Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Random

  • I need to post, but have nothing fun to talk about. You'll get random blatherings instead.
  • Furniture came. I really like it, except there are three small places on the table "apron" (technical furniture term) where the wood veneer is chipped. Ticks me off to no end. Customer service won't be here until Feb 12th to look at it.
  • Need to download pics from the camera. Emma had her pet show this week, it was a lot of fun. She also found a new hideout--under her bed.
  • I feel like I'm constantly 2 steps behind this week, don't know why I'm so off. Such is life.
  • Had a great brunch with the neighborhood moms this week. Went there thinking I looked smokin' hot, only to find everyone who had a baby within the past 1-2 months is back to looking not pregnant. Damn it anyway.
  • So you ask how those resolutions are coming? Well the weight loss one? Down 9.4 lbs since Jan 1st, thankyouverymuch. The other ones? I can't even remember what they were.
  • Even extreme bribery isn't working for potty training. Any other great ideas?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Coming!

Remember this post four months ago? We finally got our act together and ordered some new furniture and it will be delivered tomorrow. Yippee!!

Obviously even though I was calling out for opinions, I didn't listen to many of them. We ended up going with this table and chairs:

and the twin over full bunk bed:

The plan is to just put up one twin bed in Emma's room right now, the rest of the bed will go into storage (or somewhere, where ever we can find space to put it right now). Eventually the plan is to move our full mattress into Emma's room with the full bed frame, move the twin bed into Leah's room, move our queen to the guest room, and we get a new king bed. That will be a little while, so we'll start with what we got. They will only be used as bunk beds if we need to move the girls together in the same room for some reason, or they really want to share a room at some point.

Now we just need to order some blinds. Thankfully we only have three main windows to worry about first--I think we have those figured out, along with the windows in our master bathroom. Depending on how much money we have left for ordering those, I may be able to get a "fancy" window covering for the dining room--I had a couple options priced out at the local decorating store.

Anyone want to come decorate the rest of my house? It is quite a sad state of affairs--nothing on the walls, no accessories, nothing to make it a "home". I need help!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not quite the cutting edge

When we were growing up, my dad was a bit of a tech junkie. I remember we had one of the first VCR's in town; that was after our disc player. Did any other family have those? The discs were bigger than records--you could even check them out at our small local library. Anyway, when there was a new piece of tech equipment, my Dad had to try it out. He had a cell phone way before I did even, although I did have a cool "bag" car phone when I was in college.

Anyway, the area of tech stuff my Dad didn't get into was video games. I remember as a young child we wanted an Atari like my cousins and friends had. The only time I played the original Nintendo Mario Brothers was when I was babysitting . . . and the kids could always beat me, hands down. We never had any sort of gaming systems growing up. Walkmans? Yes. Games? No.

Since I didn't grow up "gaming", I suck at it. Hubby and I used to play Mortal Combat on his younger brother's gaming system when we were dating--all I could do is push buttons and hope I won. When the original Playstations were "the thing", I collected money from parents and myself to buy hubby one for Christmas. I only played about two games (and we only have about 4 games total) and again, I suck. Now with the advent of X-Box and Wii and PSP and Playstation 3, I've only used them about once. I played Rock Band for the first and only time in October.

Hubby is helping make up for my lack of fun things as a child now that I am an adult. He got me a Nintendo DS (you know, the one that my 5 year old wanted for Christmas) and so far I only have one game. I'm hoping I score a game or two for my birthday. And hubby, being the kid that he is, would love a PS3. I mean come on, its also a Blu Ray player--we need it! It would be perfect for the 46" TV upstairs! He could blow things up and take out stress! I haven't convinced him to buy it yet, maybe if we get some tax money or something.

