Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Major Award

I won a major award...sort of. The fact that I won anything is really an accomplishment, though I recognize that, so far, 2007 has kind of been my year. (I've won two contests and been given a Mary Kay gift card just for being friendly). I participated in a contest at my Curves last week and I won! Pretty exciting, huh?! I know you are all dying to know what the prize was, so I won't keep you in the dark any longer. (Just promise me there won't be any rioting in jealousy when you find out). I won a koozie, a bottle of water and a moist towellete designed to make you feel fresh after exercising. Oh, the glitz, the glamour! It's just too much!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Washing Clothes Not Watering Floors

You'll remember the last time laundry day rolled around, I was standing in a puddle of water with my big, fat sad face on. Obviously, I wasn't interested in a repeat perfomance this week. So, I turned to my beloved Craig's List for help, and thankfully, we were able to bring home a three-year-old washing machine this evening for a very reasonable price. It seems to be in great shape, and I think we will see more water staying where it should and less water on the floor in this laundry cycle! It really is the little things that make such a big difference!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

One Less Thing

We keep this perpetual list of home improvements that need to be done around here, and once in a great while we actually check something off. Today was one of those special days! Woohoo! This was actually the completion of the the little plumbing project I began earlier in the week. Now my bathtub drains flawlessly (and the hole I left has been covered up) and I am very happy! Maybe some year in the near future we'll check something else off.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I decided to take an online IQ test today just for the fun of it. If the results can be trusted, then I have an IQ of 131. I didn't buy the 15 pages of results that would tell me exactly what that means but I did get a little summary for free, which pretty much hit the nail on the head. Here's what it said:

*Your Intellectual Type is Insightful Linguist. This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind.*

That certainly explains the blogging and the scrapbooking!

Here's the test if you want to find out your IQ:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bet You Didn't Know I Did That This Week...

  • Played musical dressers, moving everything from my dresser to Jeff's and vice versa.
  • Planted several new plants, including a blueberry bush and cactus seeds from Arizona.
  • Made my own magnets out of inspiring quotes I found in some magazines.
  • Sprayed myself and the entire front of my van with carbonated water after letting it roll around all over the place and then thinking it was just regular water.
  • Wore Mardi Gras beads at the park.
  • Vacuumed up a whole-heck-of-a-lot of popcorn kernals that Weston spilled all over the floor because Jeff and I forgot to put the bowl away the night before.
  • Attempted a plumbing project on my own and mostly succeeded.
  • Watched Dirty Dancing, the Ultimate Edition.
  • Tried out the rower.
  • Looked around in the grocery store for 15 min. for something called "tamari," and then later found out it's basically soy sauce.
  • Found mega-bargains on books and children's clothes.
  • Obtained permission from Sutton Co. Justice Court to take a driving safety course to have my speeding ticket dismissed.
  • Read my Real Simple magazine.
  • Made Weston an appointment with a new pediatrician.
  • Sent in an application for Ruth for a Charter School.
  • Received my first SkypeIn phone call.
  • Listened to Jeff's appropriately sad lamentations about having to go to a lingerie website as part of his job.
...And maybe you didn't want to know, but now you do!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Flip-Flop Weather

(Picture me with a huge smile and a child-like giddiness).

What an absolutely gorgeous day!! I was able to dig out my long-lost flip-flop buddies who haven't seen the light of day in months and months. Yippee!! We wore flip-flops, played outside (at the park and here in the backyard), and bought gardening supplies. I love, Love, LOVE Spring!! (And you naysayers out there can just keep quiet. I know it's still Feburary and Old Man Winter could still make another pass, but I refuse to believe that on such a day as this)!

Monday, February 19, 2007


...It's morningtime. Weston is just starting his day. He's getting his diaper changed and--uh oh, Mommy's a little late with the new diaper.

...It's laundry day. Time to take the clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer. But wait a second, why are my feet getting all wet?! Oh, there's a river coming from the washing machine. Great.

...It's dinnertime. Why don't we get out those left over California Rolls for an appetizer. Oops! It looks like the lid isn't fitting tightly and now there's soy sauce all over the kitchen floor.

...It's clean-up time. The dishes have been cleared from the table, now it's time to wipe everything down. Huh. Would you look at that huge puddle of milk in Ruth's chair.

The fun never ends!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Not Ourselves Today

Some days you wake up and you just don't feel like yourself. I knew today was just such a day when Ruth announced after breakfast that she would really like to be Mother Goose. The next thing I knew she was dressed, and I hardly recognized her. In fact, she did look just like Mother Goose. See for yourselves.

