Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 2008 Round Up

Blinkie by: Brandy's Blinkies

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I tried, I really did, I just never quite managed it more than a few pages (20-30) of any given book that I picked up. Parenting magazine is about all I got to.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Oh, well, at least I did a lot better here! Watched five new movies: Bobby (okay), Ghost Rider (very disappointing), Fantastic 4 (good, better than I thought it would be), The Prestige (good, but not sure I liked it), and the director's cut of Legend (very interesting compared to the theatrical). Television wise, we picked up The Sarah Connor Chronicles (shows promise). And the new season of Mythbusters started, which has been way fun!

What special days did I celebrate and how?
I don't recall any in particular, actually.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Very belated Chirstmas gifts were finally mailed, and we gave baby gifts to BIL and SIL for their impending bundle of joy. Have a few more things that need to get in the mail, though.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
We actually did very well this month! Luke had a few sniffles and a bit of a cough, and that's it. That could well turn into an ear infection for February, but it doesn't count for this month.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
We went to visit BIL and SIL in North Carolina, and we had a great visit. They took us to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences while we were there, which was very nice. We also introduced Luke to the Wii, but it is a little complicated for him right now. It might be we just haven't found the right game for him yet, so we'll keep looking.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I had Creme Brulle for the first time at The Capital Grille here in Atlanta. Also tried Jason's Deli, which has been open for several years now, but I'd just never been there. I haven't had anything spectacular there yet (I've been twice now), but it has a nice wide variety of things, so I'm sure we'll be back to sample some other items. I also "invented" a recipe: Pizzadillas.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Not sure Disney hotel and spring training tickets count as unusual for us anymore, but they are still special. Some sweaters for Luke, which is definitely unusual!

What were this month's disappointments?
I missed seeing my friend Leah while we were in North Carolina, and it was all my fault. I still feel bad about it, especially since I haven't managed to get the gift that I was supposed to be able to hand to her in the mail yet.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Actually started doing really for real work. My ear is very tired from all of the conference calls. I have 10 (yes, ten!) standing calls every single week (1 Monday, 5 Tuesday, 1 Wednesday, 3 Thursday), not to mention any special "single calls" that are booked during the week for whatever particular issue needs to be addressed at that moment. I still don't feel like I am contributing very much, though, and I hate that.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
He survived the loss of his beloved stuffed Puppy, though I think some of the going to bed (and staying in bed) problems we've had lately are due to missing said Puppy. His speech therapist thinks he is doing really well and has started making comments that he may be ready to be discharged soon. We'll have to end in April regardless (insurance won't cover any more sessions for 2 years after that, and we can't afford the $250 per session), so I guess it is good that she thinks he'll be ready by then, if not before.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
It snowed! Enough for Luke to run around it it, but not much more than that (thankfully; this city is a nightmare in winter weather).

Currently feeling: written

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crisis of Confidence

I had a hunch it was coming, but it hit me pretty hard today. I don't feel like I am doing a very good job at my new job. I am having so much trouble learning all the new people and the new lingo. I feel SOOO lost on the conference calls. It is embarrassing when your vendor starts asking you questions, and your boss has to answer because you don't really even know what you were asked, much less where to find the info to answer. This is especially disheartening when the rest of your colleagues can just pop that info off the tops of their heads. Granted, two of them have been at it for 4-5 years now, and the other "new guy" has been there nearly 18 months. I've only really been doing anything resembling project work for 5 weeks now. But even so, I feel like I should be a bit further along than I am. I don't even know when I read an email whether the issue being discussed is major or minor! That is how little I understand at this point.

Then add in that I am working with three different vendors, so having to learn three different names for every part of the process, plus remember who works for which vendor, is about to kill me. If A sends me an email, do I need to copy L or G? Which of them works for the same company as A? I used to be able to keep all of this kind of stuff in my head, but I can't seem to manage that anymore, and it is taking way too long to try and look it up on the fly on a call. I am so tired of feeling lost. Everyone swears it will get better, but I just can't see it right now. I hope she doesn't decide in six months that I'm just not capable, because that would really suck after all it took for me to get this job in the first place.

Currently feeling: wanting to hide

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blast from the past week

I got emails this week from three different people that I have not heard from in years (if not a decade or more). Even stranger, only one person was looking for me; the other two were looking for my brother. The fact that they could find my email address is no great surprise. The fact that all three people contacted me within the same 5 period, and I know for a fact they are not in contact with each other, is more than a little creepy.

