Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 CD Calendar Revealed

I'm sure you have all been waiting with bated breath, but it is finally here! The 2008 CD Calendar I did of Luke for family is finally ready to be revealed. To keep from clogging up this page with 12 rather large photos, I am putting up 12 teeny tiny photos. Hopefully, they will be enough to get your attention, and you will then click here to see the large versions, with the full and complete understanding that the page you are going to may take a bit to load. But it is worth it, I promise! Here are your teaser pics:

Currently feeling: on display

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not the best day, but....

You know you haven't had the best 24 hours when friends tell you they would rather hang wallpaper than come over to your house for lunch. (Heather, I am teasing you! I completely understand, and I really didn't expect that you would come once plans changed, I promise.) That example is simply the perfect encapsulation of how things have gone the last day or so. Nothing hugely major, just lots of small to medium things adding up.

Then, just a few minutes ago, my son came running over, arms open wide and a huge smile on his face, to give me a hug and kiss before his nap. And all is right with the world once more.

Currently feeling: a bit bummed

Less than one year left....

As of today, there is less than a year left on my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, and I'm not even sure if I'm going to make 50%! I need to put in come serious effort in 2008 not to embarrass myself. Knocked off at least one item over Christmas (haven't updated the list yet), but that's about it. Guess I'd better get moving!

Christmas was good, but I managed to exhaust myself. Maybe more details later, maybe not. Most likely a few pictures at some point, though.

Currently feeling: way behind!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007!

My annual posting of my most favorite Christmas poem, seen years ago on a Christmas card, followed by a couple of photos of us from the Centennial Olympic Park Holiday in Lights. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Believe in Christmas Magic
Believe in Ancient Lore
Believe in a hundred impossible things
The New Year may hold in store

Believe in Heavenly Angels
In Santas and Elves by the score
Believe in a hundred impossible things
In Flying Reindeer and more

Believe in a Babe in a manger
In Wise Men and gifts galore
Believe in a million impossible things
You've never believed before

Currently feeling: merry

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A potty breakthrough?

Guess who decided to poop on the potty tonight? (Um, that would be Luke.) DH and I were completely floored. We thought it was a bedtime stall tactic. He had just used the potty before going upstairs to bed, but after reading a book, he looked at DH and said "Tummy hurts, wanna go potty." And sure enough, he did! I was downstairs, but the upstairs bathroom door was open, so I could hear the whole exchange (didn't want to be a distraction by going upstairs to cheer him on). MUCH praised was lavished, and he got to come downstairs (a usual no-no after going up to bed) to tell me what he had done. Of course, he didn't want to go back to bed after, but we muddled through.

We have been putting him in real underwear on the weekends, and setting the timer to go off every 30 minutes for a potty break. Up until this past weekend, he didn't seem to care if he peed through or not. But this past weekend, he did get distressed as soon as he got wet, and a couple of times, he was in the middle of saying "need to go potty" when it happened (i.e. just waited too long; I'm sure playing LEGO Star Wars had nothing to do with it (note dripping sarcasm)). But regardless, he was still refusing to poop on the potty. Maybe it is finally sinking in? A mom can hope.

BTW, the digestive issues of last night seem to have gone away. A little tired today and not very hungry, but understandable under the circumstances. Still coughing, though. Keep your fingers crossed!

Currently feeling: hoping

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Not sure if this is better or worse

Well, it may not be an ear infection after all. It might be a tummy bug! Yeah, guess why I think that? ::rolls eyes:: (TMI Warning! Feel free to skip this paragraph and the next. I'm sure you can imagine the contents.) In fact, it happened literally within 5 seconds of pressing "publish" on my last post. We just finished cleaning him up and putting him back to bed. And, it was not a "cough until you throw up" thing this time; it was definitely a stomach issue.

I didn't think he was acting like he felt well when he got up, and once this morning, I really did think he was going to puke (just a look on his face at one point). But he didn't, he said he felt fine, he was eating fine, and there was no fever, so I convinced myself I had imagined it. He does usually cough a lot before he throws up (probably trying to keep himself from being sick; I usually clear my throat a *lot* if I feel nauseous), so maybe the cough was related to being sick to his stomach and not to his ears? I did comment to DH an hour or so ago when the coughing spell started that it seemed slightly odd since there was no runny nose to go with it (like there usually is with an ear infection-causing cold).

