Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The waiting game

So someone I happen to know is due with baby #2 anyday now. Or any hour now. I know she is getting super annoyed at people asking questions, making comments, and just generally bugging her about when she is going to have the baby. As we all know, they come when they want to. She got "spoiled" by her first one who was a week or so early. Now she is just days away from her due date and getting anxious. She also made the mistake of putting a comment on Facebook about impending arrival happening yesterday--that warranted an annyoing phone call from her sister (not me, the other one).

We have a small family bet going on as to what day she'll deliver. Emma has picked today, I picked tomorrow and Thursday (hey, I can't make up my mind--I can have two days if I want them). The stakes are pretty low, maybe the winner will come away with a dollar or two if my mom pays up.

If my sister's wish were to come true, she would have a baby girl born today. She wanted to hit September because she likes the birthstone better than October. Being that she is a little spoiled (I can say that, I'm her sister) she will get a nice piece of jewelry with the babe's birthstone from her hubby. Then she will also have baby birthstones in light blue and dark blue--she is Kappa through and through. The baby even has an adorable onesie with an owl on it waiting for her.

I know what my sister is thinking right now--she's having a boy in October way past her due date. ;) Either way, I wish her a nice labor with a wonderful epidural, a small head full of beautiful red hair, and a baby as healthy as can be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've got nothing

Not a whole lot has been happening at the Casa de Double O lately. Emma ended up having a virus, stayed home one day, then went back to school to share her virus with all her friends like a good little girl. Heck, every Dr's appointment/health care related trip for the rest of the year is covered so I'm going in for every little thing now. Hang nail? Let's check it out. Paper cut? Why not. Bruised philtrum? I'm there. Just kidding, that would be way too much time on the phone and waiting around the germ-infested doctor's office.

Speaking of Emma, she came off the bus Friday in tears. She had left her jacket (not a big deal) and her beloved Webkinz, Zack, (quite a big deal) in her locker. I had to wake up Leah, drag them up to school, and retrieve said items. I know, I know this was a perfect time to teach responsibility and let her live without it for the weekend. The thought did cross my mind, but the fact that it was a weekend and I'd have to spend the next two days with an overly crabby child who would be lamenting her missing Webkinz (that thing goes everywhere with her at the moment) made the "nice mom" in me come out. Guess what? I still had two over crabby children for the next two days, just WITH their Webkinz.

I made a few bucks this weekend. Some of the neighborhood gals had a garage sale and I had only a few things to sell. Right now I have about an extra $30 or so burning a hole in my pocket--that is about 1/2 of what I made; the rest of it goes to my friend, Robyn, whose stuff was the majority of what I sold. Then a neighbor was selling a women's bike for $35 and I said I was interested. So that may be the end of all my profits.

The fam, plus Grandma and Grandpa B, went to an Iowas State women's volleyball game last night. We were hosting Nebraska who is ranked in the top 5 nationally and is currently undefeated. We did take the second set from them and the third set went to 25-27 (our loss), but the Huskers walked away with the win. It was fun, and tickets were only $1. However, we spend $14 on concessions to balance out the cheap admission.

I had been waiting all week for a pair of new shoes that my mom had to pick up at a store close to where she works. Even though I got the size I wear, they were too big. :( I wasn't able to try them on because the store where we bought them at didn't have my size. I'm pretty sure no where in the state of Iowa will have the size I need at the price we bought them. I was so looking forward to my cool new pair of expensive shoes that I got for cheap.

Okay, so I had a little more to say than nothing, although none of it was terribly inspiring or humorously witty (as all my other posts are, you know). We'll see what this week brings.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Why does the Dr's office not open their phone lines until 8am and then they are busy until at least 8:15am? Maybe they should open the phones 1/2 hr before the clinic so that way things aren't so crazy. I called 6 times before I actually got through, then promptly got put on hold.

Why did the receptionist make it sound like a big deal that we couldn't get into 10:45am with our preferred Dr, so when I told her we would see anyone she said, "Okay we'll see you at 10:45am with your preferred Dr."