Currently feeling: surprised

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death of a Lovey

Well, we're back, and we had a lovely time, even if things didn't quite go as planned. We left a touch later than we intended to on Friday, and let me tell you, a 7 hour trip in a car with a 3 year old is not exactly the most fun or pleasant experience in the world. It doesn't seem like a 300 mile trip and a 400 mile trip would be that different, but they are! Apparently, Luke has about a 350 mile "carseat limit," and he gets super-whiny once you cross it. And I don't appreciate the speed limit being only 65 mph through most of SC and NC; I feel like I am *crawling* on the interstate. But we did finally make it around 9 PM. Got Luke in bed and all set to go, then chatted with BIL and SIL. Even let DH show off the Wii (yes, we took it to NC and back!).

Saturday was mostly uneventful. We went to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which was quite lovely (and free!). They had a dinosaur exhibit that you could pay to see, but we did just fine with what they had. BIL was concerned that we didn't arrive until about 90 minutes before close, but I knew Luke wouldn't really stay interested for much more than that (if that), so it worked out fine, and we headed straight to dinner from there. In the snow! Atlanta actually got more than we did up there, or so I hear. I'm actually sorry Luke missed the 3 inches or so we had on Saturday back home, but that's okay. I even managed to drive in it without freaking out or killing anyone. Got Luke in bed, more chatting, and watched Fantastic 4, which we had missed when it was in theaters (missed both of them, in fact, though we only watched the first one at their house).

Sunday, however, was a bit of an adventure. First off, DH had taken the Wii to BIL's house specifically so we could try out Luke on it and see how he did. If it was something he seemed easily able to play, then we would let him start playing on it at home. If not, he would just think it was BIL's, so not having one at our house (as far as he knows) wouldn't be such a big deal. He had some trouble with it, though he caught on to some things a lot faster than we thought he would. The B button (trigger type button on the back of the remote) seemed to give him the most trouble, both in simply remembering that it was there and actually being able to reach it with his small hands. He sure seemed to have fun despite some of the frustration with the remote. I have some video, but I haven't downloaded it from the camera yet. Maybe in the next couple of days I can get it posted here. Anyway....

We were supposed to meet my friend Leah for a late lunch after they finished up with church. We left late, to start with, due to a huge diaper mess, though better before we left than after. I followed the directions my SIL gave me, and given that it was right in the middle of nap time for Luke, he fell asleep in the car, which we knew would only make him grumpy, but there wasn't much to be done about it. Leah called while we were on the way to let us know that they had arrived a bit ahead of schedule and were going to go on and be seated. We arrived safe and sound, only a few minutes late, but Leah, Nathan, and Georgia were no where to be found. I called, but only got voicemail. She returned my call a few minutes later, and we finally figured out that we were at the wrong restaurant. Well, right restaurant, wrong location, and it would take a good 30+ minutes to get to the correct one. Both kids were grumpy and starving, so we just agreed that it wouldn't work out for us to meet up this time. It was sad, but there wasn't much to be done. We had already fed Luke at his regular lunch time (11:30), so DH and I just picked up some fast food and returned to BIL's house.

Upon arrival, BIL and SIL were taking showers, so we just sat downstairs and ate our lunch. About the time we finished, BIL called DH upstairs for something. I couldn't imagine what, especially when BIL was so insistent that Luke not be allowed to accompany DH. All I could figure was that maybe they had gotten Luke a gift that they weren't sure if we would allow him to have (though what that might be, I could not even imagine). Several minutes later, BIL came down, and DH requested my presence upstairs, again sans Luke. What on earth is going on?!

The temperature in NC did not get above freezing all day. BIL had noticed how cold the room was where Luke was sleeping, so he opened the door to allow it to warm up some. I even remember when he told me he was going to do that. Well, apparently, while they were showering but before we got home, one of their dogs went into the room and took exception to Luke's tiny stuffed puppy.

Puppy has been Luke's constant sleeping companion for the vast majority of his three years. It was something I picked up from the dollar bins at Target on a whim one day when he was a baby, and we put it in his crib, along with several other loveys, when he was old enough to be allowed to sleep safely with such things. He adored it immediately, probably because it was so tiny, not even 4 inches from head to tail, and very "floppy" so it couldn't really sit or stand, just lay there. He also used it instead of a pacifier to go to sleep at night. He started with the tail, but after a while, I got concerned that he would suck the tail right off and maybe choke on it, so I started checking it periodically, and it did indeed come off in my hand one day. I just tossed it out and stitched up the hole, hoping that would be the end of sucking on puppy. No such luck. He switched to sucking on one of the back legs instead. After two years (or more) of that, Puppy was looking decidedly worse for wear. I had even thought of telling him when we got back from this trip that I didn't know where Puppy was and see what happened. I still wanted to keep it! (I was going to tuck it in a drawer with some other baby things to show him later in life.) I just didn't think he needed to continue to suck on it, and there was no way to break him of that, so it just needed to disappear. Apparently, Ginger decided to spare me the ethical dilemma of whether or not to lie to my child.