Since I'm following in my parent's footsteps and so far have denied my poor children anything fun, I pulled out the old Playstation for Emma to play yesterday. She has played Wii more than I have and I'm sure she'll still be asking for one, but for now she can play with her dad's old toy. Now I just need to try and find some Playstations games cheap somewhere. Play on!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

100 Things

Stolen from TJ who picked it up from someone else. Nothing like plagiarism on the Internet! ;)

1. Started your own blog--you are here, I must've done it
2. Slept under the stars--I'm pretty sure we did this at church camp once
3. Played in a band--if H.S./college marching bands count, then yes
4. Visited Hawaii--I got PAID to live in Hawaii. Hardest job I ever had. ;)
5. Watched a meteor shower--we would try to do this when we were kids since we didn't have any city lights to interfere with our view
6. Given more than you can afford to charity--this is something I hope to do someday to benefit CDH
7. Been to Disneyland--but not Disney world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis--haven't held one, but had one visiting our bushes last summer
10. Sang a solo--I was in musicals in H.S.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child--does a furry child count? Probably not, although he is more work.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not sick.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon--no, does a 5K count? Yeah, didn't think so.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse--Emma was born on a lunar eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to truly be satisfied.
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance--no, but Leah has two times
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling--in Hawaii and the Caribbean
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served in a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp--we have pictures of the camp hubby's Grandpa helped liberate in the war
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter--Leah was close, but the weather was too stormy
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy--now my children play with them at Grandmas
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London--hubby has
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Been to the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the paper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House--we were there, but didn't have tickets for the tour
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had Chicken pox.
89. Saved someones life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake--visited, but didn't swim in it
97. Been involved in a lawsuit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

One thing I have not done is travel abroad. I have been to many places in the US (although not the Alamo or New York City), but have never had a chance to go overseas. Hopefully someday we can travel like my parents do.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday when Leah and I were wasting time perusing the aisles of Target, she saw all the pretty nail polish colors. She wanted to buy some, but I told her we had a lot at home. So then she wanted to paint her nails. I gave her the stock answer, "Maybe later."

Before nap we had a conversation that went something like this:
Me: Leah, do you have to go potty?
Leah: No.
Me: Leah, do you have to go potty?
Leah: No.
Me: Leah, do you have to go potty? (She just loves it when I repeat myself like this--ha!)
Leah: (trying to change the subject) Can I paint my toes now?
Me: You can paint your toes if you go poop or pee on the potty.
Leah: I have to go potty!!

She ended up changing her mind and waiting until after nap to use the potty, but she has beautiful pink toe nails. And she things going once on the potty during the day constitutes potty training. Grrr.

Leah is very influenced by informercials--she is always telling me I "need" what she sees them advertising. At lunch she saw a baby on TV and told me, "Mom, you need one of those!" I asked if she meant a real one or a play one. "A real one!" Apparently she would help me feed it and build it a crib and help take care of it. Emma was not around for that conversation, but later in the afternoon she brought up the same subject. Her feeling is she doesn't want another sister or a brother. When I asked her why she said, "Because boys are too loud and another sister would just make me play princess even more."

Sunday, January 18, 2009


White is what I see everywhere looking outside. Remember this view from my patio door this summer?
This was the same view last weekend

We have gotten more snow and wind--now you can barely see the fence under all the snow.

Last Saturday when I opened the front door, this is what it looked like

After that we had blizzard conditions on Monday to blow the snow around and at least another additional 5-7" of snow and wind. They've had to come through the neighborhoods and clear out the snow from the corners of the intersections so you can see. They literally take dump trucks full of snow out of the neighborhood.

The sad thing is it has been way too cold for the kids to even go outside and enjoy it. We drove by the local sledding hill on Friday and it was empty; the temperature was about 7 degrees. (Okay, most kids were in school as well, so that probably had something to do with it). Maybe today or tomorrow it will be warm enough for the kiddos to actually go play. The drifts are large enough in our own yard for them to have lots of fun.

So what do you do when you are stuck inside for three straight days with two kids?

You build forts. First they had a snack and watched a movie while under the fort. Then it became a "Secret Fort" for members only.

This is what happens to Moms who try and breach security

They get the "stink eye" and a mean looking growl minus a few ferocious teeth.

The fort building actually occured on the day I paid them to help me clean. I had to take all the chairs out of the kitchen to sweep/mop anyway, so we just threw a few blankets over them. I got a clean kitchen floor, they got a cool hangout and everyone was happy. Until the next day when school was cancelled again.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Frip You Friday

My alter ego (a.k.a. Cristin) came up with a theme for Friday last week, so I'm following suit. It's officially called F*%k You Friday, but I edited as needed. This is a family show. She doesn't have to filter, she talks like that anyway. ;) Please check out her first 'F' You Friday from last week where she tells CDH to flip off.

