but at least I can start walking again.

Well, Lubbock's down and I'm going to see about getting more crap out of the basement. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tagged and a Message for the Playgroup

I was tagged by Jen (who was tagged by Kareer Woman): It appears the goal is to use one word ... Let's see if I can do it (that's hard for someone who insists on using parenthesis's ad nauseum)

Where is your cell phone? bag
Where is your significant other? chair
Your hair color? blah
Your mother? sarcastic
Your father? smart
Your favorite thing? ring
Your dream last night? futuristic
Your dream/goal? happiness
Your hobby? blogging
Your fear? ignorance
Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
Where were you last night? home
What you’re not? satisfied
One of your wish-list items? table
Where you grew up? Texas
Last thing you did? dishes
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? on
Your pet? Kat
Your computer? Dell
Your mood? tired
Missing someone? no
Your car? Mercury
Something you’re not wearing? ring
Favorite store? Target
Your summer? busy
Love someone? yes
Your favorite color? orange
When is the last time you laughed? today
Last time you cried? yesterday

I'm not tagging anyone ... like Jen ... the other blogs have already done this one.

So, playgroup moms ... My dream last night was that one of the three of you is pregnant, but nobody would fess up. Hmmm. Is there something ya'll aren't telling me?

Not much today ... more housework. I washed all of Lubbock's washable toys in the tub. Man, that kid has a lot of toys. He thought it was pretty funny having his toys in the tub. When it came time to rinse them off, I'd hand them to him and he'd place them in the basket to dry. It's kind of fun now that he's so "helpful."

We went to a park in Geneva and met up with some moms there. Mostly, I have to follow Lubbock around while he climbs and attempts to jump to his death, so I don't have much of an opportunity to join in conversations.

Grocery shopping ... why can't I leave for less than $100? Then home to make stroganoff for dinner. Kevin teases me about the stroganoff. He used to only like the Hamburger Helper. I kept telling him there were better versions out there that I could make. I found a fairly healthy (a little high in sodium) recipe and made it one night. Imagine this ... he liked it! He just doesn't like mushrooms in it and that's my favorite part. Oh, well ... I can't win them all.

Lubbock has his day out tomorrow ... again, I hope he's okay when we get there. I want to get the floor thoroughly cleaned for the first time since the tile guys left. I'm so obsessed with my floors. Once my bathroom is cleaned up, I'll post some pictures ... it's so pretty.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not a Bad Start

I don't know if it was a good night's sleep or just having my bathroom back, but I felt completely energized this morning. Lubbock and I had breakfast and then bathed and showered (ahhh!). We went downstairs and put together a shelf system I bought yesterday for his toys.

What a difference that made downstairs. Most of the little toys are off the floor now. I'm still considering the layout of the furniture. I was able to shift my table enough to use a baby gate. This enables me to leave Lubbock on his side of the room without fear that he'll get into anything dangerous. (Only long enough to switch a load of laundry or something along those lines.)

I was able to get my side of the room pretty much organized. I can't decide what to do with all my boxes of pictures. At first I was going to move them into the guest room, but then I realized that I should try to not use this room as a 'catch-all' since I'm trying to prove to myself that this house is big enough for another baby. If we are blessed with another, the guest room will be our nursery. I'm not sure where guests will stay, though. I guess that's what a couch is for, right?

I had to cancel my physical therapy today because Kevin took his car keys to work today and he was parked behind me. No, we don't have a spare key to his car. This has been on the list of things to do for two years now. I don't know why some things linger on 'the list' for so long.

Other things that have lingered on my to do list for that long:

- touch up living room paint where the black mark is
- touch up paint on bedroom door frame
- scrape adhesive off computer hutch
- fix gas gauge on my car (I constantly have 3/4 tank of gas)

Maybe I'm being hard on myself. That's not so bad. Hopefully, tomorrow will be as productive.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Amazon Women

At the Moms Together breakfast last week, the speaker brought up an interesting concept that I have heard of before, but never really thought about it as a practical solution to life's complications. She called it "Amazon Women." Every so often, they all showed up at one person's house and worked on projects that said person needed help with. I think it's a pretty cool idea. I'm not sure how many people would be up for it, but I think as I get older, I'm less afraid of asking for help. So, if anyone wants to join my Amazon Women group (currently membership of one) ... let me know. Just a thought.

