Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Round Up

Blinkie by: Jo's Blinkie Obsession (no longer active)

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
But, but, but... I went to the movies!

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Movies: Iron Man (excellent; go see it!), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (eh; wait for DVD unless you are a die hard fan, and even then, don't expect much from it), and The Bourne Ultimatum (liked it a lot). TV: Just finished up the seasons on all of our regular shows. Our few summer shows haven't started yet.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Mother's Day we went to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Memorial Day we visited my grandfather.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
We sent flowers to my SIL Jennifer in honor of her first Mother's Day. We didn't send flowers when our niece was born due to my own experineces after Luke was born. It is difficult for me to even remember the flowers (or much of anything) from our first few days with a newborn. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to take photos! As much as I appreciated the thought behind the flowers people sent to me, I was too out of it to enjoy them. Knowing that Mother's Day was only a few weeks after N's birth, we waited. SIL seemed both genuinely pleased and surprised, an excellent combination!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
My hip is much better! It was not happy with all of the long trips spent in the car for Memorial Day, but it was only a little achy in the evenings, and even that is gone now. Luke had a bit of a cough, but we think it was mainly allergies.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
The Georgia Renaissance Festival was great, even if I did get *fried*. (Really will try to get those picture up.) We took Luke to the beach again over Memorial Day (yes, more pictures). And I participated in part of the bachelorette weekend for my friend Cyndi, who is getting married in July. The parts I got to do were Martinis and IMAX at Fernbank (we saw Dolphins; I hadn't seen an IMAX film in probably 5 years), dinner at Nuevo Laredo (see next topic), and a second trip to RenFest. I missed brunch, the actual shower, and the scavenger hunt.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
A vendor took my work group to Wildfire. I was not impressed. Yes, we had a large party, and almost all of us ordered steak, but virtually none of them came out done correctly. My medium-rare steak had NO pink in it, not even a trace (and yes, I sent it back). Other people seemed to just have theirs mixed up; the person who ordered the well done got a medium cooked one and vice versa. The meat was no better quality than what I can get at Longhorn for quite a bit less money, and the atmosphere isn't nearly as fussy.

I also went to Nuevo Laredo as part of the bachelorette weekend, and while not a new restaurant for me, it was only my second or third time there, and the previous time was well over 5 years ago. I had forgotten how truly great their food is. Might have to start going more often.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Fabric for a cape and tunic for Luke to wear to RenFest! Only cape got made; will work on tunic for next year. It did strongly rekindle my interest in quilting, though.

What were this month's disappointments?
Found out my boss is leaving in July. It is an exceptional opportunity for her, and I do not begrudge her that at all; I'm just sad for me. She is a fabulous boss as well as my friend (we've known each other for 10 years now), and I will miss her terribly.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Surviving work. Getting Luke's cape (that he didn't wear) made in a single night. Finding out that Luke's daycare teacher is leaving (though I think her replacement has potential; time will tell).

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
Seem to be on the potty success express now (hopefully recent setbacks are anomalies). Rosserous was an adorable new word (that would be rhinoceros, for those not possessing a Luke-to-English dictionary).

Anything else noteworthy to record?

Managed to survive the Mother's Day tornadoes just fine, thankfully. So did the rest of the family, including a tree falling near, but not on, my grandmother's house. If my parents hadn't moved their car from the grass to the driveway the night before, they would have had more than a bent antenna, that's for sure! Someone is looking out for us.
Currently feeling: rounded for this month

What is the problem?!!!

Why are we suddenly having poop issues again? I thought we were finally past that.

Currently feeling: frustrated

Far far away

Every time Luke sees this screen, one one of the movies or on the game, he reads it out loud as:

"Han Solo, far far away"

At least he gets the important points of the movie! LOL

Currently feeling: The Force

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging slug

The title of this post was stolen from Melissa. It was just the perfect description of how I've felt this week, which is why I've hardly managed to post. Not pictures, not stories, nothing. I've just wanted to sit and "be" this week once work was finished. At least Melissa was productive, even if she was in her pajamas. Busy weekend, so I'm not even sure if I'll manage anything before next week. Hope everyone has a grand weekend!

Currently feeling: slug-ish

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tag day

Lots to write about, from RenFest and Memorial Day. Just not enough energy right now to do them up proper with pictures and all. So memes for today.

I've been tagged twice. Once by Krista, for which I will point her to this post, which even gets her a bonus item (the original one I did asked for 8). Not sure I can come up with 7 more things people don't know; I'm just too boring! It's pretty much all out there on the blog already.