I'm just not sure if a tummy bug is better or worse than an ear infection. If tonight is the end of it, then I'll take the tummy bug. If it continues into tomorrow, ugh. And so help me, if it ends up being both (i.e. he still comes down with an ear infection for Christmas), I think I'm going to scream! Geez, I'm starting to think "sick" should be one of my blogging categories. Sheesh!

Currently feeling: approaching wit's end

Oh please no!

I know I never did a Thanksgiving recap (and recalling history, if I haven't done it by now, I probably won't), but Luke arrived in Brunswick the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (I was already there) sporting a drippy ear and a fever, i.e. an ear infection. This was a month to the day after starting antibiotics for a previous ear infection in mid-October.

So I spent that Tuesday night, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, scrambling around online (since all the "help lines" were closed due to it being "after hours"), trying to find a doctor who took our insurance in a town where no company offers said insurance. Finally found one, so we headed out first thing Wednesday morning (Thanksgiving Eve, if you will) to be there when their office opened for walk-ins, information they thankfully gave on their office answering machine when I called the previous evening. We confirmed with the office staff that they do indeed accept our insurance, and filled out all of the relevant "new patient" information, even though we (hopefully!) will never see this doctor again. We even got a "wow, I've never seen that before" from the doctor. She could actually see fluid dripping out of the tube; usually it's too gunky and inflamed to see the fluid physically oozing out. At least we got to be a novelty for her. [Aside: Just for the record, we received notice from the insurance company this week saying they wouldn't pay for that doctor visit since it was "out of network," despite the fact that I chose this particular doctor because they came up during a search on the insurance company website for doctors in the area who accept on our plan. Recall that the office staff *also* confirmed they accept it before we saw the doctor. ????!!! Yes, we're going to appeal.] Anyway!

It has now been only *four* weeks (minus a day) since seeing the doctor for that second ear infection, and Luke is coughing. Inevitably, a cough like this leads to an ear infection, again if history is correct. Which means he won't come down with a fever until Saturday sometime, and we'll have to try and get a doctor's appointment on Monday. That would be Christmas Eve, for those keeping score at home. I see only one of two possible outcomes, given our current luck: either the office will be closed that day and/or no sick appointments will be available (same result, regardless), or we will get an appointment only to be told that they don't see any sign of an ear infection and send us home without antibiotics, and he'll wake up Christmas morning with a drippy ear because we were there "too soon" for it to show (like our first October doctor visit, remember?).

AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why did we even BOTHER with the tubes if they are NOT helping??!!!

BTW, thank you all for the well wishes. Job is going well so far. It remains to be seen if that will still hold after the holidays, when they give me my first actual project to manage.

Currently feeling: SOOO tired of dealing with his ears (Mom, stop laughing)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Third time's the charm?

Today is my first day of work at the job I've tried three times to have! Wish me luck.

Currently feeling: a little anxious

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wheee, we have a Wii!

First off, let me thank all of you for the lovely comments you left me on my story about the Christmas tree. It really means a lot to me that you would take the time and effort to leave me a note. And I did finally get a tree skirt and "proper" tree topper for it. I'm sure you'll see that in the inevitable Christmas morning present photos. :-) But that's not really what this post is about! LOL

Yes, you did read the title correctly: we are the proud owners of a Wii. Accidental owners of a Wii might be a more accurate description of what actually happened. Allow me to explain:

DH informed me a couple of weeks ago that he had been seriously thinking of buying a Wii. He wanted to get one for Christmas to surprise me, but they are rarer than dodos in these parts, just like the rest of the country. No surprise there, he figured they would be. Buying a Wii has already been figured into the budget, we just have to wait until they come back in stock sometime after Christmas to buy one.

Today, after lunch with DH, I had to get my I-9 form completed by a notary public, since I am not "co-located" with my boss for starting the new job on Monday. I tried The UPS Store, but they are so busy during the Christmas season that they suspend notary services until after Christmas. That would have been nice to know before I drove out there, sheesh! But there is a brand new Wachovia right across the street, and being an account holder, I knew I could get the service for free, if I were willing to wait in the line. The Wachovia is less than a block from Best Buy, so I told him just to drive over there and kill some time while I waited in line. Then I would walk over, pick up the DVDs I need to get in the mail, and we would head home.