I scrubbed out my tub today (Lubbock had his first at home bath in a few days). Other than a few things that need to be addressed, I'm pleased ... with the design, not the work. At least it's usable right now. I'm going to leave it at that. I'm letting Kevin take over at this point.

Lubbock keeps waking up super early lately ... 5:30 this morning. I don't know what that's all about, but when daylight savings time starts, it will seem worse. I've started not giving him breakfast until 7 no matter when he wakes up. It's my own theory that hasn't really worked out yet. His diapers have been really full, so I think that's why he's waking up and I don't like leaving him in wet diapers since his skin is so prone to rashes. I think there's just been so much excitement around here lately.

Again, I really have nothing of importance to write about ... just needed to sit for a minute. Back to finally putting my house back together.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the Bright Side

This is my new 'need' ... a ring holder by Tupperware. It's totally vintage, retro, kitchen appropriate. It's so fun. I've been looking for a fun little dish to put my rings in on my window sill while I do dishes, but this would be cool, too. I haven't totally given up the hunt for something more colorful that could do the job.

I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond today to look for a new shower rod. I had to get a tension rod since the one we had before was affixed to the wall. I also got new hooks and a new liner. It's not very exciting news, but I'm trying to only include positive things in this entry for today. I have "gotta keep 'em separated" stuck in my head right now ... ooo, ooo, ooo.

I need to order a Tony Romo jersey this weekend. I keep forgetting to do that. I also need to ask the moms of girls if they have a blonde doll I can borrow. Lubbock's being Tony Romo for Halloween and he'll carry the doll (Jessica Simpson) with him. Totally Texan, I know. I wanted him to be Elton John, but I got vetoed. Maybe next year.

Why I Hate Home Improvement Projects

Yes, this is a chip in my tub. I'm actually very surprised I didn't cry ... yes, I'm still threatening this.

I dropped Lubbock off at his Day Out (crying again ... him, not me) and came home to get some stuff accomplished. I finished documenting 4 boxes of Goodwill stuff ... ya, me. I loaded it up in the car and went back to tell the guy I'd be back in about 20 minutes.

I picked up Lubbock, dropped off Goodwill, and then decided Taco Bell was in order. So, I was 30 minutes. Got home, nobody there. Kevin didn't know when they left. I looked in the bathroom and the floors were done being grouted, so I didn't want to walk on them. I saw the chip, but thought ... maybe it's just a piece of debris.

I waited two hours, nobody called to say when it would be okay to walk on the floors or if I needed to mop up after them (since the contract says I have to do cleanup ... is that included?). So, this is where I have to turn things over to Kevin. I bravely walk on the floor and discover, yes, it's a large quarter-sized chip. He finally reached the customer service rep who said someone would be out tomorrow to look at it.

I can't believe the guy just left in the middle of the job ... actually, yes I can. Of course, I allotted extra time for the job, but since it was only supposed to be 1 1/2 days, I figured allowing for 2 days was plenty. Apparently, I should have allowed for 4 days. (Maybe.) I just feel like I've been placed in a cab and told the guy to take me down the block and he drove the other way. I don't know why that seems like an appropriate analogy, but it does right now.

I can say that I think once everything is fixed (yes, more is wrong that I'm not being OCD about ... Kevin agrees it needs to be fixed), I think it will look great. I'm just kind of tired of this week. I want Kevin to be better, I want to take a shower in my own house (not that I don't like showering at your place, Heather), I want to take a crap at my own house (not that I don't like crapping at your house, Leslie), and I want to brush my teeth in the bathroom (not that brushing them in the kitchen is all that bad).