Why do my girls get sick when I am scheduled to have my hair highlighted? This event happens maybe twice a year, and both times this year I've had to re-schedule. I had someone lined up to watch Leah and everything; now I'll have to wait to see if Sicky McSikerson is contagious or not. My bet is she is just a little bit contagious because I happened to pick up part of what she has. Fun times.

Its actually Emma who is sick, which doesn't surprise me at all. I figured she would be picking up all sorts of fun things once she got into the public school system. Who knows what the kids are doing when the teachers aren't looking. I talked to one mom who has been to lunch with her daughter, and was just a little shocked to see a friend offer to open her daughter's milk--with her teeth. Yikes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Help me make some decisions!

We need some help making decisions. Neither hubby nor I is ever quick to make a decision and there is often much hemming and hawing going on. Let's see if I can get more than my 3 loyal readers to comment and give me their opinion. Everyone has an opinion, right? Let's hear yours!

Due to a nice financial contribution from an un-named source, we are able to purchase some new, much needed furniture for our house. We last bought a substantial amount of furniture 11 years ago after we were married with our wedding money. We went to the Furniture Barn and Jay (yes, I remember these details vividly) was able to help us pick out the finest quality furniture for our new wedded household. We bought a dining room table/chairs, a full bedroom set, a sofa and loveseat, and a coffetable and end table for roughly around $3-5K (I can't remember those details). The furniture has lasted us 11 years, but its time to make some replacements.

One item we need to replace is the dining room table and chairs. We have the standard golden oak round table with 4 country-looking chairs. We are thinking of something like this
or this

The chairs are the same, the table styles are different. Any preferences? The one we saw locally yesterday was the first one, but we weren't totally thrilled with the bulky table legs. I found another table that goes with the set at a different furniture store---250 miles away. But I think the table style is more what we were looking for. It would also cost a little more since the set we saw yesterday included the table, 4 chairs, and 2 side chairs. The other furniture store only offers it as a table and 4 chairs, the side chairs would be more (and, yes, we would like at least 6 chairs).

Does the second table have enough appeal to either pay up the wazoo for delivery charges or try to bring it home ourselves? We aren't looking for a set that will last 25 years, we just want a decent set we can live with for the next 7-10 or so. We are talking a difference in price of maybe $500.

So if making one major decision on a dining set isn't enough, we need to decide what we want to do about a bed for Emma. She has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for the past 3+ years. She did get upgraded from an air mattress to a real mattress this summer, but she still doesn't have a bed. I have in my mind to put bunk beds in her room, but hubby doesn't necessarily agree. Does she need bunk beds? No. Could there possibly be a situation where we needed bunk beds? Maybe, we honestly don't know at this point (say like if some other small person would happen into the family who would need a crib/Leah's room and Emma and Leah would have to share a room). So do you buy bunk beds anyway? Just set up one and put the other one in storage? Have both of them up for guests/friends who stay over? Then if yes to bunk beds, do you get a full on the bottom and twin on the top, or two twins? Arrghh!! Too much to handle!!!

The bunk bed we are looking at (crappy angle if you ask me, you can't even see the details on the ends of the bed)
You just buy an extra extension to make it a full on the bottom

So then say if we went with the full/twin combo, we would need to buy a new bed for us. The full bed in the guest room would go to the bottom bunk, Emma's twin would go to the top bunk, and our queen bed (which needs to be replaced having been purchashed at the Furniture Barn 11 years ago) would be the new guest bed. Follow all that?

Then, IF we would have any of our "furniture" money left, do we put it towards new blinds (our house currently has ghetto fab white paper folding shades) or buy a new TV for the living room upstairs. I think the gift-giver had intentions of part of the money being used for a new TV since he is tired of having to look at the 13" screen when he comes to visit. (Have no fear, we have a lovely wide screen plasma TV downstairs, but that would require him to go downstairs to watch it).

Okay, my brain is spinning and its not even 8:15 am yet.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've talked just a few times about my affinity for Starbucks. Over-priced, high-calorie caffiene drinks are my thing. I have been making my own coffee at home most mornings, but I didn't have any creamer in the house (actually I DID have creamer--I bought some that was 25 cents at Hy Vee since it was due to expire yesterday, but it curdled once you put it in hot coffee. Not so much a bargain). Anyway, it was a cool and rainy Monday morning, just perfect for Starbucks. I enjoyed my drink as I got groceries yesterday.