When BIL got out of the shower, he found bits of stuffing and brown fabric all over the place. I think Ginger even started throwing up bits of fluff not long after, so there was no doubt as to which of the dogs was the culprit (not that Daytona would have ever done anything like that; he's a good doggie). BIL was livid; SIL was so upset, especially after giving me directions to the wrong location for lunch (my fault, I should have double checked). DH was none too happy either, but I think I was more upset than everyone else combined. And then there was the dilemma of what to tell Luke. We decided to go on and tell him then, well before bedtime, that Puppy was gone and we couldn't find him, but we did *not* tell him what actually happened. We didn't want him being upset or angry with the dogs, or worse yet, afraid of them (they were quite large, about as tall as he is to the top of the head, but they were very good with him and he adored them). He didn't seem upset or really even phased in the slightest. He just looked around for Puppy, calling him, picked up the air mattress to look underneath it, and that was it. We thought it just hadn't sunk in yet since he wasn't trying to go to sleep, but when we put him to bed, he asked again where Puppy was, we reiterated that Puppy was gone and could not be found, and that was it. We thought surely he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night (he's done that before when Puppy got wrapped up in the covers and he was too sleepy to figure it out), but it didn't happen, and even our first night at home was fine without Puppy. (Tonight is night two; we'll see how it goes.) Apparently, I'm the only person who felt the need to cry about it!

BIL had to work on Monday, but SIL didn't. We were hoping to be on the road early (before 10 AM, if possible, trying to be home well before Luke's bedtime), so we wouldn't have had much time to spend with them in the morning anyway. BIL gets up at some insane time (3:45 AM, I think?) to go to work (gets home early too, though), so he went to bed around 9:30. SIL and I were chatting quite well, and DH abandoned us around 10:30. The two of us "spices" (that would be plural for spouse, LOL) stayed up until after 3 AM, talking about *everything* under the sun. I've really only ever met her two other times, once at Luke's 2nd birthday party with lots of family around and a sick child, so not a ton of time to talk, and the other at the wedding, which *definitely* didn't leave much time to get to know each other. She is really a wonderful person! I couldn't have chosen a better SIL, LOL. But we did decide we needed to go to bed before BIL got up and realized we had not yet been to sleep!

DH got up with Luke and started the packing process, and he was kind enough to let me sleep. I met SIL coming out of her room at 9 AM, and I stopped dead when I heard DH talking to someone with a deep voice downstairs. "Who is downstairs?" Seems that BIL had managed to turn off his alarm instead of hitting snooze, and it was daylight by the time he woke up, which meant he had already missed half his workday, so he decided to stay home for the day. I had intended to throw the last few things in the suitcase and be on our way, but we all got to talking and didn't leave until nearly noon. Luke was better on this trip (slept much of the way, actually), but it felt like we would never get home! DH was convinced there was a wormhole slowing the passage of time or something. We did finally make it around 8:30, successfully put Luke to bed sans puppy, did some chores, and hopped in bed ourselves.

An excellent trip in general, barring the couple of little blips. We really wanted a chance to spend some time with BIL and SIL and get to know them more. BIL was in the Navy for 10 years or so, starting not long after DH graduated from high school, so he and DH haven't had much of a chance to interact as adults, and SIL is still new to the family, having only been introduced to us at Luke's second birthday not even 18 months ago. And we know all too well that once baby arrives (she's due in April), it is difficult to talk about anything else. I am so glad we went and had this opportunity to spend time with them as a couple. We hope to return in late fall to see the baby!

Currently feeling: tired of being in the car!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What a deal!

We're going out of town this weekend to visit my BIL and SIL in Wake Forest, NC. It is going to be substantially colder there than we are accustomed to here, generally speaking. Around here, as long as you have what I consider to be a heavy coat or jacket (I don't mean anything involving down or fur, just thinsulate is usually fine, or wool) and you aren't out and about for hours in the dead of night, you can get by just fine with very light weight long sleeved shirts (think long sleeved t-shirts) under your jacket. Given how bloomin' hot most places keep their interiors (I always swelter at Target, and even employees wear short sleeves because it is so hot in there), you want to be able to strip off your heavy coat and not have too much on underneath or you'd burn up. This includes Luke's daycare, which is why I don't bother buying him sweatshirts or sweaters or anything of that nature. However, BIL likes to keep their house on the cool side (and SIL is pregnant and hot all the time, so it is quite cool!), and even with a heavy jacket, Luke would probably be too cold in just a long sleeved t-shirt.