I'm done ranting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Overhead of an Overhead

I'm desperate to get started on the mural and need to have the artwork that I'm "basing" it on printed on a transparency. I called Brandy to see if she could use her teacher connection and was informed that teachers no longer use overhead projectors ... thus, no transparency. Am I that old?!?! Do they still use chalkboards?

Anyway, they only sell them in 100 packs ($30)! I put out my SOS on freecycle and once again, someone came through.

I'm still looking for an overhead projector to borrow. The library doesn't let you borrow theirs and the only place I've called so far rents them for $25 a day. I'm really trying to keep costs down on this, but the most expensive part of the mural project may be the rental of the projector!

The bathroom is only a few hours away from completion ... we only have grouting left to be done and the guy says he'll be here at 8a. It's the 'boss guy,' though ... not the flake that disappeared on us. Pictures of the work as it stands right now are posted. The painters tape on the floor tile is further testament of my OCD. I went in after he laid them (after they dried) and marked all the ones that were not up to my incredibly high standards. After sleeping on it for two nights, I will admit I may have over-reacted (but just a little). I'm sure it will look fine when the grout is in. As Kevin put it "they look fine and normal people aren't crazy like you!" Or something like that. How does that man put up with me?

I am glad that I went with the larger wall tile, though. I think if had gone with the 3x6 subway tile, it would have just been very overwhelming. Kevin is starting to freak out because there's so much white in the bathroom. I remind him that we do have a shower curtain to block the view of the wall. It will be fine.

Heather and I went to the Moms Together breakfast and speaker this morning. I started going with Gretchen last year and invited Heather along, too. I know all moms can use a morning to drop your kid off and eat some good food. The speakers are always great, too. Very inspirational. Anyway, Gretchen wasn't there (hope you feel better), but we still had fun. Heather and I are going to try a meal exchange. We cook double and give each other one. Maybe we can talk some of the other moms in the neighborhood to join in. It would save some time. I've also been re-re-inspired to continue my decluttering mission. One day, I will have a house only filled with things that make me smile ... except my mop.

I'm going to go see if Kevin needs anything and watch some of the BYU game. Go Cougs (that's for you, Dad) ... sorry, I forgot to have Lubbock wear his BYU jersey today. Tomorrow is his OSU day and Saturday is Texas Tech (since their game is televised).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Letters A, C, and L

Kevin had his surgery today. Despite threatening it, I actually didn't cry today! I felt bad because I was so stressed about the bathroom work (the worker didn't show up ... craziness ensued), that I couldn't be as supportive or empathetic as I would liked to have been.

Worst yet, I discovered that Cleo had her tail amputated (I've kept an eye on her bio on the rescue website). How horrible. I knew her cysts were a bigger deal than "just a bother," as the vet had said.

So, Kevin's surgery started late, but was successful. The doctor gave us pictures showing his missing ACL and his rebuilt ACL. He's got a brace and a circulating ice-water pack. He was in a little pain when he woke up, so they gave him more pain medication ... he fell asleep.

But, again ... a shout out to everyone that helped out today. Especially thank you to Brandy (and Jen and Rachel) who watched him during our playgroup. I missed you guys! I'm sorry he cried for so long. He's been very stressed out lately when I leave. Thank you, too, to my sister for watching him the rest of the day (and watching the tile guy when he finally showed up). And thank you to Heather for your offer of help ... an hour later and you would have had him, too!

Rats, Lubbock woke up again ... more later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Need to Write

The bathroom is in full swing and while it's been stressful having to babysit the work being done, I think it will be worth it once it's done. I just keep looking forward to Wednesday or Thursday or Friday ... whenever!

Lubbock's down for a nap and I need to get some work done, but just needed to do my cathartic writing. (Side note: I just looked up cathartic on and while I've used it correctly, I had idea what the entire meaning of the word was.)

So, I have nothing exciting to share.