I didn't really feel much like myself today either. You can call me Luigi.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's All Over But The Binding

I'm happy to report that I am now 99% finished with Weston's scrapbook. All I lack is his one-year picutre (which I don't want to put in until I can replace it in the frame with the 15-month picture) and binding it. I think it turned out rather marvelous, if I may be so bold. And it has been so much fun! I can't believe my little baby boy has gotten so big!

The next scrapbook adventure will be a mother/daughter effort of our trip to Vegas. And my role will mostly be a supervisory one. Ruth took all her own pictures and collected her own souveniers. I will just be helping her make some sense of everything and making sure that she doesn't cut or glue anything that shouldn't be. I'm excited to see where our combined creativity will take us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Short Video For Your Viewing Pleasure

*Make sure your sound is on.


Jeff's last day at NI was yesterday, leaving him officially unemployeed for the first time since I've known him. And, frankly, it's been fun. We spent the day together, taking care of some necessary car issues, playing at RadiJazz and creating a very yummy dinner. He'll be a contractor for BazaarVoice the next couple of days and will start full-time on Monday. So, here's what unempolyeed looks like:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Not So Hard To Say Good-bye

This week has been say-goodbye-to-pacifier-week at our house. I'll be honest, I have been cringing at the thought for quite a while now (which is why we are just now getting around to it). But it turns out I was cringing unnecessarily, because it has pretty much been a cinch. The first night he wailed for about 20 minutes, but since then he's hardly put up much of a fight at all. This is a kid who is just so happy to be going to bed that I don't think he even cares. Certainly a different story from the last time we had say-goodby-to-pacifier-week around here. Good job, Weston, on kicking the habit like a man.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spaghetti Squash Is Cool

I cooked a dish tonight that I have never made before, but will definitely try again. On a whim at the store the other day I bought a spaghetti squash. I have never bought one of those before, and I've certainly never cooked one. But basically, you put it in the oven and when it gets soft, it turns into "spaghetti." It was very fun. And besides that, it tasted pretty darn good. We tossed ours with sauteed onions, green pepper, garlic, tomatoes and some Italian spices. I think it would also be good with just about any kind of pasta sauce. The next time you're at the store pick one up and see what you can come up with. If nothing else, you (and your kids) will have fun watching an ordinary squash turn into everybody's favorite: spaghetti.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


That's my exact age today. And as I've thought about that number (and more specifically, as I've thought about the number that will replace that one in six months), I've realized that I have within me a wild, panicky rebellion against losing my youth, which makes me want to run away to an island and rip open that bag of wild oats I've been carefully storing untouched all these years. (Not to worry, I will most likely not do that, as 1. I'm responsible to a fault, 2. I don't have any real desire to do any of the things that fit into that category and 3. I'm generally just a chicken). I know this is just some kind of life-crisis, but I'm wondering what happens to these feelings. At some point, will I just crack and go off the deep end or will I just gracefully accept that I'm not 20 anymore and just go on? (As an aside here, please don't mistake any of these feelings for unhappiness or lack of satisfaction in my life. Most of the things in my life fit pretty neatly into the almost-too-good-to-be-true category, so I'm definitely not complaining). I'm certain when I reach 39.5, I will look back on these feelings and laugh at myself the way I now look back on my high school crushes and all the things that seemed so very important then but weren't. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I feel "old." It's just that I feel like an important phase of my life is ending. Time is taking from me something I can never get back, something precious and sweet, and I miss it already. I'm not one to live in the past, and I'm not about to start that now. I'm just being reflective, I guess. I'm also not one to think life ends at 29.5 (or even at that number that starts with 3 and ends with 0). In fact, I think in many ways life is just beginning. It's just human nature, I suppose, to stand on the brink of something new and look back before you look forward. And maybe, just maybe, if I get this out of my system now, that day in August won't seem so traumatic somehow.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


And Westonless. The kids are off at Nana and Papa's, living it up, while we do a little living of our own. We went out to dinner and then picked up some dessert and chai at our favorite coffee place. Then, we did something really wild and crazy: we went purse/shoe shopping (and here's the crazy part) at Jeff's suggestion. He bought me a really cute bag and really encouraged me in the shoe department, though for once I didn't find any that I wanted to get. But it truly was the thought that counted. That man is just such a sweetie.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Return From The Wild West

For the past two days we have been making our way home, and we finally arrived this evening, speeding ticket in hand to prove our journey was made with much haste. We can't be certain exactly what time zone we're in, and we are not much looking forward to being reinstated into the real world, but we are immensely happy to be out of the car and overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity we had to go on such an incredible trip. We saw and did more on this trip than I can even grasp, and it was just a blast. For those of you thinking about taking your own family roadtrip, I have a few words of advice:

  • The Build-A-Route feature of Mapquest is really nice. It allows you to input up to 10 different stops along the way and gives you a breakdown of the time it takes between stops and the mileage.
  • KOA Kamping Kabins are awesome. They are super-fun and super-cheap, and everyone is super-friendly. Many of them also have special features like free breakfast, playgrounds, or even miniture golf. The KOA website also has a trip planner that will show you KOAs along your route and descriptions of what kinds of things are nearby to see and do.
  • Organize and label luggage for each stop. That way you don't have to take in everything at every stop and you have what you need close at hand. You will have a few more bags but it will be much easier to navigate and you won't end up with a huge bag that you can't carry and can't find anything in anyway. Be sure to pack a bag of things that you will need at every stop to avoid having to re-pack those things at every stop.
  • Stock the vehicle with plenty of toys, books, videos, games, snacks and bottles of water. Have these in a place that is easy for the children to access.
  • Stop at McDonald's (or other simialr place) to play on the playground when necessary. A few minutes of climbing and playing can make a big difference in how much longer kids can sit in the car.
  • Las Vegas has a well-earned reputation for being a morality-deprived adult playground...but it is also a fabulous family vacation spot. There are so many things to see and do there, many of which are free or fairly inexpensive. It's like seeing all the popular bits of some really famous vacation spots all in one city. Each Hotel/Casino offers something unique and even beyond those venues there is plenty to do and see in the surrounding area.
  • Pack lunches, if possible. Take your lunch on your daily outings to minimize frustration when everyone is hungry NOW, and to minimize your expenses. This will also maximize your fun since you won't have to stop to figure out where to eat and what everyone wants. You can always find a food court or picnic area with tables for spreading your feast.
  • Try to work in a few "normal" things--playing on a playground, going to a library, watching a video or reading books. Adults love to see and do new and different things when they travel, but kids really crave consistency. Getting to do things they do all the time helps kids feel more stable when they are away from home, and allows them to enjoy the new stuff more too.
  • Have a plan, but be flexible.
  • Take lots of pictures and encourage your kids to take their own pictures, too.
  • Allot kids a certain amount of souvenier money and help them make good choices to make the most of their money.
  • Most of all, have fun!
Thanks for keeping up with us on our adventure. If you're looking for me this week, I'll be the one under the enormous pile of laundry.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Vegas Vacation--Day 9

It was another full and fun day around here. We had breakfast at a place called Mimi's Cafe in honor of our wonderful Mimi. Then we toured the local chocolate factory and adjoining cactus garden. Unfortunately, they don't actually opperate the factory on the weekend, but we did enjoy the free chocolate and the beautiful gardens. After that, it was naptime for some of us and play-on-the-playground time for others of us. This afternoon, we drove through beautiful Red Rock Canyon and even got to see a wild burro, who tried to climb into the car with us. From there, we went over to Sam's Town Casino for the wild west laser light and water show and then dinner. Fun times!

Mimi and the kids at Mimi's Cafe

Red Rock Canyon

Kids at Ethel M Cactus Garden

So-called wild burro

Vegas Vacation--Gallery 3

Dancing on Fremont Street

Enjoying the lights and music on Fremont Street

Ruth loves the showgirls.

Ruth at the Natural History Museum

Family pic at the Flamingo Hilton

Vegas Vacation--Gallery 2

Bellagio Bontanical Garden--decorated for Chinese New Year

Clown at Circus Circus

27 ft. chocolate fountain at Bellagio

Dancing fountains at Bellagio

Eiffel Tower at Paris

Vegas Vacation--Day 8

Oh my goodness. We've done so much in the last two days, and I'm way behind with no chance of catching up, so you're going to get the CliffsNotes version. Yesterday, we visited the Bellagio, Paris, The Flamingo Hilton and Circus Circus during the day. Then, last night Jeff and I left the kids with Mimi and Grandpa and had a ourselves a nice little date night. We had a wonderful dinner at one of the nice (but certainly not the nicest) restaurants in the Bellagio and went to see Drew Carey and the Improve All-Stars, which was pretty much like being at a live performace of "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" I almost wet my pants, we laughed so hard. After the show, we walked along The Strip, stopping to see the dancing fountain at the Bellagio and the errupting volcano at the Mirage.

Today, we visited the Natural History Museum, had lunch at Bally's and watched the Bellagio fountains. Then, when my in-laws got home from work, we headed downtown to Fremont Street for dinner, live music, and a very neat light/music show, which I can't even describe. It has been two very full days, but we've had so much fun! We're looking forward to spending the day with Mimi and Grandpa tomorrow and having even more adventures.

Sorry, Blogger isn't cooperating with allowing me to upload pictures. I'll try again tomorrow.