So I went out yesterday and bought him two thermal henleys for the travel days, and two sweaters for our full days there. Given that it is, you know, mid-January with colder temperatures on the way, of course all they have out now are shorts and tank tops! ::rolls eyes:: However, what little winter stuff they had was on clearance. As in super-duper clearance. How about $90 worth of clothing for $16! Now to me, that's not actually quite right, since I never would have paid the full retail price for those items in the fist place. $27 for a sweater for a child seems rather silly to me, since it isn't something that he will wear very much. However, I was fully expecting to pay $15 each for the sweaters and $8-10 for the shirts. Coming home having spent $50 would not have surprised me. I was thrilled with the clearance prices as they were marked (less than $10 for each piece). Then when I got to the register, the sweaters rang up at $3.50 each and the shirts for $4.20 each; I was shocked! I thought surely she had left off an item (or two or three). Apparently, there was a promotion for an extra 60% discount off the clearance prices! Woo-hoo! That means I get a +$34 in the checkbook, right?

Currently feeling: giddy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Luke's first snow

Well, technically not, it's just that last time, he looked like this:

This time, he was simply fascinated with it. I'll even admit to a little childlike giddiness looking at these huge clumps of white falling from the sky (well, at dinner; they were smaller once we got home). I can still hear it falling outside, which just seems odd to me. I don't feel like I should be able to hear something like snow falling. I'm sure there is some sleet in there, and we're all just praying that we're not iced in come morning. (Yes, all of my snow-savvy friends can laugh at we winter-weather-ignorant Southerners.) It didn't really start snowing until late, and I didn't have my camera with me at dinner, so I couldn't take any photos of Luke until we got home, by which time it was dark. I think the snow actually shows up better that way with the flash bouncing off the flakes, but it makes him a little washed out with the high contrast. I just wanted to go on and do it in case the snow is gone come morning.

He was good for about 10 minutes, though he didn't want to walk on it until DH showed him it was okay. Then he started shivering and saying he was cold (he was only wearing a turtleneck under his jacket), and there was starting to be some rain mixed in, so we came back inside. He still said it was fun, though.

Currently feeling: flake-y

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chatty Cathy, er, Connie

Did you know that staying up until 1 AM will make you very tired the next morning? LOL I did so last night, but it was for a good cause, and I can only hope my husband doesn't feel too neglected at having been ignored all night. See, I spent about 4 hours on the phone last night, beginning around 8:30. I called Mom to try and breakdown the new Disney ticket pricing scheme. She has been living off old tickets up until now, so she had not had the "pleasure" of trying to deduce the best ticket configuration to purchase. Thankfully, DH and I managed to trudge through all of the number crunching last year, so I was able to offer some guidance. That took about an hour.

Fast forward 30 minutes or so, and the phone rings. This time, it was my best friend Connie. I think she and I have only actually spoken like twice since her daughter was born in September. Not a surprise, we certainly expected to have limited time with a newborn on the scene, but I still missed her, and she missed me as well. So she finally had some time last night and gave me a call, and we talked for 3 hours! I'm sure my husband was rolling his eyes, trying to figure out what we could talk about for that long, but we were just getting all caught up, and she was enjoying being able to tell baby stories to someone who hasn't heard them all yet. It was great fun and totally worth being tired today!

I've just had to put major effort into not dozing off during my *5* conference calls today. ::yawn::

Currently feeling: very tired

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Heaven help us, she has a blog!

And I couldn't possibly be more excited! LOL Who, you ask? Diana Gabaldon. Tee-hee-hee!
Currently feeling: giddy

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am certain that I am not the first person to come up with this idea, but they were so simple and easy and quick, I felt like I had to post. I have invented my own recipe: Pizzadillas. That would be pizza quesadillas. The following explanation assumes you know what a quesadilla is and more or less how to make one at home. For a Pizzadilla, just take your two tortillas (mine were about 8 inches), smear both with pizza sauce, fill with pizza cheese, and heat.

I had all kinds of fears about it, like that I wouldn't be able to taste the sauce (didn't seem to be much on there, not even a tablespoon per side, I don't think), or that the sauce would keep them from sticking together, or that it wouldn't crisp up because of the sauce or the different type of cheese, or something. It just can't be this simple, can it? Apparently, yes it can. It was yummy! Throw on a few pepperoni slices before melting next time, and it will be out of this world! LOL

Currently feeling: chef-ish

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My first vendor meeting

I had a vendor meeting on Monday. It was a delayed holiday party, basically, to thank us for using them as a supplier, and just to chat and socialize and schmooze (not in a bad way). I was afraid I was going to feel left out, figuring there would be much business and work talk, and I don't know enough about the process yet to really be able to participate. Imagine my surprise when we spent over 2 hours at a table with my three teammates and two vendor representatives, and we didn't *not once* talk about work. We talked about pretty much everything else, but not work. It was really great for me because it gave me a chance to learn about my coworkers and to get to know our vendor counterparts on a more personal level. Only as we were leaving did my coworkers take just a few minutes to follow up on a couple of issues that had been raised on a call that morning. 15 minutes max, that was all of the work talk. It was great!