I went to a coffee playgroup this morning and was able to talk to a few moms. Oh, I have to confess that Lubbock dropped my measuring cups in the toilet and I haven't decided if they're okay to use. I've washed them in the dishwasher twice and by hand once. I still look at them and think, "toilet water." The moms at the group said they were fine. I still don't know. It may be worth investing in another set just to make myself feel better. Or, I can keep them and I'll have no interest in eating my own cookies! That's worth thinking about, too.

Then Heather came over to help me finish my $1.74 lasagna ... what a deal! She brought cappuccino ... yum! She was sans children and was able to get a lot of stuff done at her house this morning. Good for her.

Tonight, I have a wine tasting get together with the alumni group for my sorority. It's kind of an odd thing, but I seem to have a good time. They're all much older than I, but we still find lots to talk about.

Well, I feel more focused ... off to work.

catharsis: the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.

(Blogging is art, right?)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Shower Saga

The tile guys came this morning (at 10a ... they'll be here between 9a and 10a ... I knew it was going to be 10a). They took one look at the bathroom and immediately started to talk about how they wouldn't be able to start today. Apparently, my wall is 'too complicated' for a non-plumber to do. I'm no expert, but isn't it just taking things off, putting tile up, and putting the things back on?

Anyway, he said he had to get the right tools and would be back tomorrow. I guess we'll have to be patient. I took all my before pictures this morning, so you can see what it looks like right now. Who knows how long it will look like this. At this rate ...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Update on the Playroom

Before I show the updated pictures of the playroom, I have to share one of the big reasons why I'm finally getting to it. We are over-run with toys and we have no where to put them except the living room. I'm tired of the living room looking like this. Baskets and toys and no toys in the baskets because that's the favorite game around here. Pull the toys out of the basket, have mom pick them up, pull them out again.

Another reason is that Kevin is having his ACL surgery on Wednesday and I knew he'd be of no help to me for a while afterward, so I had to get him to move things and carry things while I could.

Finally, the weather is beginning to get colder and I wanted Lubbock to have an indoor area in which to run.

So, yesterday we got to work. We moved everything out of the room and sprayed the walls and floors down with ammonia (my eyes stung something awful). I wanted to make sure it was scrubbed before we let him in there. Then, we moved back the furniture we wanted in there. We still have about three sets of shelves full of things that don't have a home. (Picture included of where most of the crap went!) I've got more sorting and donating to do. But, now that Lubbock has a place to be while I'm down there, it will be easier for me to be down there.

My new mantra is ...
I wrote it on the dry erase board that is in the stair well going downstairs. This way, I constantly see it and am reminded of it all day long. It is really true and I suppose that's why I've embraced it.

And now for the pictures! The first pictures show my craft area. I have a ton of work to do there. So many pieces of paper and stickers and cards and not a great way of organizing it right now. I'm sure I'll get to that soon. You can see my awesome table I picked up. It's really long and creates a nice barrier between the craft area and the play area. And it's tall, so I can see down on the play area and keep a good eye on Lubbock while doing my own stuff.

Then there's a picture of Lubbock's area. The toys aren't picked up. We took him down yesterday and let him loose. It was so much fun. You could really tell he knew this area was his. He was having so much fun. I can't wait to get started on the mural. Heather offered to help me with it (don't think I won't take you up on that!). I want to at least have it sketched out by the time we host our first playgroup downstairs.

This morning, I took him down there while I read the newspaper and drank my coffee. He's still really excited about it. I think I'll need to get some more of the mats and a baby gate to make it safer for guests. You can see the train table (he's not quite old enough to find trains exciting yet), the little table and chairs, and the low entertainment center which is in need of a TV. I've also got a teepee that will go in the corner. All in all, it's coming together rather nicely. I've got lots of work ahead, but I'm excited to have a place to put his toys that isn't the living room! YAAA!

Addiction Confirmed

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Melisa had this quiz link on her blog. Pretty funny stuff!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Out, Out Damn Lime

Being on well water is as bad as it gets, I've decided. I'm trying to clean the lime out of my sprayer on my kitchen sink and I keep scrubbing and trying all sorts of products and nothing is working.