Fast-forward to supper last night. Leah says that her "pretend" Mommy is going to go to Burger King for a coffee. "Wait, wait, I mean Starbucks". That alone was enough to get hubby suspicious. He starts asking her, "Does Mommy go there everyday?" She answers, "Yes." of course, little stinker (FTR: No, I don't) Then she goes on to say "And no whip!" to which I immediately start laughing hysterically, tears running down my face. So busted, she even knows how I order my coffee.

The day she can tell me "grande white chocolate mocha with skim milk, no whip" is the day I guess I know I've gone to Starbucks a few too many times.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Random

  • It has been beyond gorgeous out this past week. The girls and I have to stop and remember to say "Thank you, God, for this beautiful weather." We've been to the park, played outside, went for a walk--just generally enjoyed being outside.
  • I just went through the box of "goodies" MIL sent home with hubby last week for me. There are three different size springform pans, which I have never used that type of cake pan before. I see a cheesecake somewhere in the near future!
  • Somehow in my effort to lose weight, I've been gaining this week. Grrr. I'm really hoping its muscle. Yeah, muscle--that's it!
  • Emma has a birthday party after school, then there is a neighborhood bonfire/gathering. The whole idea behind the bonfire was to roast marshmallow/make smores and have hot apple cider and hot chocolate. It will be about 65-70 degrees so I guess we'll bring some chilled adult beverages instead.
  • I'm trying to steer the girls into Halloween costumes that I want. I asked Leah if she wanted to be Yoda and she said, "Nah, no thank you." I see a princess or Little Mermaid in her Halloween future. Last time I asked Emma she said Spiderman. We actually have a Spiderman costume in the dress-up stuff, but that wasn't what I was thinking. Last year she was so adorable as a vet.
  • I went to McDonald's today for lunch and they were out of the $1 parfaits. How cruel!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A little history

I love doing Wordless Wednesday, but I always have something to say about the picture which defeats the purpose of wordless. (Right, Cristin?) Anyway, as many fellow ISU'ers know, the girls are at Lake LaVerne on the ISU campus watching two swans named Sir Lancelot and Elaine. The swans may change, but their names remain the same.

People often tend to either love Lake LaVerne or hate it (and call it Lake Latrine instead). The fable on campus is if you walk around Lake LaVerne three times with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you will be married. I'm sure at one point hubby and I walked around it three consecutive times (or maybe not, I can't remember).

When I was in school our football team rarely won, even at home. On such momentous occasions when we did win, the students went crazy and tore the goal posts down, carrying them over a mile to dump them into Lake LaVerne. (At least we are a little smarter than the Iowa fans who tore down the goal posts in the Metrodome vs. Minnesota and then realized they couldn't fit them through the doors. They got some real brainiacs at the U of I -"This was not on anyone's radar," said Bill Lester, the executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns and manages the Metrodome. "I guess you have to be from the University of Iowa to attempt to take an 18-foot pole through revolving doors." )

The lake isn't very big, but at one time you used to be able to do recreational activities on it such as ice skate or canoe. Around the time I started college, they added an aeration system so the water now never completely freezes, which rules out the ice skating. Last year there was a missing student on campus and he was later found in the lake--its hard to imagine wanting to canoe in the lake now. I tend not to bring up that point when the girls and I go visit campus.

If you ever get to the ISU campus, make sure you stop by Lake LaVerne and tell Sir Lancelot and Elaine "hello". It is a very pretty spot on campus, so take a seat on the bench, relax, and watch the students go by.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do you know what this is?


Most of you would say a window, right? Well, yes, technically it is a window. It also happens to be the world's largest mouse/vole/toad trap.

You see, this is the main window in our basement. Its nice and big and lets a lot of light in. Fire code states if you have windows in the basement, they need to be egress windows. You must be able to get out and a firefighter must be able to gain access through the window. As you can see, the window well has "tiered" boards of wood which you can technically climb in and out of the window well. There is also about a 2 ft wide landing at the bottom of the window well--plenty of room to maneuver around.