I found DH in the Wii section, scouting out games and "extras" and such. He was just looking, since there was really no need to buy those things until we have the actual box. You could see the longing on his face, but what was there to do? The sign clearly said they had no Wii (Wiis? Wii's? plural Wii) in stock (again, no surprise). I grabbed the DVDs, and we got in line.

We get up to the checkout, and as our cashier is ringing us up, the next cashier becomes available. This guy walks up and says "I was told to ask here for a Wii." It was like a homing signal! Suddenly, 10 different heads all swivelled in his direction. "Wii? Wii? Did you say they have Wiis?" It reminded me so forcibly of the seagulls in Finding Nemo that I literally laughed out loud. Even our cashier was shocked. "I didn't know we had any Wiis in stock!" They called on the radio, and a "lock room" guy comes up to the front, reaches into the back room, and grabs a Wii! You would have thought it was the crown jewels of Europe or something, the way people were staring.

As the "lock room" guy walked passed us, I snagged him. "Do you really have Wiis in stock?" He looked a little sheepish. "Well, ma'am, we got a shipment in this morning, but they won't go on sale to the public until Sunday. So if you want one, you can get one then. We open at 8; I would get here at 7." This was said more as an announcement so that everyone who had just witnessed "the passing of the Wii" could hear it. Then he leaned in a little closer and said softly, "But since you were willing to actually ask me, I do have just a couple left that I can sell you. Do you want one?"

I could not believe what I was hearing. It was like having a dealer or something! LOL I wasn't sure that DH had fully decided whether or not to buy one, and I knew that I had mentioned wanting one to my mom, knowing full and well that if they found one, they would buy it. So we told the guy thank you very much, but if we wanted one, we'd come back Sunday and get one. As we were walking out, I could see that this decision really wasn't sitting well with DH. He clearly *really* wanted one, he had just never expected to find one, much less have it be offered directly to us. He had resigned himself to not buying one until January, so this was very much an "impulse buy" on his part, something he is not good at. It took us about 10 minutes to call Mom, verify that they indeed had not purchased one, and go back inside.

Naturally, I could not remember they guy's name. I spotted the person I thought was him down an isle and walked up. "Hi, we were here a few minutes ago." Yes, ma'am, I remember. "Oh good, that was you. I don't suppose the offer of a Wii is still good?" He just smiled. He called two different people on the radio and told us to wait there. Within minutes, a woman walked up, looked over her shoulder to make sure no one was within ear shot, and said "you're here for the Wii?" I felt like I was part of a secret club or something! Yes, we are. So she handed us the extra controller we knew we would need, and she talked us into buying the game that we really wanted: LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, not currently available for the PC, which is what started us down the whole path of seriously considering a Wii in the first place (yeah, she had to twist our arms real hard there).

So I think Santa was smiling on us. Had we been just a couple of minutes earlier or later, we would never have overheard the guy at the next register, and we would have had to wait at least a month to get a Wii. Instead, without really having to try, we had one fall right in our laps for Christmas. I feel so trendy and "in" and cool! We haven't owned a current state of the art gaming system in over 20 years, since the Super Nintendo (yes, really!). The most recent system we bought was a Playstation, and that was a month or so after the PS2 came out. I'm so excited! I can't wait to actually hook it up sometime tonight.

BTW, if any local folks are interested, this was the Tucker Best Buy at LaVista and 285. They recommending being there at 7 AM on Sunday. Good luck!

Currently feeling: ready to play!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Magic of a Christmas Tree

So far this Christmas season, I've been really bummed, and I could not figure out why. I kept wandering through the decorations sections of the various stores I visited thinking that I would eventually find the right thing to make me finally feel festive. Well, I discovered that "something" today at Target.

A Christmas tree. I know, it seems really silly, but it's true. I was missing a Christmas tree. Having a tree, to be more precise. DH and I haven't even attempted to put up a tree since the first Christmas we were married for two reasons. #1: It resulted in one of the few fights ever between DH and me. I can literally count on one hand the fights he and I have had in the last 13+ years (not disagreements or arguments, but out and out fights), and this was one of them. I can't even remember what sparked it, but I didn't get further than putting the lights on it (by myself; one of the sticking points of the fight, IIRC), and that was it. We never put it up again. #2: We also travelled for Christmas every year, so with the bad taste of that first attempt still lingering, I really didn't see the point of putting up a tree if we weren't even going to be there. We helped Mom put up their tree at Thanksgiving, so we still had a tree at Christmas and got to enjoy the "putting up the tree process," just at my parents' house instead of ours.