Well, maybe there's other things worse. Like dropping off your son at "Lubbock's Day Out" and them calling you to come back and get him 45 minutes later because he hasn't stopped crying. That was pretty bad. When we got to the room, he hugged my leg and I had to take him to a toy and sneak out. On my way out, I ran into Heather. I helped her get her kiddos to the room and Lubbock spied me. He ran to the gate and started crying. I heard him crying the whole way out of the building. Heather and I went for coffee and that's where I was when they called.

So, I picked him up and ran the errands I wanted to do sans child anyway. It wasn't that bad ... it just took longer than I wanted it to. I was supposed to call my friend Kara yesterday (which I just now thought about) so we could have a little catch-up conversation. Crud! I should at least call her and schedule another time. She's got three kids and they're always doing something, so we rarely have the chance to talk without one of us having a kid in the background!

And, I was able to finish documenting all the Goodwill donations. I've made a new resolution, too. From now on, as I buy a box of diapers, I'm going to fill it with donations. This may seem radical to some, but we moved from such a big house into this tiny thing, so I need to keep sorting as a top priority. For example, Kevin has a tool area in the basement. He's so un-handy, so it kind of cracks me up! I bought numbers to nail onto the mailbox post yesterday and when I looked through everything for nails, I realized he has a whole drawer of screws (and this drawer is BIG ... 8x12x4, at least!). He doesn't need that many screws ... and there were no nails! So, the numbers still haven't been hung and I can fill a whole diaper box with screws. I'm not sure Goodwill has a need for screws, but they're getting them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The PT Finding and the Letter W

I had my PT appointment today and after doing several range of motion tests, the physical therapist asked me if I "W-sat" when I was growing up. I had no clue what she meant, but she described what's shown in the picture here. Ah! Why, yes ... as a matter of fact, I pretty much sat like that until college.

Apparently this may be the root cause of my knee problem. It causes one side of my thigh area to be tight and the other side to be weak. This means extra pressure on one side of my knee and no support on the other side when an impact occurs. (Again, this is my non-medical interpretation of what was said.) But, she did warn me to keep an eye on Lubbock and make sure he doesn't do this. So, I'm passing that warning on to all you other moms.

I've been given lots of exercises to help strengthen the muscles that need to be strengthened and loosen the ligaments that need to be loosened. Or whatever parts of my body need to have whatever done to them.

I asked about my 5k goal and whether I could again begin training. But, I assured her that by training, I really meant walking ... absolutely no jogging. She asked me not to do this until it appears my knee had proper support, but she also said that she may show me how to tape my knee depending on what progress is made. So, I guess I can't do anything right now. I'm kind of bummed, but I think I will just make sure I put the needed energy into strengthening my knee.

At the end, they hooked me up for electric stimulation and put an ice pack on my knee for 15 minutes. They even turned the lights down in the room and pulled the door closed. Wow! 15 minutes of silence. It was so nice. I could get used to that!

Heather and I took the kids to story time at Barnes & Noble and walked around some of the shops at Geneva Commons. I showed her my table at Anthropologie. I saw they were hiring for the holidays. Hmmm. If we weren't going to Dallas for Christmas, I would totally do it, but I realize that my chances of being hired for the holidays, sans "holidays availability" are very slim.

We had California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and split the eggplant veggie pizza with goat cheese. Yum!

Tomorrow, Lubbock has his 'day out.' I'm either going to go help Heather or get some more organization around here. I've almost got the whole Goodwill pile documented (write-off ... here I come!). I have some returns at Target and Home Depot I need to do. Why can't I ever remember these when I have to go buy things there? I even have them in a bag hanging on the door! Then, Brandy is going to drop Evan off later in the afternoon so she can go to a real estate class. He's pretty cute and he and Lubbock play so well together. (Brandy's pretty cute, too!)

