Monday, June 30, 2008

June 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've picked up and put down 10 different things this month, and not read more than a couple of pages of any of them.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Oh, I did much better here! LOL Movies: The Pixar Story (documentary, loved it), Kung Fu Panda (liked it lots), and WALL-E (liked it, and we took Luke). TV: When We Left Earth on Discovery, and In Plain Sight (it's getting better) on USA. Oh, watched some of the US Olympic trials as well. I'm getting really excited! I love the Olympics, and I can't wait for August, though avoiding the internet during the day so I don't stumble on the results accidentally is not going to be fun.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
I actually got to spend Father's Day with my daddy! First time that has happened in years.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Just Father's Day cards and birthday cards for my mom.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
I just haven't been feeling well, generally, for a few weeks now. I'm pretty sure it is mostly job stress, and it has gotten better (both work stress (had a bad couple of weeks) and how I feel), but I hate feeling like this. And with two days to go in the month, Luke has come down with a terrible summer cold. Not much appetite, tired, and snot everywhere. Fun.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Finally took Luke to see the Stone Mountain Laser Show. He did enjoy it, but he was awfully tired by the time it was over (almost 11 PM by the time we got back to the car), despite having napped until nearly 5 PM. Also took him to see his first movie at the movie theater. We took him to see WALL-E, which might not have been the perfect movie for him we hoped it would be, but he still seemed to enjoy it.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I tried a "stove top mac and cheese" recipe. It is okay. Nothing I care to make again. Sadly, I prefer the box.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Nothing in particular comes to mind. Not even Luke's movie ticket counts, since you don't have to purchase a ticket for children at the Regal until they turn 4. Woo-hoo! I guess that counts as a special non-purchase.

What were this month's disappointments?
Just the bad couple of weeks at work, some portion of which was my own fault. And having to revert to another sticker chart to revisit the "pooping in the potty" issue. We've almost finished the chart with only one accident, so we're doing quite well.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Surviving. Many things just seemed more difficult than necessary this month. Nothing major, just small things here and there.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
Already talked about the new sticker chart. He has also progressed to not wearing pull-ups to bed, so I think we've nearly got it worked out (knock on wood). But, he's been fighting at school, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
I babysat for Ginny and Justin so they could go see a movie. I remember how hard it was to get out with an infant, so I was happy to help. And we've completed 24% of LEGO Indiana Jones.

Currently feeling: summer-y

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday night at the movies

Who cares what picture you see.... especially when it is your first trip ever to the movie theater!

More later.

Currently feeling: bliss

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trendy shoes

You know me. I am not "trendy" in the slightest. I mean, I almost have to be to a certain extent, by virtue of only having what is available in stores to choose from, which almost always follow the trends to a certain extent. But fashionista I am not. Thus I was rather surprised while Mom and I were trying on shoes over the Memorial Day holiday. (I know, old news; work with me here, I'm way behind!) I tried on these, and I actually liked them. (Links will take you to Zappos; no affiliation, just a happy customer.)

Not my usual thing, but they are quite comfortable, and they don't look stupid on me (like other types of trendy shoes). They don't quite rank right up there with my sneakers, but there are times when I just don't want to take the time and trouble to find socks and lace up. These are just slide on and go.

Keep in mind that finding any kind of shoes, much less trendy ones, to fit my whacked out feet is a task. I think Mom and I tried on virtually every shoe in the store between us. Shoes that I like when I look at the picture or sample, typically a size 6 regular width, can look terrible in a size 8W. And that assumes I can even get them *on* my feet. Not only are my feet wide, but they are also very "tall." As in, the "inside" of my shoe (space between the insole and the top of the shoe) needs to be deeper than average. I can get away with the ones above because they only cover my toes, and the strap has elastic holding it to the side of the shoe, so it can stretch over that portion of my foot. Just after where the strap covers is where my foot is freakishly tall, which makes anything that comes up high on the foot (without very stretchy elastic or laces) difficult for me to wear.