And the food was awesome. We ate at The Capital Grille, which I have heard of but had never eaten there before. Apparently, it is a chain (I didn't know that at the time), and it is rather swanky. One of those places where they swap out the white napkins for black based on the color of your pants so it doesn't leave lint. (I didn't even know places did that until speaking with a friend who ate there a few years ago!) The interior of the one here is designed to look like and old library or smoking lounge from the early 1900s. Lots of dark wood and leather, several mounted animal heads, and a stock ticker in the lounge. Very clean lines, no fancy carvings or anything. I felt like I was at "the old boys' club," being one of the few women involved, but I'm used to it and didn't feel out of place at all. I had to buy some new clothes for the event (all of my business wear is in pre-pregnancy sizes), but with some guidance from my boss (a woman I've known for nearly 10 years now), I fit right in.

Part of the reason I had never eaten there is because it is so expensive. They are known for their steaks and seafood, apparently, and it was way yummy, don't get me wrong. Definitely better than Longhorn (our current steak restaurant of choice). BUT, we could eat at Longhorn 3 times for what one visit to The Capital Grille would cost. And DH isn't really a steak guy (I am the red meat eater in the family), so the experience would probably be lost on him to a certain extent. We were able to select from a limited menu, but it was just fine. I was afraid I was going to be "odd man out" again, since wine selections were also available, but no one at my table had any (other tables did), so I didn't have to feel odd declining. That was nice for a change! The appetizer was calamari, which I don't care for to start with, and I still could not have eaten it even if I did because it was made with spicy peppers. I munched on a roll from the bread basket instead, but it was very very good. The salad was a nice mix of greens with a parmesean vinaigrette dressing. Some of the greens were a bit spicy for my taste, but it was a nice change from the usual iceberg or romaine lettuce. Five of us ordered the filet and one got the salmon. It did amuse me that all of the men had their steaks medium-well or well done. My boss and me? Medium-rare, thanks! My filet cut like butter, though, and required no seasoning of any kind, not even salt. (Salt is usually my only "steak sauce.") It really was fantastic. Still not sure I could bring myself to pay $35 for it on my own. If $35 bought me my meal (steak, salad, bread, sides), then maybe it would be worth it for a special occasion (like my 10th anniversary?), but that was just for the hunk of meat; salad, sides, etc. all extra. Thank goodness I didn't know what it cost when I was there! Sheesh. We got small serving dishes of sides to pass around and share family style. The green beans were pretty good, and the mashed potatoes were beyond exceptional. No idea what they did to them (I probably don't want to know how much butter was in them), but wow! Due to both personal preference and dietary restrictions (for kidney stones), I did not try the creamed spinach, but everyone else raved about it.

Dessert was a first for me. Our choices were Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, Key Lime Pie (which looked more like cheesecake to me, the daughter of a Key Lime Pie connoisseur), and Creme Brulee (yes I know I'm missing all those little accent thingies, sorry). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I turned down the chocolate option for two reason: 1) I don't care for things flavored with coffee, not ice cream, not tiramisu, nothing. I just don't like it, flourless chocolate cake not withstanding. 2) I have never ever had Creme Brulee. I've heard lots of folks rave about it and all, but I've never actually tasted it before. I was concerned, since I know it is a custard (which I don't usually care for), but everyone goes on and on so about it, I just had to try it. And it did not disappoint. It was a little too noisy in the restaurant to hear the legendary crunch sound as you tap through the toasted sugar layer, but it was very smooth and creamy and light, not too firm or "eggy." Quite sweet, but not overly so, and lots and lots of vanilla. So much, in fact, that I was 5-6 bites into it before I figured out what all the little black specks in the bottom of the bowl were. It was covered in black specks! Yum yum yum. Another successful new food in my repertoire.

So, my first vendor meeting was quite a success. I didn't feel lost or left out, I got to know some new people, including my teammates (I'll try to forgive D for being such a huge Georgia fan), the food was excellent, I got to eat at a new ritzy restaurant and try a new food, all while getting paid and not spending a dime. All in all, quite the amazingly good day!

Currently feeling: yummy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Disney 2008 is booked!

We have booked baseball tickets and a hotel for our 2008 trip to Disney, and I can't wait! Thanks to having behemoth child, who was 40 inches tall back in November (and who has recently developed a bit of a tummy, promising another inch or two coming soon), he will easily clear the next set of height restrictions at the parks, including Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours. What a blast that is going to be! Still not quite there for Space Mountain, but hey, we have to save something for next year, right? LOL

Now I just have to find age-appropriate clothing for a 3 year old who needs Boys Size 5. It's harder than you think! I'm fine if 8-9 year olds want to wear skater clothes and skulls and Captain Jack Sparrow clothes, but I just really don't like how that looks on my little kid. It's just too.... harsh for him. I'm hoping that when all the spring clothes get put out, I can find some good stuff. I just think it is sad that all of the stuff for young boys (size 4-7) is so grown up looking. There's always the Disney store (grin)!