And, Lauren is coming over to watch her favorite show ... America's Next Top Model. We enjoy eating salad and chocolate cake while watching this. We're so weird!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Fun Outside

Lubbock and I went to Heather's this morning to play with Joey and Eleanor while she got her garage sale stuff together. I'm pretty sure it was more of a selfish motivation that led me there. My house was so clean yesterday and Lubbock was determined to mess it up a little this morning. So, I figured it was better for me to take him out of the house so he couldn't completely destroy it!

Here's a picture of what he did with his box of diapers. This is the hallway right outside his nursery. In his defense ... when we got home, I was making his lunch and I noticed that he kept picking up a diaper and going into his room. I figured he was just making a different mess in there. I was so happy to see he had put the diapers back in the box! (Well, he put one in his laundry basket. But still ... pretty good!)

After his nap, I decided to take him outside to look for letters. I've started a second 'blog.' It's more of a place to post pictures of letters I find. They can't be actual letters, just things shaped like letters. I want to find the whole alphabet. Check it out ... today, I found Q, O, and Z. I found Y pretty easily the other day. I got the idea from that grocery list guy's website. He did the same thing ... sort of ... he used spray painted letters. We'll see how long this takes.

Anyway, I took pictures of Lubbock, too. The look on his face here is pretty common. He looks like I'm annoying him. I guess I should get used to that look since I'm sure as he gets older, I'll get more annoying!

I took a set of pictures of him running (they didn't turn out well ... too blurry), but after I quit taking the pictures, a bunny ran out of the bush about 6 inches from Lubbock! He didn't even notice the bunny, but it freaked me out. I went back to see if the little guy was in the shots, but I couldn't tell since they were blurry.

Then Aunt Lauren came over and I was able to get a little work on the office area done. Every time I get it organized, I think ... that's it! ... it will never get bad again. I must be fooling myself because it never takes that long. Maybe it's functioning as too many areas ... it is the office, guest room, Goodwill landing spot, and place to shove things when guests are coming. I think the big problem is it's the room closest to the front door. I've got to get this room under control. New Year's Resolution, perhaps?

Product Recommendation

Go ahead ... think I'm silly! But, I think we should all start sharing products that make our life easier!

Here's mine ... and I plan on sharing others, too. Sprayway glass cleaner. It's available at Target (and lots of other stores), but right now, it's got a pink cap on it. It's awesome. When I worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, it was the only thing we used. For a few years, I wasn't able to find it at regular stores, so when I finally found it, I was so happy. It stays where you spray it and wipes off without leaving a streak or film.

What's your favorite product? Cleaning or otherwise.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

8 Things ... Tag ... You're It

Melisa tagged me on this ... Because I'm completely un-original sometimes, I'm copying her in some places!

8 TV shows I love to watch:

1. Psych
2. Ugly Betty
3. The Today Show
4. Judge Judy
5. How I Met Your Mother
6. Mad Men (I can't believe I almost forgot that one!)
7. The New Adventures of Old Christine
8. The Amazing Race

8 things I did yesterday:

1. cleaned the kitchen
2. cleaned the bathroom
3. laundry
4. watched Texas Tech football game
5. mopped floors (three times ... there's still streaks ... I guess I need to buy a new head)
6. read Melisa's blog
7. made Kevin clean off book shelf in living room (delegating counts, too ... right?)
8. decided to move all baking utensils that Lubbock considers to be his toys (I actually did it today, though)

8 things I'm looking forward to:

1. my birthday
2. the first snowfall
3. the bathroom remodel being done (even though it got pushed back a week)
4. Hayes Carll concert
5. the playroom completion
6. Lubbock's first sentence
7. the Halloween party
8. helping Heather with her garage sale

8 things on my wish list:

1. orange Ipod shuffle (or nano ... for running ... the other one is heavy on my arm)
2. Anthropologie table (oh, table ... how I dream of you!)
3. to paint the master bedroom a different color
4. a garage
5. another baby
6. room in the house for another baby
7. a garbage disposal
8. The North Face rain jacket

8 people I'm tagging- wow ... if only 8 people even read my blog! Jen, Brandy, Heather, Dad, Lauren, and Mom ... that's 6 ... Melisa doesn't count since she tagged me ... Kareer Woman, and some other random person who happens upon my blog!