Directly behind our house is a cornfield. Lots of things live in the corn field such as mice and voles and toads and other furry and non-furry animals. These animals tend to run around, and sometimes they run straight into the window well. And can't get out.

This looks similar to the little guy who is currently in there Photobucket
He must've dropped by sometime during the night. I get to hear him run around frantically as I type this morning. He's probably thinking, "Oh, shit! Where the hell am I?" This is about our 4th or 5th furry animal who has dropped into the window of death.

(Warning--if you are a member of PETA or are against cruelty to rodents, please stop reading now. Otherwise continue on, but maybe not if you are still eating breakfast)

My parents had spent a night at our house after they got back from vacation. There happened to be a vole in the window well that morning, and he was a determined little bugger who was going to dig his way out of there. I didn't want him burrowing under my house, so I had my dad "go take care of him" since hubby was still sleeping. The girls were both downstairs watching out the window as Grandpa clubbed the ugly, vermin-infested rat cute, innocent little creature to death while the girls chanted "Go Grandpa, Go Grandpa!"

Usually we just leave them in there--there isn't much food down there so they don't last too long. Once the flies start buzzing around them, its time to take them out. I know--extremely gross and disgusting, but its the price you pay to live close to nature. Believe me, I've seen much worse.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday meme

I've been trying to avoid the news/papers/TV/internet since I didn't want to re-hash our less-than-stellar performance on the football field yesterday. Thanks to Cristin, I've been tagged and now get to blog about something totally unrelated to the Cyclones.

1. Where were you 10 years ago?
I was just starting my second year of grad school at the University of Minnesota. Hubby and I had been married just over a year and were living in a lovely 2-bedroom apartment. The best thing about where we lived was I was literally 7 minutes from the doors of the Mall of America. God, I love that place.

2. What is on your to-do list for today?
Ah, this is very exciting stuff. Let's see--put the girls' clean clothes away, pick up random toys in the basement, think about going on the treadmill or doing some other form of exercise, and taking the girls to a playdate this afternoon. Man, we are booked. ;)

3. What if you were a billionaire?
Wouldn't that be nice sometimes? I'd probably do things like set up trust funds to make sure children/grandchildren/future generations could hopefully take advantage of the money. I'd build my parents a new house that doesn't get water in it every time it rains. Hubby could play golf all the time--maybe he could even afford a membership to Augusta and fulfill his dream of playing there. Help families dealing with CDH. I would have great hair, a fantabulous wardrobe (nothing fancy, just "cool" SAHM clothes), and have all the shoes I currently only can lust over.

4. Name 5 places you have lived:
Hmm, there may only be 5!
Hampton, IA
Ames, IA
Eagan, MN
Lakeville, MN
Carroll, IA
That's it, people--all within about a 130 mile radius of where I was born

5. What are three bad habits that you have?
1. Picking/ripping my nails off.
2. Leaving dirty clothes on the floor
3. One or two that I do not want to admit to ;)

6. What kind of snack do you like?
I am so with Cristin on this one--cereal. And chocolate. And peanut butter. And chocolate in peanut butter. And the occasional Starbucks.

7. Who would you like to tag next?
Farm Girl and TJ

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Huck the Fawks

Today is the day---the big Iowa vs. Iowa State football game. This is one of the biggest games of the year in the state. It determines who gets bragging rights for the next year. The rivarly has been strong for as long as I can remember. Let's face it, we don't have anything else--no NFL team, no professional baseball team, no NHL team. College football is it.

Obviously if you have read this blog more than once, you know what side of the fence we sit on. There is no denying the fact that we are born and bred die-hard Cyclone fans. It starts at birth and continues from there. Here is some of the earliest evidence that we are raising our girls right:

And remember this post? Leah survived 6 weeks (including the start of football season) in the middle of Husker land. We wore our Cyclone stuff with pride:

The girls at the game last week

Emma knew at a tender age that Herky and the "hot dogs" (as she called the Hawkeyes earlier this week) are bad and Cyclones were good. She has passed this knowledge onto her younger sister. We are working on cousin G who lives on the "other" side of the state and has a parent who leans more toward the dark side. We are also working on cousins Cam & Kadance--their parents are Jack Rabbits and we proved earlier this fall that Cyclones rule.