Currently feeling: ready for the mouse house

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2007: A Blog Review

Once again, I think I'll borrow that meme format that was running around a few years ago and post a short excerpt from the first "real" (i.e. not a monthly round up) post of each month, followed by a very short (for me) actual monthly events recap. Should be interesting to see what all I forgot about! And if you missed the 2007 Pictoral Review, you can find it here.

The 2007 Blogging Year in Review

Instructions: take the first sentence (or 2) from the first post of each month of 2007. That's your year in review.

  • January, First Post: I may or may not post a Christmas update. It was long, it was wonderful, it was full of family and fun, I actually saw two movies at the theater, and I ignored the computer for almost two weeks! But I have been sitting on this for almost two months now, so I'm ready to share. (First ever CD calendar revealed)

  • January, Recap: A double ear infection for Luke, a reminder that he was virtually not talking at all (what happened to *that* kid?!), and my Camry flipped 100,000 miles.

  • February, First Post: Okay, look folks. I watched this year's Super Bowl for two reasons. #1: The commercials, which were not worth the time. #2: Because the first part of a 2-part episode of Criminal Minds is showing immediately afterward. But only if the CBS people will ever SHUT UP!! (can you tell I'm not a football fan? LOL)

  • February, Recap: My first month doing the monthly round up, garage door malfunction fixed by the amazing Home Depot lady who gave us the parts for free, more speech therapy woes, broke Luke's carseat and bought a new one, Luke started having sleep problems (probably nightmares), and I got new glasses for my age-related *improved* eyesight.

  • March, First Post: DH is sick. As in type sick. He's been in bed all day, which is not like him at all. (This was 2 days before BIL's wedding.)

  • March, Recap: DH got dreadfully sick right before BIL's wedding, but recovered in time for the beautiful wedding that went very well, Luke finally had a normal hearing test and much improvement in the talking arena, Luke's first visit to Georgia Tech and Zesto's, went to Disney and had a blast (a trip recapped in several looooong installments, one of which was never finished), then we lost Shadow (which still hurts even today).

  • April, First Post: Friday morning unfolded much like Thursday: wake at 7, waffles, sunscreen, etc, except for two things. (Disney trip report on MGM Studios.)

  • April, Recap: Finished up the long Disney recap except for the baseball game chapter that I lost while posting, another ear infection, Luke climbing out of his crib, snow (yes, in April!), stitches in his finger, finding out my contract would not be renewed as I had been told, a possible tornado that downed some huge branches and trees, his speech evaluation, the first signs of potty training progress (though not much since then!), and worry about the south Georgia wildfires possibly causing my grandfather to evacuate.

  • May, First Post: We just got back from seeing Spider-Man 3. (Yes, we really did. Caught the 9:15 AM showing. There were maybe 10 people there; it was heaven!)

  • May, Recap: Saw Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3, *another* ear infection for Luke, though he did finally make the leap to using more actual words than just gestures and grunts, took Luke to the beach, found Jacob an apartment in Atlanta, and Luke progressed to pull-ups,

  • June, First Post: I don't really have anything much to say at the moment. I'm really tired, a combination of that minor medical issue of mine and the fact that I am definitely coming down with something.

  • June, Recap: Yet more continued mis-adventures of trying to get Luke into speech therapy, this time his being left off the waiting list, DH's cousin got drafted by a MLB team, our washing machine hose burst and flooded the kitchen the morning of my best friend's baby shower, and she missed her own shower due to delayed flights, so I threw together a last minute one for the next day; Jacob finally made it to Atlanta to stay, Luke started counting and finally learned to pedal his tricycle, and I *thought* I had a new contract lined up with my former boss.

  • July, First Post: Something I've never seen before:
    My husband's chin! Apparently, this was his twisted idea of an early anniversary gift. (DH accidentally shaved half his goatee off.)

  • July, Recap: DH shaved off all of his facial hair for my first (and most likely only) look at his entire face, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, we rediscovered Piccadilly, we were officially told that Luke needed ear tubes, Luke broke his arm, the final Harry Potter novel was released, and I turned 31.

  • August, First Post: It has been one of THOSE days. I've had a long hard week since 8 AM on Monday, and it's not even 4 PM on Monday. The new contract has hit a snag *again*.... (found out about the 90 day wait for the new contract position)

  • August, Recap: The wait for the new contract and the end of the old (both unexpected), DH turned 31, Luke finally had his tubes put in, and even better Luke finally started speech therapy!!, I bought myself a new wedding band (that I still adore), we took Luke to the beach again, I attended my cousin's wedding, and it was just a hot and miserable month.