Since it is Friday, I just have to say:

Yes, I live in a northern state where winter is to be expected. I've lived through ice storms and blizzards and snow up to my armpits (okay, I may have been 7 years old at the time, but that still is a lot of snow) but cold is something we can do without. The air temperature this morning? A flippin' -29 degrees. Without windchill. That is damn cold, people. Humans aren't meant to function in that cold. Nothing much else works, either. It is dangerous to even be out in these temps. In order to protect our children, they cancelled school on Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. For real? I mean c'mon, I know the buses don't function in the cold, but most other schools were only running 2 hrs late this morning. Heck, when I went out at noon it was 9 degrees out--that's a heat wave! It was only 4 degrees out when I did grocery shopping earlier this week and the kids were in school.

Honestly I don't see how this part of the country was ever settled by our ancestors. They must have either been crazy or very desperate for a place to live. They probably gave away the land for free in the summer and then had the last laugh when winter hit. Gotcha! You thought this lush, green, fertile place was a great place to live? Have fun in the months of November through March!

I don't think there are many other places in the country where temperature can vary as much as it does here. Record lows for the day were -27 degrees while the record highs were 58. That is a swing of almost 90 degrees. The temperature in January can fall anywhere between the two. And we do get hot in the summer, just like we get cold in the winter. Although it may not be hot like 110 degrees hot, we get very humid so it can feel that hot.

So, on my first 'Frip You' Friday the award goes to cold weather. Global warming, my ass!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Living the dream

Every school-aged child's dream. Not so much every parent's dream.

Monday: school out 2 hrs early
Tuesday: school starts 2 hrs late
Wednesday: no school
Thursday: no school
Friday: TBD (my guess is possibly a 2 hr late start)

They won't be loving it so much when they are going to school until July!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Facebook Love/Hate relationship

Last night as I was flipping channels, I came across a new sitcom and the basis of the episode was someone had reunited with an old friend via Facebook. Of course the old friend has to show the person up, and she ends up wishing she would've never contacted her.

I have professed my love for Facebook before. I have gotten into contact with people mainly from college that I haven't seen in a good 12 years or more. It is fun to see what people are doing, how many kids they may have, where they live now, and how many old pictures people can dig up and post.

I also do some of the applications like word games, they can get a little addicting. Recently my sister-in-law G started a Scrabble game for us to play online, and we went on to play another game. I was never really good at Scrabble but playing online is a lot more fun. I won't mention that I won both games. ;) I had a little bit of help from dear hubby who has a lot more Scrabble experience than me. And G had help from her hubby who thought it would be funny to put up "PASTIE" on her turn without her knowing.

The one thing Facebook can do is make you feel a wee bit inadequate at times. Oh, you just got your PhD from Yale and had a baby? That's awesome? Oh, while I was changing diapers and cleaning up after two kids you flew missions over Iraq and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro? Wonderful! (Those are actual examples, although I really do like the people who did them). Like hubby says, I chose my path in life. I will admit that, and I was just fine with it when I lived in my own little SAH bubble. Then you get back into the "real" world and see that people actually do things other than take care of kids. I have also been able to see pictures of people's wonderful vacations to Jamaica, Cancun, Aruba, Italy, Florida--just like I had been there myself!

I will continue to love Facebook and know that my life is just as good. If you see me on there, don't be afraid to stop and chat!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'm having Visions

No, I'm not hallucinating. I should've said I'm going to be in VISIONS. A few months ago in an alumni update, there was a call for "lovebird" stories; people who met their love at ISU. Hubby and I fit the bill, so I sent our story in. I didn't think we would get a response (even though I think we have a great story) but last week I go an e-mail asking if we would let them feature our story and do a photo shoot with us. Sure! I've always wanted to be in print.