I also got some new flats for work. My current ones are Payless specials (read: cheap cheap shoes!) that I've had for nearly 2 years, and they are getting more and more uncomfortable each time I wear them. I know these are plain and boring, but they're quite comfortable for a dress shoe.

I know, two pair of shoes in one year, much less one shopping trip, is simply unheard of for me. I would not have bought both for myself, I would have gone with the new dress shoes. They're just more practical, and even if they're not worn all that often, they are a must have when the need arises (like vendor meetings, which have been frequent of late). But I didn't have to choose. Instead, my very wonderful Mom bought both for me. Some kind of combination late Mother's Day gift and early birthday gift, I imagine. Thanks Mom!

Currently feeling: girly

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wish us luck

Tonight will be our first night without pull-ups. He's been dry every morning for the past 2-3 weeks. Wish us luck!

Currently feeling: done with diapers?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Stone Mountain Spontaneity

Spontaneity - there's a word you don't usually see associated with DH and me. We are just not spontaneous people. Comes with being engineering types, I suppose. We are usually very methodical and logical, though ironically, it is logic that lead to this little spur of the moment trip in the first place.

We've been wanting to take Luke to the laser show at Stone Mountain for over a year now, but the consequences for keeping him up/out so late were not worth it. It just whacked out his schedule and his mood too much the next day. Lately, he has been up until 9 or so, refusing to go to sleep when he should. (We've been putting him to bed 8-8:30.) But he would start getting grumpy and unwieldy around 7. Given that the show doesn't start until 9:30, that just wasn't do-able.

Until today. Lately, instead of fighting him for an hour about taking a nap and then him only sleeping 30-45 minutes, we've been doing a "rest time" on the weekends. We pop in a DVD and he lays down on the couch to watch. He's usually pretty good about staying down for 90 minutes or so, but he never falls asleep on the couch. He's been that way since he was a small baby; he wants to sleep in his bed or in the car, and that's it. But today, after watching one movie all the way through, he wanted to watch a second one. That was about 3:00. He was asleep before 3:30, and he slept until nearly 5. He was very grumpy when he woke up, so we got him some quick calories (juice) and headed out to Zaxby's for dinner.

We chose to go to the one out in Stone Mountain. On the way there, DH commented that he didn't know what to do with Luke, since the very late nap meant he wouldn't be ready for bed until well after 9. Is there something that we've been wanting to do that required him staying up late that we can get to in time? At just that moment, the mountain loomed into view. "How about the laser show?" I asked. DH agreed that this was probably our best chance, plus it had been overcast most of the day, so it wasn't hot (humid, yes, but not hot). My only regret was not having the camera. We ate, picked up some clearance bath towels at Wal-Mart, and headed to the park. DH dropped us off to find a place to sit while he parked the car. Yes, there were lots of people there, but we only need a spot about 5x8 feet, and there were plenty of those available if you don't mind your blanket (or towels) barely touching someone else's.

I did have my cell phone with me, so I snapped a few pictures with it. They're not the best, but they'll do under the circumstances. Better than nothing, certainly.

Luke really did seem to enjoy it, though he was clearly fading about half way through the show. He has been commenting on things being "too loud" a lot lately. I was afraid that the volume of the music and the fireworks would bother him, but he grinned hugely with each explosion in the sky. I guess he's just throwing out the "too loud" because he hears that a lot from us. He stayed awake for the entire show, though, and didn't even fall asleep in the car on the way home. I do think he was asleep almost the instant his head hit the pillow when he finally got in bed at 11:20. All in all, an excellent excursion, even without any planning! LOL

I would also like to note that I tweaked and resized these online using Photoshop Express (it's free!). No affiliation, and I don't earn anything from posting that link, I just wanted to mention it. I don't have photo editing software on my new laptop yet, so I was very happy to have something free and online to use from the comfort of my recliner. I heard about it by reading a photography blog. Thought some of you might find it useful.
Currently feeling: illuminated

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not the best week

Just not a good week for me this week at work, much of it my own fault. Things were missed, things falling through, things going wrong. Just so much of it in the last three days. I guess perhaps it is better to get it over with all in one shot, instead of them cropping up here and there and making me constantly look bad, but sheesh! Just not fun.