Then came Luke. We had a firm rule that once children arrived, we would spend Christmas at our house. We did make an exception (as I'm sure I've mentioned more than once) for Luke's very first Christmas since he was less than 3 months old and still very easily portable. Plus you don't have to hide gifts from a baby! LOL But since then (that was Christmas 2004), we've been here, and mostly without a tree.

Our big tree is, well, big. Seven feet kind of big. It would look great in our two-storey foyer, but it would also take up most of said foyer, which was one of Luke's primary play areas at the time (he was still perfecting walking in 2005). The tree is also buried in the back of the bonus room (where we put it upon moving into the house in 2001, then proceeded to continue putting stuff in the room, without saying "hey, you might want to actually *get* to the tree one day!"). As I said, it's only ever even been assembled that once, back in 1998. And it isn't pre-lit (that was 9 years ago, folks; there was no such thing except at uber-expensive boutiques), which just makes it that much worse. Plus, the vast majority of the ornaments I have to go on it are both very precious to me and very breakable. Not much incentive to dig it out, put the lights on it, and try to decorate it with a toddler and (then) four cats, none of whom have never been around a tree before. Why put up something that huge and pretty, and then have to spend the entire rest of the holiday season telling the toddler that he can't touch it? And chasing the cats away from it? Plus with the cats, we couldn't even put presents under the tree if we *did* get it up because they like to tear up the paper and chew on the ribbons. It was like a recipe for disaster!

I was stressed enough having Christmas here in the first place (having only *ever* spent Christmas at my parents' house), and I just didn't want the hassle. So I bought a tiny little fiber optic tree (22 inches, I think), set it on top of our entertainment center, put up some tiny inexpensive ornaments, and that was that. It's been that way for three Christmases now (2005-2007), just our little tiny tree. Don't get me wrong, I love our little tree. The color changing fiber optics fascinate me (it's part of my fondness for things that blink), and I think it is beautiful done in all silver and clear iridescent ornaments (the closest I've ever come to a theme tree).


But as I walked through the holiday decor section at Target, I realized it wasn't a wreath, or an ornament, or a centerpiece, or any other small "thing" I was missing. It was a tree. A real (artificial) tree, with real lights and larger than marble-sized ornaments and room enough to put presents underneath. A real tree for Luke to look at and touch and admire. And when the 4 foot pre-lit models were on clearance for less than $25, I realized in that moment that I had to have one. I also realized that, if I shopped carefully at the right places and bought the right kind of things, I could decorate the tree for about the same amount with pretty yet break-resistant ornaments! Less than $50 would buy me that little bit of holiday magic that I had been missing.

I'm sure there are better things I could have spent the money on, but I am SOOO happy with our little tree! It doesn't have anything on top (couldn't find anything I liked that wasn't outrageously expensive) except a "crown" of gold snowflakes I constructed out of some of the ornaments I bought, and it doesn't have a tree skirt yet (need to find a small-ish one). Most of the ornaments are plastic or metal, and the few that are glass are pretty generic and I won't really care if they break. But I love it nonetheless. It makes me all warm and fuzzy just to look at it! I intentionally bought some individual items that Luke would recognize, like a penguin, a Santa, a dinosaur (yes, a dinosaur!), and a plastic Pixar Cars ball featuring Lightning McQueen. It's a mishmash of all sorts of things and colors; it reminds me very much of the kind of eclectic tree I grew up with.

And the look of awe and wonder on Luke's face as he came into the house this evening and laid eyes on it for the first time literally moved me to tears. "Christmas tree!" he exclaimed, as he ran right over to it, but he did not attempt to touch it. I thought he would burst with happiness when I handed him a couple of plastic snowflakes and asked him to help me finish decorating it. He was *so* excited to be allowed to handle the tree and the ornaments. Any lingering doubt I had about spending the money on something so "frivolous" vanished in that instant.