Also tagged by Heather, and I don't remember doing this one previously, so here goes:

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about him/herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 or 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer."

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Heather said she had to go back to the Christmas letter she wrote to remember. Me? That is an exceptionally easy question! The end of May 2008, I was turning in my two quarter long senior design project at Georgia Tech, cleaning/starting to pack my dorm room, trying to decide what I would wear to my graduation, putting the finishing touches on the wedding plans for the first weekend in July, trying not to fret about whether or not my brother would be back from Europe in time to walk me down the aisle, apartment hunting for a place to live after graduating/wedding, looking for my first "real" job, and going to the hospital for an ultrasound to make sure I *only* had a muscle cramp severe enough to tear the muscle in my calf, as opposed to a DVT clot that would require hospitalization and blood thinners, possibly causing me to miss both graduation and my wedding. A very slow and non-stressful time of my life, no? (snort)

2. What are five things on my to do list for today?

Only 5?
* RSVP for the Bachelorette Weekend for a friend. (Done)
* Update Netflix queue to keep us occupied this summer without TV shows (besides The Closer).
* Write blog post about RenFest, hopefully to post tomorrow.
* Write up full and complete Movie Musings on three most recent movies: Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Bourne Ultimatum.
* Sort through accumulated non-bill mail from the last couple of weeks.

3. Snacks I enjoy...

Are there snacks I don't enjoy? Most anything chocolate and caramel (Twix, Rolos, Milk Duds, Milky Way, turtles, etc), pretzels, grapes, Nilla wafers (and they must be Nilla brand), popcorn, Sweet Minglers (WARNING: recipe is evil evil evil and supremely addictive! I personally prefer it with double the peanut butter and minus the peanuts), Rice Krispy Treats, I could go on....

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire...

Quit my job (terrible that is at the top of the list, no?), secure a plentiful college fund (and maybe private school fund) for Luke, sell this house (no matter what the loss) and buy a new one (not hugely larger, but in a better location), hire lawn folks to care for new house's yard (so it doesn't end up bare dirt except for the weeds, like this one), pay off houses for family and/or for moving for them, replace worn out cars for family. After that, arrange for someone smarter than me to manage the funds and make sure there is plenty for travel (England and Vatican City are supremely high on the list, as is Australia) and not working! Then I'd move on to charitable contributions: Parkinson's research and ALS research would be first (diseases that have taken people I love), not sure where it would go after that.

5. Places I have lived...

How many do you want? North Carolina and Virginia, plus in Georgia: the Atlanta area (5 different suburbs (two of them I was too young to remember), plus downtown), Macon, Walton County, Brunswick, Statesboro.

6. What jobs have I had...

Video counter clerk (only 2 weeks), bookstore, administrative assistant (truly; not a secretary), computer lab assistant, inventory system designer, data analyst (the true passion of my work life), project manager.

7. Peeps I want to know more about...

Oh, tag yourself! LOL Just leave me a comment if you decide to participate.

Currently feeling: you're it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hip is healing

I've had a few people ask me about it lately, so I thought I would update you on my hip injury. Generally speaking, it is all better. I was still hurting pretty good after the first week (which surprised me, for some reason), I was better but still achy in the evenings after the second week, but by the end of week 3, I hardly noticed it anymore. Tomorrow marks four weeks since the injury. I only notice the occasional twinge every now and then, usually when I'm doing something stupid, like sitting *way* too long without getting up (more than 2 hours or so), or picking up the 40 pound child and trying to carry him out of the mall under protest. Other than that, it seems fine. Guess we'll see after the next trip to my parents' house. 5 hours in the car. I can almost feel the ache already....

Currently feeling: hip to be square

Friday, May 16, 2008

The hunt was successful!

Bless DH, he went out this afternoon and managed to find both replacement Aerialbots after visiting a total of four stores. We have been saved! Not only that, but Luke was so involved with playing with his puzzle this morning (he pulled one out of his toy chest that he's had for ages but had never been able to do until yesterday) that he didn't even notice that the helicopter was missing (I hid it). Crisis averted. Whew! I thought he might catch on when he went to pick out his two toys for in the car this morning, but he didn't.

DH said that the last CVS he went to had all six of the set in stock. We're tempted to go back and buy a second set of six (in addition to the two replacements we bought to day), just in case. May yet do that before the weekend is out. We'll see. Thank you all for the sympathy and the good vibes!

Currently feeling: saved!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I broke the favorite toy!

Not only did I break the favorite toy (the one I haven't had a chance to tell the story about, but I will do so now), I broke the favorite *piece* of the favorite toy. I have such mommy guilt right now, it's not even funny.