Here is what I submitted:
I met my husband, John, my freshman year at Iowa State before school even started in 1993. I had decided to join the marching band after seeing how much fun it was for my older sister. Band camp is held before classes start in August and I was put into the same rank (group of 8-10 people) as John. He was a junior in the marching band from South Dakota, playing the same instrument that I did. We spent many hours together that first semester in marching band practice and on game days. By the end of the marching season, we were a couple.

So many of our early memories while dating are closely tied to ISU. On our first official "date" we saw a play at C.Y. Stevens. John was in the basketball pep band and during half-time of the games at Hilton I would always bring him a Clone Cone--a favorite of his still today. On special days like Valentine's Day or my birthday, I would walk to class and see personalized messages the whole way written in sidewalk chalk, courtesy of John. He also loved to put messages in The Daily, which I have saved. We were usually both in the VEISHEA parade and then would walk around campus and check out all the activities together. And like all true Iowa State couples, we would go campaniling a few times every year.

We spent our summers apart--one year I was in Chicago and he was in London with the ChemE lab class through ISU. Another summer I was in Hawaii and he was in Wichita, KS. We always had our time at school together, even though we had very different majors--he was Chemical Engineering and I was Speech Comm/Communication Disorders. In the fall we had marching band together.

The summer before my senior year at ISU I was living and working in Ames and he was working in Wichita. He came up for a visit for the 4th of July holiday. When he came into town late in the evening on the 3rd of July, he wanted to take a walk around campus. It was a beautiful summer night as we walked through central campus, past the library, and around Lake LaVerne. We ended up under the campanile and as the bells rang out at midnight, he proposed. A year later we were taking our wedding photos under the campanile.

After 12 years of marriage, we had the opportunity to move back to the one place we knew and loved so well--Ames. We now have two young daughters and enjoy sharing with them all the unique experiences John and I had at Iowa State. They love the VEISHEA parade and all the on-campus activities, they love seeing Cy at football games and having a Clone Cone at basketball games, and they love to walk around campus. They hear many stories that start off "When Daddy and I were at school . . ."

This past Father's Day we took a picnic lunch onto campus and ate under the campanile. We reminded the girls again why this was such a special place to us. As we were eating, a newly married couple came by to take some pictures under the campanile. We had to share with them that this is where it all started for us, too.

A side note: The Iowa State Marching Band is probably one of the biggest dating services on campus. We know more than a few couples who had their start in marching band together. One of our favorite band couples is John's younger brother Nick Mostek and his wife April Lamos Mostek

Got tears in your eyes yet? This may make you cry:


I know it makes me cry--its been 12 years since I was that skinny.

Hubby has started me a Cat's Meow collection of building on campus. This is the one I got for Christmas this year

No, it's not a parking garage (as my Dad thought when this was given at his house). It is CY Stephens Auditorium, the location of our first official date together in November 1993. I can hear your collective "awwww" from here. ;) I don't think Cat's Meow has yet made a replica of the bus we rode on during the band road trip to Kansas in 1993, although there are a few "flattering" pictures of us as a couple from that trip that made it into the band video that year.
So there you have it, our lovebird story. Our photo shoot is in two weeks--they would like to do it outside somewhere on campus. Can't wait, it may be just a tad bit chilly out! Now I just need to get some highlights and lose about 15 lbs before then.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Darn it

I had a post all typed out and then my browser opened another page over it, so it went "bye-bye". It wasn't anything too witty or earth shattering and I am too lazy to try and recreate the magic that it may have been.

I'm a bit housebound today because the Dish Network people are supposed to come and install a new receiver to go with our new TV. Anytime between noon and 5 pm. That means I have a 3 1/2 hr window of time to shower, run some errands, and be back to wait for the guy for 5 hours. I'm not sure its worth it.