Small pre-lit Christmas tree: $25
Break-resistant decorations: $30
Christmas Magic: priceless!


Currently feeling: the Christmas spirit!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Chillbeard must be on vacation

Chillbeard, Lord of Winter and Master of the North Winds! And if anyone knows what that reference is from, without using an internet search engine, I am going to be incredibly impressed. There might even be a little prize in it for you, who knows. (And I stress little!) You're on the honor system, though; no internet "cheating."

Anyway, seems that Chillbeard has taken a vacation, and spring has returned to Atlanta. ::checks calendar:: Well, the calendar is insisting it is mid-December. The thermometer seems to disagree. We set a record high here yesterday at 76 degrees (24.5 C), which is a trend that should continue for the next several days. (I'm sure those caught in the recent ice storm have no sympathy for me.) We're supposed to go see the Christmas lights at Centennial Olympic Park on Wednesday. It will be our first time, and I *refuse* to wear short sleeves! It's the principle of the thing. It might be a little cool after the sun goes down, so I'll bring a long sleeved shirt to change Luke into after we eat dinner. I can't send him to school in long sleeves with highs in the 70s, though; he'd burn up.

Currently feeling: rather warm

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holy Helicopters!

Or, why I had to call 911 for the second time in less than three years! Some of you may recall that I had to call them in June 2005 due to a stranger hanging out in my next door neighbor's yard and then wandering into mine. Today was actually oddly similar, now that I think about it.

It started around 2:30, when we heard a helicopter overhead. Now, this in and of itself is not unusual. There are several local buildings with helipads, so having one come quite close is nothing to worry about. Having two that seem to be circling *my* house is definitely odd, though. I thought maybe there was a big accident on a major highway that is less than a mile from the house. Then news and traffic helicopters would be circling close by, right?

But I'm curious, I want to see where they are in relation to the house, so I go to the front of the house to see if I can spot them out of the window at the top of our two-story foyer. No, I can't see anything out of the top window, but I do see three police cars go *flying* by my house! We live about a quarter mile from the city police department, so seeing cop cars on this road is not unusual at all, but not going 60 mph! They had to be doing at least that down our 25-mph sleepy little neighborhood road. No way they stopped at the stop sign just three houses away. Not two minutes later, two different cars (others were city police, these were county) go whizzing by in the other direction. Helicopters are still circling. What on earth is going on?!! Nothing on the radio, nothing on the television. Guess it's not big enough for "breaking news." So DH and I go about our business and try to ignore all the noise.

A few minutes later, DH calls me over to look at something on his computer. Just as I get there (helicopters still circling!), DH lets out an explitive, which is extremely unusual for him. I glance up, and I see what he sees: a man neither of us has ever seen crossing our next door neighbor's back yard. He hops the fence, crosses the back yard of the house directly behind ours, and cuts between that house and the one next to it, and disappears. On any given day, this would have been unusual and even suspicious, but we would not have taken action since he technically did nothing wrong (besides trespassing). He wasn't looking at the houses or fiddling with doors or windows; he could have just been taking a (very odd) shortcut. But with all of the police activity around? We were having none of that. DH called 911.

We reported what we had seen: black male, young, athletic build, oversized black t-shirt, light pants (khaki maybe), spikey twisted hair, crossing our neighbors' yards. She assured us someone would be right there. It was about 2:45. We go to the front door, knowing full and well we are literally just around the corner from the station, expecting someone to drive up in mere moments. As I look out, I see three men standing across the street. One is a plain clothes cop (could see his badge on his belt (and his gun)), one is a uniformed cop, and one is in all black. I open the door to stick my head out, thinking I might ask them what is going on and did they want to hear about the guy in my back yard? About the time I step out on the porch, I realize that the guy in all black is also wearing handcuffs! Oops. I step back inside, deadbolt the door, and figure whoever is on the way to the house can just knock like everyone else.

I do watch out the window for a bit longer, though, and I see an unusual looking county police car drive by at a semi-normal speed. I then watch as the two cops flag down a city police car and stuff the perp in the back. We can still hear the helicopters, but I don't see any other cop cars for several minutes, so I go fiddle around on the computer. Around 3:00, the phone rings again. It is the police dispatch operator, asking us to please confirm our address. Apparently, the cop looking for our house can't find it! (Comforting, no?) The houses are not numbered consecutively down the entire length of the street. A few (like ours) are slightly out of order. We always have to take calls from lost delivery people, but I just assumed the police would know that, given that the station is also on this same road.