Remember the potty training saga? I'm sure you do. Well I am happy to report (at the risk of jinxing the whole thing) that he has been accident free for two weeks! And that includes pooping only on the potty. I think it was a combination of figuring out what part of the problem was (he thought pooping was bad; we explained that "pooping is good, just not in your pants" and things went much better), and some incentive.

Yes, a bribe! What bribe, you ask? A Transformers Aerialbot. And not just any Aerialbot, but the helicopter (he *loves* "hebadoctors"), and the last one of the set of six needed to make the "super robot" by combining all six with some special attachment pieces. He had been begging for them since we gave him the first one several weeks ago. Then he figured out from looking at the picture that there were more in the set, so they have been doled out, one at a time, since February or so, for good behavior and special occasions. What better way to prompt final potty training success than with the final piece of the super robot?

So, I made up a sticker chart (thanks to whoever suggested that on the board; I think it was Jen). There were 8 squares. Seven of them represented fully accident free days. But there was a special square on the end that represented a successful "poopy in the potty." If there was an accident of any kind on any day, he had to start the sticker chart over again until he went 7 full consecutive days with no accidents and a successful poopy. We began on May 4. By May 10 (seven days later, including May 4), we had this:

Which meant we could also make this:

And there was much rejoicing in the land, by everyone. Now, you can't see it, but the helicopter is on the back of the robot (basically serving no purpose). Well, Luke got the idea that this is what made the super robot able to fly, sort of like a jet pack (which I thought was pretty smart on his part). Without the helicopter, super robot cannot fly.

You can see where I'm going with this, right? Yes indeed, ladies and gentlemen, Mommy broke the helicopter. Well, not exactly. The chest plate part has little pegs on it, which correspond to holes on the black jet (in the front, seen in the picture) and the helicopter (on the back). For some unknown reason, he put the super robot under a blanket in the floor before going to bed, and I had no idea. I accidentally kicked it as I was walking through the den, and I heard a crack. I hoped it was just the pieces coming apart as they were intended. Yeah, like I'm that lucky!

The peg that holds the helicopter on the back of the big robot snapped off. Not only that, but it snapped off inside the helicopter, and too low down for us to get a grip on it and pull it out, even using needle nose pliers (trust me, we tried). So now, not only do we have to replace the chest plate piece (which came with one of the robots, but naturally not the helicopter), we also have to replace the helicopter itself since the hole is now plugged.

Did I mention these toys are several years old? We found them at CVS, which means they were probably remainders from "real toy stores" sold at some reduced rate. And this was months ago. So the likelihood of them still being there, particularly the ones we need, is slim. That won't stop us from visiting every CVS Pharmacy within semi-reasonable driving distance tomorrow looking for them, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. And even if we do manage to find them, there will still be trauma (drama?) in the morning when he discovers that it is broken. Not looking forward to that moment at all.

Currently feeling: like a terrible mommy

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Luke heard yes

Yesterday's conversation in the car on the way home. Note that it was Luke, DH, and me in the car at the time.

LUKE: Mommy, I wanna watch Buzz Lightyear.

ME: Luke, we don't watch Buzz Lightyear on school nights.

LUKE: But I want Buzz Lightyear!

ME: No, Luke. We are not watching Buzz Lightyear tonight.

LUKE: Yes!

ME: No.

LUKE: Daddy, I wanna watch Buzz Lightyear.

DH: Luke, Mommy already said no.

LUKE: Mommy said yes!

DH: Luke, I was sitting here right beside Mommy, and I heard her say no.

LUKE: I heard yes!

Apparently, if it is a perfectly reasonable argument that Daddy heard me say no, it must be an equally reasonable argument that this is not what Luke heard. Sigh. And chuckle. We both started laughing. (We are terrible parents!) He was just so genuine and confident when he said it.

Currently feeling: what will we do with him

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An RAK thank you

I feel like I've said this before, but in case anyone doesn't know, an RAK is a "random act of kindness." It is someone bestowing something on someone for no apparent reason, simply out of kindness. I received one today, and I have to thank the sender publicly.

Shalini and I have been friends for, oh, 4 years or so, and though we have never met in person (I really will get up to Washington, DC, one of these days!), I consider her a good friend. We bonded during the fading tide of the stitching BB baby boom with due dates that were within days of each other, or perhaps even the same (I can't remember now, isn't that terrible?). And we both gave birth to sons via c-sections after failed inductions! And then, we both got into digital scrapping around the same time. So, lots in common! LOL We've kept in touch on and off via email, though when things get busy, one or the other of us is usually rather quiet. It's her turn to be quiet right now, and I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now that I really need to check in with her since I hadn't heard from her in a while, but I've just been swamped with work (I know, that is a *terrible* excuse).