I will let you in on our family's dirty little secrets. 1. My dad attended the University of Iowa briefly. We try not to dwell on that. He is one of the biggest, most optomistic Cyclone fans you have ever seen. Smart guy. 2. I once belonged to a Hawkeye fan club. In 2nd grade a group of boys started a club at recess--dues were 5 cents. I only did it because I wanted the boys to like me. As I remember it, at least one or two of the boys went on to be Cyclones. That was also probably the first and last time I ever pretended to be a Hawkeye fan. Wasn't even worth the 15 cents or so I spent.

Hubby had a pot luck at work on Friday to celebrate the upcoming game. This is what I sent him with:

I will admit that I may not even watch the game. We play in Iowa City today, so we won't be going. I'm such a Nervous Nelly (I get it from my mom, she is the same way)--just let me know what the final outcome is. A Cyclone victory.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What do you get

when a squirrel climbs up into a "really big box" near Emma's school? You get an entire school district home sent home early because there is no electricity. And, according to Emma, you get a squirrel who is "really, really dead."

Lunch Lady

(this post is dedicated to G, thanks for the suggestion!) :)

Emma has gone into this whole kindergarten experience wanting to do everything a school age kid can. Ride the bus? Check. Eat school lunch? Check. Is there any other way?

Growing up I had no other options. We lived out in the country so we had to ride the bus until we were 14 and could get a school permit. My mom worked and she didn't pack us lunches; I hardly ever remember bringing cold lunch except for the end of the year picnic we used to have. Back in the day we had peach colored lunch tickets with 20 punches on them. Man, you were screwed if it went through the wash because those babies disintegrated faster than tissue paper. I don't really remember having a favorite meal, but being a picky eater I know I didn't eat everything. I also dreaded going to 5th grade. For 5th grade everyone from the three elementary schools all went to the same building and that building had a reputation. The rumor was you had to try EVERYTHING on your tray at lunch time. I wanted to stay in 4th grade forever so I wouldn't have to be tortured like that. Somehow I made it through. By high school it wasn't "cool" to eat school lunch anymore. Most of my lunch hours were spent eating saltines dipped in ranch dressing. Nutrition at its best. Since we were a small school there was no open campus at lunch (face it, the town didn't have anywhere to go eat anyway!), no optional lunch except your choice between hot lunch or salad bar, and they even unplugged the vending machines during lunch hours. I'm sure things have changed quite a bit in 15 years.

Now its Emma's turn to experience government meal planning at its best. We look at the lunch menu the night before so she can decide if she wants to eat hot lunch or not. If the dessert looks good, then she will choose hot lunch. Does Emma like chicken fajitas and mixed veggies? No way. But put chocolate wacky cake on the menu with them and she's all over it. On Wednesday the menu was taco salad/lettuce/cheese, grapes, apple streussel and milk. We had just had tacos on Sunday night which she didn't want to eat and said "I don't like this." She shares my affinity for lettuce, so I knew there was no way she was going to eat a taco salad. She insisted she would eat it and didn't want to bring cold lunch. After school that day she did say the apple streussel was good--I'm sure that's about all she ate.

They should hand out a lunch menu "cheat sheet" at the beginning of the year for the first-time parents. During the first full week of school one of the main dishes was "Straw Hat". Anyone, anyone? Yeah, your guess is as good as mine. I asked the neighbor girl who is in second grade, so therefore a school lunch expert. She told me it was like nachos--chips with meat, cheese, lettuce. Emma's report was different. She said all she ate that day was the cheese. I still have yet to figure out what a straw hat is--hopefully its something edible and not some type of Survivor meal.

I can't complain too much. For a $1.80 she gets a well-balanced, nutritious, tasty (?) meal and I don't have to worry about making lunch in the morning. Long live school lunch!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Angels too soon

There are too many angels up in heaven running around with holes in their diaphragms--or at least they were that way before they were healed in heaven. Angels like Connor who will be watching over twin baby brothers next year (basketgirl--they will be in your NICU!). Angels like Parker who will soon watch over a family as they deliver a baby with CDH and stay in her house named in her honor, run by her amazing parents. Angels like Roo who now watches over her family in Germany. Angels like Baby Will who earned his wings after a short yet valiant fight less than a month ago. Angels with names like Avery and Sarah and Drew and Jolee and Joseph.