Friday, October 3, 2008

And The Winner Is ...


Thanks to all who participated and made this giveaway such a success! I realize some of you out there (Dad and Lauren) couldn't/wouldn't enter because you have to sign up for a Google account, but I still had fun.

Nothing exciting to report on today. My mom is here for a few hours before she has to catch her plane back to Texas. My sister is over doing laundry, so with all the "extra" hands ... I should be doing something more important that blogging.

My appointment went fine yesterday. The gist is that he told me it was fine to do anything I want. My third grade interpretation of what he said is that my muscles around my knee aren't very strong, so I need to strengthen them. When he was examining my knee, he grabbed my kneecap and was able to push it all over the place ... ow! That wasn't the case on the other knee. He gave my 6 weeks of physical therapy. I think this will be good, though. I can use this to make sure I've got good form while trying for my 5k goal.

That's it. I can't wait for the weekend ... I just need to go pick up some beer for Kevin. What's a Friday night without a cold one?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You know you need to do laundry when ...

I'm either really brave or really stupid. These are the undies that Kevin bought me after the c-section. The band was high enough that it didn't hurt my incision. At least they're about two sizes too big now! (That's the only good news here.)

Maybe I can use this as my before picture.

Anyway, I'm really behind on laundry since I can't go up and down the stairs very well right now. Next time we buy a house, I'm requesting a main floor laundry room.

I do have an appointment with the knee doctor today. So does Kevin ... they have confirmed what we suspected ... a torn ACL. Mainly, I just want to know if I should keep jogging or not. Kevin says that moving it is the best thing for it, but when it hurts worse the more I move it, I tend to not believe him. He's not a doctor ... he moves stuff on trains. Next time I need advice on transporting cargo ... I'll ask him.

So ... now that I've embarrased myself enough for one day ... I'm going! (Hmmm ... for some reason I'm in the mood for a muffin top!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dream and the Pea

I can only get so far right now because we're leaving for Jen's ... but this video is cracking me up. When I get home, I'll write about my completely weird dream I had last night.

Click here and be amused ...
The Pea Pea Dance

Okay ... we're back. Lubbock fell asleep in the car, so I'm hoping I transferred him to his bed quietly enough to finish the nap.

My dream. Oh, it was so weird. I hope I'm not the only one who's dreams do this, but I can have a dream where I'm talking to one person and mid sentence, the person changes, but it seems totally normal in my dream. Or locations change for no particular reason.

Anyway, I'm driving to meet Kevin for lunch. Just me. We meet and then we see a water spout (like the one they showed on the news in Florida), so we hop in his car and leave, but as we drive under it, it turns into a tornado and I get to look directly into it through the eye (a la Twister ... awesome movie!). Then we're driving on 88 west (toward home) and I start to see fireballs shooting over us and blowing up buildings and cars on the freeway. My sister is now in the car and she asked where Lubbock was. I tell her she's at home. She asked why I didn't take him out for lunch and I told her he was asleep and I didn't want to bother him. (Seems totally logical in my dream.) Then, we see a space shuttle approaching and we determine that the fire balls are probably debris from the shuttle and notice a panel missing on the side. It's trying to land on 88, but on the other side of the highway. I decide now is a good time to call Jen and tell her we may be late for the play group tomorrow because 88 is backed up. (I don't drive on 88 to get to her house.) The space shuttle rotates as it is trying to land ... so that it lands upside down ... again, I don't know why. Then my dad is in the car. I tell him that when the shuttle lands, he has to help the astronauts (my dad is a nurse, so he'll know what to do with upside down landing astronauts). But, then I have to pee, so we pull over ... and I wake up.

That's why I think I'm finding the pea-pea dance so funny today. But, thank goodness I did wake up! The whole dream seemed so real. And weird. If you're a dream analyzer, please don't interpret this ... or at least don't tell me what it means. I'm sure it has to do with me being crazy.