So imagine my surprise when I received a note from a digital scrapping designer (with whom I have had no prior contact, so she doesn't know me from Adam) offering me an as-yet unreleased Renaissance themed kit for free. The whole kit! Just because "a little birdie" told her that I might be in need of one given last weekend's outing. I know Shalini is on this lady's creative team (a group of people who make layouts using a designer's upcoming kits to show them off in the galleries); that is the only way this email could have come my way, particularly given that I have scrapped virtually nothing in the last year. It was such a sweet gesture, and very generous on the designer's part (Miki Ferkul of Microferk Designs, BTW; her stuff is absolutely gorgeous!). It really and truly made my day. Thank you so much, Shalini! You really made me feel special.

Currently feeling: awwww!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day 2008

Happy Mother's Day to all of my favorite moms out there, family and friends. And special congratulations to those of you celebrating your first Mother's Day. Hope you all had an excellent day.

Credits here

Yes, we went to the Renaisance Festival. Yes, I got the cape done in time (and he didn't wear it for even a single second, except to take photos at the house). And yes, I am now a lovely shade of crimson because I'm an idiot and didn't wear *any* sunscreen. But all in all, a good day. More details later.

Currently feeling: momish

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Row, Row, Row Your Boat - new lyrics

In case you were wondering, we've all been singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with the wrong words all these years. According to Luke, the lyrics should actually be:
Row, row, row your boat,
Jenny down the street.
Many many many many,
Many down the street.
Currently feeling: amused

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The RenFest that wasn't

The weather has not been very cooperative lately. I really want to take Luke to the Georgia Renaissance Festival this year, but so far, since they opened, it has rained every *single* Saturday. And given that all the paths and such for guests are a mixture of good ol' brown dirt and Georgia red clay, I have no interest in going mud bogging while trying to walk around. Now, I did listen to my friend (and RenFest assistant director) Valerie, who said that often, even though it is raining "in Atlanta," it is not actually raining at the grounds, so even though showers were forecasted for later in the afternoon, we went on down. And it was raining harder in the parking lot than it was at our house, which is a good 45 minutes away. GGRRR

Mission aborted, much to the upset of the child. We had talked up the show a lot to get him excited. He was going to get to see the horses, he was going to get to watch the juggling and the magic, and he was going to get to carry his (short foam) sword around in public. And now we were taking that away, all while sitting in front of the gate and watching *other* people get to carry their swords right in. Oh, the humanity! But as we watched mud puddles developing in the parking lot before our very eyes, we decided to just leave and come back another day. The tickets are just expensive enough that, if we didn't get to do much that day, we would not be able to come back, so we do need to make sure we can actually get around and participate, preferably without being covered in muck (fun for Luke, perhaps, but not we boring adults).

I also got the bee in my bonnet to make Luke a cape before we go, and maybe a little smock-like tunic. Bought fabric today and everything! So maybe it is for the best that things were delayed. We'll see what this coming Sunday looks like in terms of weather (must also consider Friday's and Saturday's weather), and even though it is Mother's Day, if it looks clear and dry, we'll go. Guess I'd better get hopping on that cape then, no? Especially considering I am doing it by hand. Not for authenticity, mind you, but because I have absolutely no idea how to set up my sewing machine! Really must learn how to use the blasted thing one of these days.

Currently feeling: rained out

Friday, May 02, 2008

Movie Muse Short: Iron Man

Yeah, BTW, I do still *occasionally* make it to the movies, and I may even get around to writing my first full review since last June! But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Saw Iron Man. Awesome. DH (who read the comic) and I (who reads no comics) both greatly enjoyed it. Probably in the top 5 of comic book movies for us. Below X-Men (and X-Men 2, really), Spider-Man, and Batman Begins; roughly on par with Spider-Man 2 for us. Better than Transformers, Spidey 3, and X-Men 3 for sure. Robert Downey Jr. Rocks, as usual. Is it the *best* movie I've ever seen? No, but exceptionally good for this type of movie, and a whole lot of fun! If you like this type of movie or Downey Jr., then I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed. And there is a coda (little piece of footage after the credits end), so do stay until the credits are over.

I pity the rest of the summer flicks having to live up to this one. Iron Man will be a tough act to follow!

Currently feeling: already enjoying the summer season