Heaven's newest angel is Elliot Arcile Reed. Elli was born almost three weeks ago and was a tremendous fighter. As her parents put it, she "re-wrote" the book on CDH care. She did things her own way and had the doctors continually on their toes. She found her way into the hearts of many, thanks to her parents Brian and Cassi who shared every step of Elli's fight on their blog. Elli and her family were to move back to Iowa once she was able to come home and her follow-up care would've been at Children's where Leah was treated and followed for 2.5 years. We were rooting hard for Elli, praying everyday that she could win the battle and defeat CDH. She passed away early this morning in her mother's arms.

I can't pretend to imagine what these parents go through. Yes, my child also had CDH, but some how things went differently for us. I don't question why Leah was born with CDH, but often question why was she a lucky one? It shouldn't have to happen to any of these babies that they don't survive. I struggled with survivor's guilt for a long time, and still do. Yes, we are blessed with an angel of our own buy why can't every parent get to experience that? It is hard when you follow these stories of these babies and see it end all too soon. I feel helpless--I don't know what to do to help them know that we feel part of their loss as well.

Will it ever change? Will there someday be hope for CDH that the survival rates increase? I hope to see it in Leah's lifetime.

Not to get too political, but I would be thrilled to see Sarah Palin in the White House. Megan, the expecting CDH mom who I was able to meet this summer, has met Sarah Palin. Sarah was pregnant with Trig at the time--they even have a picture of Megan with Gov. Palin. As govenor of Alaska, she signed a proclomation earlier this year declaring March 31st Congenital Diaphragmatic Awareness Day in Alaska. Just think if we could get that kind of exposure on a national level.

To all the sweet angels in heaven, know that you are missed greatly by friends and family everyday. You have all left footprints on this earth and will not be forgotten.

To go, or not to go . . .

That is the question. My 15 year high school reunion is in less than a month, and I'm still undecided if I'm going. They decided to have it the same time as our high school homecoming this fall instead having it in the summer, which is when it was the past two times. I do have sort of a lame excuse for not going (there is a home ISU football game on Saturday) but it isn't like I can't figure out how to get there.

I'm starting to feel the peer pressure--just like in high school. I saw a classmate at the county fair and she was all excited and said, "You're coming to the reunion, right?" I happened to run into at least two other just-as-excited classmates. Now I just heard that one of the foreign exchange students is coming from DENMARK to here for the reunion. C'mom, talk about pressure! I live one freaking hour away from where I went to high school and I'm wanting to cop out. Here she's flying half-way around the world to come back. My excuse looks even more lame right now.

Honestly, my class was not that exciting. We were a small, rural town--graduating class of 86 kids. Yours truly graduated 2nd in the class, thanks to my mathematical inabilities (I got a "B" in calculus my senior year). Not only was I the "nerd", I was the band geek, the choir geek, the drama geek, the jv sports loser (played jv for 3 years, then I decided athletics were not my thing), the cheerleader, in all sorts of clubs--heck, I even ran for president of my senior class and lost in a tie-breaker. Being in such a small school, you could do all of those things--you weren't necessarily stuck into one certain "label" and only did sports. Our class valedictorian? He was smart, a good athelete, nice looking (and has about a 14 year old child right now). I know where quite a few of my classmates are; that's what happens when your parents still live in your hometown and try to get you the latest gossip.

So if I now decide to go, I need to kick some OSB butt. How many pounds can I lose in 4 weeks? And I see a new haircut/highlight in my future along with a shopping trip. It almost sounds like too much work to go. My last excuse I can pull is if my sister would happen to deliver our new niece (or nephew) around the 1st of October and my mom wouldn't be able to babysit my kids. C'mom, Baby S, shoot for about 3.5 weeks from now!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm failing

as a kindergarten mom already. :( This week book orders were due on Tuesday, but Emma forgot to turn it in (even though we had talked about it in the morning as we were going through things in her bag--but I won't blame her). School pictures are tomorrow, and I see today that the form was due Wednesday. Oops. I guess in all my school experience we always handed the envelope over when we had pictures taken. Oh well, I think they'll still take our money. Gotta read the fine print and trust that your 5 year old will hand things in on time.