  • September, First Post: Roadkill: That's about what I feel like right now. Had a great holiday weekend, then came last night. Be back when I'm feeling semi-human, but it may be a few days.

  • September, Recap: I (obviously) started off the month very sick, I found out I am going to be an aunt, my best friend gave birth to a lovely little girl, Luke's sleep issues started in earnest, the clothes dryer died, we started watching Heroes, we visited both DH's uncle and his grandmother (both long overdue visits), and Luke started branching out a very little bit with his eating habits.

  • October, First Post: If you had told me this morning that I would have been to three different stores and would still be short one roll of royal blue crepe streamers, I would have thought you were crazy. (my last minute scramblings for Luke's 3rd birthday party)

  • October, Recap: The Blue's Clues themed party went quite well, we went to a community block party for kids where Luke got to see a firetruck up close, Luke had a sinus infection that developed into an ear infection (because they wouldn't believe me and just give him the antibiotics, which caused even more problems later), I redesigned my blog to its current form, we got new cell phones and had Luke's portrait made in the shirt my grandmother made for my father, we discovered that there is mold under the flooring in the kitchen from the great washing machine hose flood, Luke's sleep problems continued and made me really very upset but thankfully didn't last long, we realized we absolutely needed to move him to a big boy bed, and we took the cutest puppy-dog ever trick-or-treating on Halloween.

  • November, First Post: That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you virtually real-time blogging. In less than 60 seconds, I went from "witnessing" the event to blogging it. (Luke fell out of bed for the first time.)

  • November, Recap: We finally made the switch from the crib to a "big boy bed," Luke's skill overtook mine at playing LEGO Star Wars, someone stole the emblem off the front of my car while it was at the dealer for repairs, we finally went to the Georgia Aquarium, the offer for my delayed contract was finally *officially* extended and accepted, Dad had shoulder surgery, Luke had his 3 year well visit and is officially huge (though actually *on* the chart for a change at the 95th percentile), Luke arrived in Brunswick with an ear infection which prompted us to have to try and find local care and coverage 300 miles away from home, and we spent Thanksgiving shuttling my grandfather to and from Brunswick (but it was totally worth it).

  • December, First Post: Well that's just peachy. Our desktop just died. We were going to buy a new one, probably as a joint birthday gift to ourselves next year. All it had to do was last 9 more months!

  • December, Recap: Our desktop tried to die but somehow managed a miraculous recovery, we witnessed a fugitive run through our neighbor's back yard and called 911, the temperature hit 80 degrees (yes, in December!), I made an impulse buy of a Christmas tree and ornaments, we accidentally stumbled onto a Wii console in stock, so we bought it and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga to play on it, I actually started work on my new contract, Luke pooped on the potty for the first time but seems to have digressed since then, we did the Holiday in Lights at Centennial Park but were disappointed, we had a house full of family for Christmas, we cooked way too much good food, and we rang in the new year quietly at home, just us.

  • Currently feeling: typed-out!

    Saturday, January 05, 2008

    Luke in 2007: A Pictoral Review

    Music selected especially for my mom. There will be a text-based 2007 blog review tomorrow. Hope you enjoy!

    Currently feeling: ready for more

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Crocodile Rock Stylin'

    Going through an Elton John phase

    Wednesday, January 02, 2008

    Why yes, Wii were having fun!

    Some footage from Christmas of my husband and brother, left and right respectively, playing tennis against each other on the Wii. And I have had a special request from The Princess herself to mention that it is Tigger sleeping watching coaching from the couch behind them.

    The first video is about 30 seconds, the second is closer to 60. They may not be very funny to all of you, but we think they're pretty hilarious. You may even be able to see Jacob sneaking covert looks at the camera, trying to figure out if I am filming or not. I wasn't holding the camera (it was sitting on the table), so neither of them knew they were being filmed. And don't worry if you can't really understand what they are saying; I really posted it more for what they are doing.

    Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

    Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

    Currently feeling: like a film-maker

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    December 2007 Round Up

    Happy New Year! But first, the final Round Up of 2007. I'm actually a bit amazed with myself that I really did do this every single month for a whole year. Go me! LOL Special thanks to Katie the Scrapbook Lady for inspiring me to try this.

    Credit: Pinky Blinkies

    What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
    Um, yeah. ::rolls eyes::

    What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
    Uh-huh, sure. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as television goes. We did get a whole slew of new HD channels though, including Animal Planet, Discovery, Sci-Fi, The History Channel, and several others. Movie wise, despite *really* wanting to see the National Treasure sequel over Christmas, it just didn't happen (I chose to visit with family instead). I did see the director's cut of Legend (Tom Cruise and Mia Sara, a Ridley Scott film) with about 30 minutes of extra footage and the original Jerry Goldsmith score (instead of the Tangerine Dream score that is almost more famous than the movie). But that will be its own blog post in a few days.