Anyway, just as we finish talking with dispatch, there is a knock at the door. Ah, a police officer, come to see us at last. Funny, he's driving that same funny looking car that I had seen go by earlier. Turns out, it is one of the county canine units. And the cop standing at our door is dressed like a SWAT team member! This dude was seriously serious. He asked what we had seen, which way he had gone, and if we could provide any other details. He did confirm that is the person that everyone was looking for, but that was about it. I didn't ask why they were looking for him, though. I figured that definitely fell under the category of "if you aren't absolutely certain you want to know the answer, don't ask the question." If he was a mass murderer or something, that would only make me even more uncomfortable, so I'll just assume he was breaking into houses or something (still illegal, but not necessarily dangerous) and go on with my life. If I hear otherwise on the news, at least he'll be long gone by then.

We closed the door, locked it, and went about our business. Just a couple of minutes later, we heard the crunching of leaves outside one of our windows. We peaked out, and the same cop who had come to our door was back there with his dog and a second officer. His car was even still parked in our driveway. Everyone jumped the fence, and that's the last we saw of them. Helicopters continued circling for a good 30 minutes after he came to the door, then stopped. We checked to see if the car was still in the driveway every 10 minutes or so; it vanished sometime between 3:50 and 4 PM.

So that's it, our grand adventure of the day. We still have no idea who the guys were, what they did, or if the guy we saw was ever caught. I thought I might be nervous about being home and not knowing, but I'm really not. It remains to be seen if I will still feel that way come Monday when I am home alone! LOL

Currently feeling: like a crime-fighter

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If I had more dollars than sense....

I've never been into the whole "train circling the Christmas tree" thing. We didn't have one, we didn't know anyone who had one, and aside from my father, no one in my family is very into trains. BUT, if I had the money to spend, I would *totally* be getting one of these to go around our big tree (that we don't put up any more, but this might inspire me to do so) for my completely LEGO-crazy and train-enthralled son:

Currently feeling: missing my big tree this year

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

November 2007 Round Up

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Sorry, I know it is later than usual. Just been busy.

Credit: Pinky Blinkies

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
New issue of Atlanta Parent, Kraft Magazine, and a zillion catalogs. Read another chapter or two of Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood (need to update the progress bars on my sidebar). Also started trying to read Kushiel's Dart, but I didn't get very far. Thought I would get more read at the airport and on the plane, and maybe over Thanksgiving, but it just never happened, and now I don't have time with Christmas in three weeks and the new job starting in less than two weeks.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Was there anything new this month? I don't think so. Just way too busy getting over illnesses, helping with Dad's surgery, and Thanksgiving. Oh wait, I did see one episode of Dancing With the Stars, which my parents adore. I've always liked ballroom dancing, but DH never showed any interest, so I didn't pursue it when it came on. But the one episode (the semi-final) we watched at my parents he really seemed to quite like, so we may give it a try when the next season.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Thanksgiving! Which was also a celebration of my grandmother's life; it would have been her 85th birthday. We had a great day, we shuttled my grandfather back and forth to Waycross (roughly 90 minutes away; we usually go there, but my father was not up to that much time in the car after his shoulder surgery), and we visited my grandmother's grave to replace the silk flowers. Luke spent the time at the cemetary blowing bubbles. Mom was concerned that other people might have been offended if they saw that, but Granny would have loved it, and that's all that mattered to me.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Passed out some of "the shirt" pictures to my parents. The rest of the family will get them for Christmas. Prepared several baby gifts, but haven't managed to get them mailed off yet (Jenni, I hope it gets there before baby does!).