I am excited with the change because that means we will now have Dish access, and more importantly DVR access in the toy/exercise room. That means I can record what I want and watch it while on the treadmill--yea! The TV in that room used to only have a VCR (nothing else) and I'd pretty much run through our entire VHS collection. Then I would bring the portable DVD player down and watch movies. Once again, I had gone through the majority of our small DVD collection already. The TV in that room went "ca-put" recenty. It was working on its last legs--I had bought it with my high school graduation money and probably spent $50 at Wal-Mart for it. It got me through 4 years of college. Then my little sister used it and somehow the power button was broken. Then my parents used it for awhile, and then we inherited it back. Once the remote died, that's all she wrote. Honestly, we're too cheap to go out and buy a new one. Right now we have a 13" stand-in that used to be our upstairs living room TV (we did a slight upgradge, now we have a 46" LCD). My parents have a bigger TV they won't use anymore so we'll probably take that off their hands.

Off to wait for the cable guy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resolution Check-in

I know it won't be like this every week, but so far 4.6 lbs have gone bye-bye. One week down, 51 more to go! (weeks that is, not pounds)

Also, I think I have taken more videos of the kids (4) in the past week than I did all year last year. They now ask to "perform" for the camera.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gettin' back to normal

It's been too long since everyone has been in a regular routine. Emma hasn't been to school since December 18th (they had the 19th off due to bad weather) and now today on the first day back, there is a 2 hr late start. Hubby has been to work two days since the 18th as well. We enjoyed late mornings, days in our jammies, and just hanging out together. But enough is enough. Back to school, I say! Back to work! Back to doing whatever it is I do all day long when people are gone!

Of course one of my New Year's resolutions is the same as its been the past 2 (or more) years--get on track with eating and exercise, and hopefully as a result lose some weight. I started out pretty good last year, then got off track--stress does that to me. Now I'm back at it yet again--try number #4256. That is something to say about persistence, right? I think I need to work more on the follow-through and actually attaining my goal part. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm Alive

Just wanted to let you all know that yes, I am still alive . . . barely. I'm getting very tired of this "driving on ice" thing. The fam went to an ISU women's basketball game for a lovely Saturday afternoon outing and by the time the game ended, everything was coated in a nice layer of ice. No traction, no brakes, no fun. Thankfully hubby was driving, but even then we slid through a stop sign with cars coming at us from two ways and a concrete barrier on one side. Needless to say, I have a bit of a stress headache right now. It took us three runs up the driveway, but we finally made it in. Hubby was taking just a little too much delight in the fun he was having on the ice. Me, not so much. I did eventually thank him for getting us home safely.

We will have company tonight since my sister and nephew are in town and won't be going anywhere soon. She was playing in the alumni pep band at the women's basketball game and there is a men's game tonight that she is also playing for. We brought my nephew home with us so the kids have all played Webkinz and are watching a movie right now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's too early to be profound

Leah did not pay much attention last night when I specifically told her to "sleep in". That girl has a very precise internal alarm clock and she doesn't care that mommy stayed up late (didn't make it to midnight, but did stay up past 11pm--woohoo!). She doesn't care that mommy's throat still hurts and that mommy didn't get much sleep with daddy snoring all. night. long.

Usually on school days, Leah is the last to wake up. Hubby is up around 5:30ish and I wake Emma up at 6:40am. But on weekends/holidays, Leah's 7am wake up is before anyone else. We usually head downstairs to watch TV (I can see the TV perfectly from the computer desk). She gets a "nack" of dry cereal, a fig newton and milk.

So this morning is no different, she is pestering me for a snack. I grab her requested cereal that we just bought yesterday out of the cupboard. As I'm opening it, I think "hey, they must've changed the packaging--it's really hard to get into!" My next thought is, "Wow, all the marshmallows are at the top of this box, usually they are at the bottom. What a lucky girl this morning to get a bowl full of marshmallows!" Not until when I go to close the box do I realize I opened the stupid thing from the bottom.

I'm trying to find a way to put the experience into a profound metaphor to describe what may be in store for the New Year, but its too early for things like that. Maybe like "The New Year will start out sweet". Yeah, that didn't work that way last year. Or "Happy accidents will bring about good things". Accidents that usually happen to me don't turn out well.

I don't know what 2009 has in store for us. I sure hope it doesn't involve any job changes that aren't voluntary, emergency surgeries, or flooding (either by nature or man-made). I do hope it involves more pooping on the potty, less of me, and good heath and happiness all around. May your New Year bring you a big bowl full of marshmallows. Happy New Year!