    What special days did I celebrate and how?
    Christmas with a house full of family, just the way I like it. It was also my parents' 34th wedding anniversary, but we didn't really do anything special, as I recall.

    What gifts did I give and/or receive?
    Besides Christmas gifts? Finally sent a couple of baby gifts, went to a baby shower (why yes, there are a lot of babies around all of the sudden).

    What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
    I was terrified that Luke would come down with another ear infection when he started coughing earlier in the month, but so far, the cold is gone, and no ear infection. He did have a single night of an upset stomach, but nothing more, so that wasn't too bad.

    What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
    We took Luke to the Centennial Olympic Park Holiday in Lights, which was actually pretty disappointing. Luke had fun, but it was hot (yes, hot! over 70 degrees (22C)). I'm hoping we can manage Callaway Gardens next year for Christmas lights. Also got to see my good friend Kelli on New Year's Eve. She lives in California now, so it really is a special treat to get to see her. She and her hubby have been flying back for Christmas every year lately, and we have been fortunate to be able to see her each time, but she is about 5 months pregnant now, and such travelling will pretty much cease once the baby arrives. I sure will miss seeing her every Christmas! Guess this is just a good excuse to get myself out to California again! LOL

    What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
    I'm not sure I personally made any new ones. Oh wait, yes I did. Pesto Puff Bites: puff pastry smeared with pesto (we did half with basil and half with sun-dried tomato), sprinkled with plenty of parmesean, and baked. I preferred the ones with the sun-dried tomato pesto myself. Ack, and baked Potato Rounds, which are sort of cheater's potato skins. Slice potatoes thin (1/4 inch-ish), bake in very hot oven until crispy, sprinkle heavily with cheese and bacon, back in oven to melt cheese. Easy and yummy, quite a hit.

    I also tasted a few other new ones that other people made. We tried Giada DeLaurentiis's Lemon Pine Nut Cookies. They were a bit disappointing. Partly my fault. I just need to accept the fact that I don't like lemon things, and that this is okay! LOL They were also terribly crumbly. No one in the family was very impressed. But, we also tried her marinara, which was excellent, as were the turkey meatballs (I think those are hers). That seems like all, but I honestly can't remember. I need to review the Christmas recipes for this year.

    Wait, I forgot Cracker Barrel! I've been eating at Cracker Barrel for years, but I almost always get the same thing: Chicken and Dumplings. It was the closest I was able to find to my great-grandmother's, but it has been rather disappointing the last few times I've gotten it. Honestly, I've never even tried anything else on the menu (besides breakfast, which they serve all day; I highly recommend the french toast), so when DH suggested it as a place to eat last Saturday, I felt rather lost. But they have a Saturday special of Chicken and Rice, so I decided to give it a try, and let me tell you, it was heavenly! I may insist that we only go there on Saturdays from now on so that I can get Chicken and Rice! LOL Boy, was it yummy. Guess there is something to be said for trying new things every now and then.

    What special or unusual purchases did I make?
    A Christmas tree and plenty of ornaments to decorate it, and a Wii! Oh, and I finally bought the new dining room chairs I have been wanting forever. I think that was more than sufficient for one month.

    What were this month's disappointments?
    My good friend Annette was supposed to visit over Christmas, being that she was within a 2 hour drive of Atlanta visiting family (instead of across the country in Arizona like usual). She's usually that close for Thanksgiving, but we're never in town to be able to take advantage of it. I was thrilled that she would be here at Christmas this year and I would finally get to meet her husband and children, but it just didn't work out. I had hoped to maybe make it out to Arizona in 2008, but I have a bunch of other trips I really must take, so I'm not sure I can manage it. We'll just have to see.

    What were my accomplishments this month?
    Finally started the new job with my old boss, after trying twice previously to make it work. Then, of course, there were the Christmas holidays and computer issues and missing IDs and all, so I haven't actually done any "real work" just yet. I sense that will change come Wednesday (Jan 2, 2008), though.

    What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
    Just continued amazing improvement in his speech. I finally feel like he is pretty much caught up with the other kids, which is really exciting. He also finally pooped in the potty, another huge step, though we seem to have regressed again since then. Rather frustrating, actually, but as my mom likes to say, no one ever went to college wearing diapers. True, but I'm not so certain the same can be said of Kindergarten. ::sigh::

    Anything else noteworthy to record?
    Our desktop computer tried to die, but seems to have made a miraculous recovery. We don't think it will last forever, but we are grateful for the few months grace period we have been granted to get a few paychecks out of me before having to get a new one. We witnessed a fugitive traipsing through our neighbor's back yard and got to call 911.

    Currently feeling: listed