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
DH was sick, which didn't help him take care of Luke alone for several days as I went home to help Mom with the house while she cared for Dad after his shoulder surgery. Luke arrived in Brunswick for Thanksgiving with his ear dripping and a fever of 102, not four weeks after being treated for an ear infection that started from a sinus infection. We had to find a doctor in Brunswick, where no one has our insurance, the day before Thanksgiving. Fun. So more antibiotics, about the strongest they could prescribe, which have now caused some side effects that we are still dealing with. All because they wouldn't treat the sinus infection when I took him in the first time with "just a fever and a cough," despite me telling them that I knew it was a sinus infection. Yeah, I'm a bit ticked about it all.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
*Finally* took Luke to the aquarium. Seems like everyone in the US had been but us. Luke seemed to enjoy it (really liked the penguins), but he lost interest after about 30 minutes (he was tired and hungry), so I didn't get to see a whole lot of the "right side" of the place. I really thought he would be more interested than he was, so I was a little disappointed. Here are some pictures:

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I made it a point to try some new things at Thanksgiving. I tried oven roasted asparagus, squash casserole, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole (with pecans, not marshmallows). I'm sure I had had squash casserole and green bean casserole in the past, but it was so long ago that I felt the need to give them a try again. Don't feel the need to do so in the future, though. Green bean casserole was okay, didn't care for the squash. I liked the sweet potato casserole when the topping was intact, but when we mixed it in to store it (at my suggestion), I didn't like it nearly as well. Makes me wonder if I would prefer it simply as sweet potato pie with pecans on top? And the asparagus was okay.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Rotors, since my brakes got stuck in the "on" position for a few days and totally wore them out. Also twin sized bed linens for Luke's new bed, and the arrival of the mattresses. We do not have them on a bed frame yet; just the mattress and box springs sitting on the floor until he stops falling out of bed. The Finding Nemo pillow case and small quilt were from the toddler bedding set that my parents got for him. We never actually used a toddler bed like I thought we would, but we did use the fitted sheet from the set when he was still in the crib, and now the pillow case and quilt are being used, so I don't feel so bad. But, for Christmas, we got him a Star Wars Galactic Heroes bedding set that I think he is going to love!

Here is the bed, as it stands now, his first look at the bed, and some pictures from his first couple of nights sleeping in it. Don't quite have the hang of sleeping "properly" in the bed (in fact, he is usually fully transverse when we check on him), but that's okay.

What were this month's disappointments?
That second ear infection really has me annoyed, and I was so disappointed that Luke didn't like the aquarium more than he did. Also having to leave Brunswick a day earlier than planned after Thanksgiving was disappointing, but it was the right thing to do. Luke was in total and complete meltdown mode after having nothing be "normal" for well over a week, and it was simply time to go home.

What were my accomplishments this month?
I finished the 2008 CD calendar! Finished it before the 10th of the month even. But have I printed it yet? NO! Sheesh. I have been busy since I got back from Thanksgiving trying to get everything ready to start work on December 17, though, so it's not like I've been a total and complete bum. But if I don't get on the stick and get Christmas mostly done and ready before work starts, I'm going to be in all kinds of trouble.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
Moved to a big boy bed. Even more improvement on the talking. He is actually conversant now, as opposed to just randomly talking, which is really neat to see.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Had the Toyota emblem for the front of my car stolen while it was at the dealer getting new rotors. That's about the wackiest thing I've had happen in a while.

Currently feeling: hurried (harried?)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Christmas Computer Miracle

Looks like we have been given a second chance. Apparently, booting up the desktop in Safe Mode seems to have corrected whatever glitch we were having. Things seem to be working fine. However, we are not going to assume that all is hunky-dorey. We will spend our newly-granted time wisely and shop for the computer we want as a replacement (instead of having to rush through the decision today without being able to really think things through). We'd like to put it off until after Christmas (and my first paycheck, which will not be until early January), but we'll just see how well it behaves the rest of the month.
Currently feeling: aggrivated with technology

Desktop Demise

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! Now, not only do we not have a desktop computer, we have no computer that will run Luke's favorite computer game (Lego Star Wars), and I have no computer that will run my graphics software so that I can finish the 2008 CD calendars!! The laptop is still functional (obviously), but it would choke trying to run either of those things. Both computers are 3.5 years old, but still! Is it really too much to ask to get 4+ years out of a stupid piece of electronics?

Thank goodness I am a smart woman and chose to back everything up before I left for Thanksgiving, just in case. The external hard drive still works fine (it is currently connected to the very laptop on which I am typing), so everything I backed up on it is also there. The last couple of things that were not backed up that I wanted (like fonts, which I only back up every 3-6 months) are burning to a CD right now (from Safe Mode).