Things that I *heart*

Just want to give a little shout out to a few things I love these days, some old and some new.

I *heart* Facebook. Call me a late-comer, but I recently joined Facebook because a neighbor sent me an invitation to join. I started out with the friends in the neighborhood, then I found college friends, friends from high school, friends from grad school, friends from marching band--you get the picture. I re-connected with my "sister" from Finland (the foreign exchange student my family hosted when I was in college). I've gotten re-acquainted with second cousins whom I used to see every summer. I've met up with my CDH bloggie moms there, too. I love Flair and a few of the other applications that I actually use.


I *heart* Younkers. It is a department store here in the Midwest; I know they have quite a few other names in different parts of the country. It is like an upscale Kohl's--everything is always on sale, and then there are almost always extra 20% off coupons you can use. They carry Carter's and Osh Kosh, a couple of my favorite brands. Just this week I got Leah the cutest vest, regularly $27. On sale for $13.50. Extra 20% off $10.80. That's how I roll.

I *heart* Carter's pajamas. There is one other mom I know who shares my affinity for said pajamas as well. They just have the cutest darn pj's ever and if you get them at Younkers or Kohl's, are pretty darn cheap. I have a slight obsession for pj's--that's why Leah got 4 pairs for her birthday, plus 2 more when we visited my friend Robyn. I've had two separate comments at the bus stop about Leah's jammies; "Boy, Leah, you have a lot of pajamas!" and "Leah, you have the cutest jammies." Yes, Leah goes to the bus stop in her pj's--you think I have time to get two kids dressed and fed and out the door by 7:25 am? Ha! Here are a few I have my eyes on for Emma since Leah is set in the pj department for awhile:

I *heart* Gap fleece hoodies. My obsession with these started when Emma was a baby. I have at least one or two in every size from 6-12 mo (the smallest they make them) now up to size 6-7. The past two years I have been in brown & pink mode, so for the next lucky lady in the clothes line-up (which right now is our niece) will get a brown/pink hoodie in size 2, size 3, size 4/5 and size 6/7. They serve as a great fall jacket, and for Leah she will wear one under her super cute vest (see above) for most of the winter as her winter coat. (Sorry about the picture size, aparently they are sold out of the ones I ordered a couple months ago)

I *heart* my bloggie friends. I recently "won" my first blog award, given generously by Cristin.

Without my bloggie friends, I have may have a lot more time in my day (because I wouldn't sit at the computer for hours on end trying to catch up with everyone), but my life would definitely be a lot more boring. Love the linky love, the comments, and just being a "part" of other people's lives. Love ya!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Becareful what you wish for

Cuz' you just might get it (to qoute the Pussycat Dolls). Remember this statement I made on Sunday? I know I will eat my words, but I am ready for some cooler, fall-ish weather (not cold, mind you--just cool). I must have an 'in' with the weather because it went from a high of 88 degrees yesterday to a high of 68 today. Taking Emma to the bus stop it was 55 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler, and we may get some rain out of Gustav. I'll take the cooler temps and we do need the rain.

And because I mentioned the Pussycat Dolls, here is something for your listening pleasure. Yes, I actually like this song. They say "boobies". Makes me giggle. I must not have made that wish when I was younger--obviously it didn't come true.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Should've been

Today should have been Leah's first day at preschool. :( I truly thought she would be ready when I signed her up in March, but she's just not quite there yet. Maybe she'll be potty-trained by the time she goes to kindergarten. We are on the wait-list, so maybe we'll get in at mid-year. If not, its not a huge deal. Now I get to come up with fun, creative, mind-expanding activities to do on my own. Does watching "Sid the Science Kid" while I'm blogging count?