Guess I know what DH and I are getting each other for Christmas. The thing that really sucks is that it is DH who is going to be hurt by this. He bought my Christmas present back in October! I haven't bought a single thing for him, and with a new desktop in our future, I won't be spending nearly as much as I planned. Guess it is good that it happened before we spent our entire Christmas budget rather than after, but please!

We've had one major something happen, financially speaking, basically every month since August. August, I found out I couldn't start a new contract for 90 days, which killed our budget for the rest of the year, including having to accept financial help so Luke can stay in daycare (otherwise it would wipe out a not-insignificant portion of our savings account, which those helping felt it was more important to keep on hand in case of true emergency). September was a new washer and dryer, which we felt confident getting because there were no other large expenses planned for the rest of the year (haha, the joke's on us). October was mattresses and new bedding for Luke. November was a nice chunk of change for car repairs. And now, (apparently) December is both Christmas *and* a new computer. Can we please just get a break?

Guess it is a good thing my paperwork came in from the contracting company today. Then again, I got papers (and computer equipment!) last time around with this, and still didn't get the job. My start date is December 17. Either the third time is the charm, or it is three strikes and I'm out. Keep your fingers crossed, please!

Currently feeling: and the money kept rolling out....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Quickest Way to Target

I'm not sure if this story will translate well to the written word. I'm sure someone could do it better, but I'll give it a shot. I hope it comes across as funny as it was at the time.

So, the three of us are in the car, heading from daycare to dinner. We debate briefly, then decide to eat at Piccadilly. Cue the child: "Don't wanna eat Piccadiddy (sic). Want tato cakes." Luke, we had potato cakes (that would be Arby's) yesterday; we're going to Piccadilly today. So we make the turn that goes behind the mall, the same way we always go to Piccadilly.

Luke seems to have inherited MY sense of direction (thank goodness; DH's is non-existent), so he realizes what we will be passing to *get* to Piccadilly as soon as the turn is made, well before he can see the store. "Wanna go Target!" he says excitedly. (He loves Target for some reason; I'm sure it is unrelated to the fact that he gets a new set of Galactic Heroes Star Wars figures about 70% of the time.) Well, if you can behave at dinner, we'll think about it. "Nooooo," in his best whiny voice, "wanna go Target!!" Luke, we have to eat dinner first. Then, when *all* of us are finished eating (not just he who eats three bites and says finished), we might go to Target.

A brief moment of quiet. You can almost hear the wheels turning in the back seat. Then, in a voice just as pleased as it can be, we hear:

"All finished!"

I thought DH was going to have to pull over, we were both laughing so hard! It was only a couple more blocks to Piccadilly (which is directly behind the Target) from where we were, so we did make it safely, but we were still chuckling about it as we walked to the restaurant. Boy, that was the longest and hardest I have laughed in a long time!

And yes, we did take him to Target. How could we not after such an incredibly cute moment? (Besides, I needed the last part of two baby gifts that need to go out in the next week.)

Currently feeling: hurting from laughing

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

Good heavens, what a week! We're home, we survived. We had lots of good times and (way way too much) good food. Things were also unbelievably busy and chaotic. We even came home a day early (late Sunday, which we swore we would never do) because Luke was just in total meltdown mode. Spent all day yesterday recovering. I'll give more details later. Just happy to be home now.

Oh yeah, and I think I may *actually* be officially employed now. Or available to be so. No papers yet, but supposedly, the ball is rolling.

Currently feeling: home sweet home!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Three generations, same shirt

In case anyone did not read the story in my October round-up, I am restating it here now that I have scanned the other photos of my father and brother so you can see.

See the shirt in the photos below? My grandmother made that shirt. She actually made matching ones and had photos taken of my father and his brother when my father was around age 3. As my brother neared age 3, Granny gave the shirt to my mother, so he was photographed in the same shirt. Luke is the third generation of Warren to wear this now 50-year-old shirt (I'm sure my father appreciates me pointing that out), and I fully intend to save it for his children. I'm just sorry Granny didn't get to see her only great-grandson wearing the shirt she made and kept for all those years.

My father, circa 1954:

My brother, circa 1983:

My son, October 2007:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Currently feeling: thankful for my grandmother, and missing her mightily on Thanksgiving, her 85th birthday