Thanks for all the glowing comments about my appearance during labor. With Emma I was definitely one of "those" moms who threw on just enough make-up to look good without looking over done. I was wearing my favorite shade of Cover Girl long-last lip color. I had done my hair. I even think I don't look too shabby after going through labor and birth (including hurling about 5 different times--I could've slapped the nurse who says, "It's good, it helps bring the baby down!"). We have pictures all throughout labor & delivery, including two short video clips of the actual birth and hubby cutting the cord (while holding the camera and taping).

With Leah I think that was the last picture taken on the camera until John got to Omaha the next day. We are sad that we don't have more pictures from her birth--the only ones taken in Carroll that we have are a couple that the nurse printed off on plain paper after she went to the "nursery" and a couple of horrible Polaroid shots that were taken after she was in the transport incubator to be sent to Omaha.

And yes, that evil hospital did not offer epidurals. I think it had to do something with the fact that they used nurse anesthetists instead of anesthesiologists--I could be way off on that fact. Anyway, I know they wouldn't give me one even though I told my Dr. I knew how I would react to pain and that would be the best thing for me. Not my best labor and delivery experience.


Since we're not going to preschool today, we are going furniture shopping, to Target, and to the library. Never mind the fact that I spent about $130 between Target and WalMart last week, there are still things we need. I would save so much money if no one, including the cat, would need products for bodily functions that happen below the waist. Diapers, pull ups, toilet paper, tampons, and kitty litter--such a waste of money.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Here are a few of my favorite labor days:

May 14, 2003 (evening before Emma's birthday)

August 10, 2005 (evening before Leah's birthday)

Wait, is that not what this holiday is about? Oh, that's right. We only get to celebrate that like on Mother's Day--no day off from work or anything for that one. As you can see, I prefer to labor lying down, preferably asleep with copious amounts of drugs. Unfortunately the hospital where I delivered Leah didn't offer epidurals--not fun. I'm a fan of epidurals.

I tried to get out of making supper for tonight by claiming its labor day; the best hubby could do was tell me to order a pizza. Actually I'm making bbq ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon, and garlic bread. No labor involved in that meal, eh?

I know I will eat my words, but I am ready for some cooler, fall-ish weather (not cold, mind you--just cool). Its been close to 90 the whole weekend which is just fine, but I'm ready to bust out all those fall clothes I bought the girls. Bring on fall, football, apples, falling leaves, crisp autumn air, and all the other good things September and October bring (like a new niece/nephew as well!)

Got any motivation to spare?

I hate to beat a dead (fat) horse, but I need to find some motivation. Motivation to do things around the house that I've neglected (like organizing closets, putting receipts away, cleaning out the van), motivation to keep my 3 year old entertained at home, and motiviation to lose weight. I know I've talked about this before, but I really need to do something. I had been happily coasting for awhile after losing a few pounds, but now they are back and brought friends.

I don't know what it is going to take to make it "click". On Saturday I had on my new skirt that I thought was so hip and adorable. Emma sees what I'm wearing and promptly says, "Mom, you look pregnant." Gee, thanks, darling daughter! JUST what I wanted to hear! Now that Leah has heard the story, she will say, "Mom, you have a baby in your tummy?" Nothing says you need to lose a few like your daughters' thinking you are pregnant.

I've tried all the mantras:
"It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle"--yeah, will my lifestyle doesn't usually involve recording everything I eat and exercising daily
"It's not a spring, it's a marathon"--have I mentioned I don't like running; neither sprints nor marathons. I don't have the patience for the weight loss thing to take 5+ years.
"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"--have you tasted Great Plains Pizza? Its pretty damn good.
"Don't be a slave to the scale, go by how your clothes fit"--I kinda like to have quantitative data to back up my efforts

I've tried to make it fun by buying a new, cute notebook to record what I eat or buying a new water bottle so I can consume 200 oz of water a day (which I usually average about 10 oz--not so good, I know). I've tried the sites like sparkpeople and now OSB. I feel like I've tried it all.

And its not just for vanity. I need to do it for my health as well. I have high cholesterol which I need to try and get down . . . by diet and exercise.

So today is a new month, a new beginning, a fresh start. I don't know where my motivation is coming from yet, but it has to be around somewhere.