And there is so much I want to talk about: Kung-Fu Panda (greatly enjoyed it), the passing of Stan Winston and Cyd Charisse, some great articles I've read. I just don't have the time or energy right now. Maybe later. Hope you all are having a better week than I am.

Currently feeling: ready for this week to be over

Monday, June 16, 2008

Life is a Highway

And I've been on plenty of them in this country. I apologize, I do not recall whose blog I saw this on. I don't think it is information you didn't already have about me elsewhere. It was just a fun thing to play with. Apparently, I have a fondness for the more southerly states! LOL

ACK! I missed one! Of course, I haven't forgotten Hershey, PA. I was sick as a dog. All I could think of at the time was "well, I've never been to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh." Thank you, good buddy, for keeping me straight.

Currently feeling: like travelling

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day 2008

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Credits here

Currently feeling: so proud of this shot

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scary Bug!

Not long ago, DH and I were sitting in the den talking while Luke was up and about playing in the computer room. Suddenly, Luke comes running as fast as he can into the den, shouting "scary bug, scary bug!!" He was very agitated, so we're thinking it was either one of those giant tree spiders (can be a good 2 inches across from leg tip to leg tip) or a palmetto bug (look like giant black roaches, 2-3 inches long). It is spring turning to summer; these things manage to find their way in from time to time. DH grabs a shoe, and we all parade into the computer room.

"It's over there," says Luke, pointing to the corner where he had been "fixing his spaceship" (i.e. using a "screwdriver" and "hammer," made of Tinker Toys, on the home gym). DH approaches carefully, but doesn't see anything. I take a look, and I don't see anything either, nor can I hear anything (I can usually hear the palmetto bugs moving around; icky icky sound!). "It's right there!!" Luke is practically in hysterics. So we look a little closer. And I had to go get the camera. This is what we saw:

Can you see it? Allow me to provide a close up, with a US penny for scale (diameter is .75 inches or 19 millimeters, for anyone unfamiliar with US currency):

*That* is what all the commotion is about? I can barely see it! Even I would have picked that up myself, and I'm one of the most bug-phobic people ever. We picked it up and moved on.

A few days later, I am in the kitchen getting Luke's breakfast ready before school. DH is at work, so it's just the two of us. I hear Luke call me, saying "Mommy, it's a bug," in that sing-song cadence children often use. He isn't scared or concerned. It was said more like he was tattling on it for being there. I figure it is another of these tiny whats-its. I round the corner to see him sitting there, not 18 inches away from a mostly dead palmetto bug that was a good 2 inches long.

So let me get this straight. A bug so tiny that I can't find it warrants running from the room and screaming, but a huge palmetto bug only gets a curious look and a calm warning? I think we need to learn what is worth getting hysterical over and what is not!

Currently feeling: creepy-crawly

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Georgia Renaissance Festival 2008

Wow, it took a long time to get this up! Sorry about that. Just pictures and busy-ness. Plus, I wanted to make some use of the lovely gift I received a few weeks ago. Photos by me, decorations by Michaela Ferkul of Microferk Designs. I apologize in advance for all the pictures.

Welcome to the Georgia Renaissance Festival! This was Luke's (and DH's) first ever trip there, and only my second. I really hoped he would enjoy it. I figured he would. After all, we let him take his (foam) sword and shield out of the house! I even made him a cape in a single night...

... which he refused to wear, natch. I ended up carrying it around all day. (Notice there are no on-site pictures of him in the cape. He wore it long enough for me to take pictures at home (about 30 seconds), and never put it on again.) But I promise you, if I hadn't made one, he'd have *insisted* on having one once he got there. Ah well.

Anyway, it was raining when we left the house, but I took Valerie at her word and called to check on the weather. She said the storms were passing through, but it should clear up after, and the grounds were in good shape, so we came on. The day turned out to be warm but not hot, and incredibly windy! We arrived, intentionally, before they opened to give us plenty of time to get tickets and to enjoy some of the opening events. I also thought it would give him a chance to interact with some of the characters in a slightly calmer environment. I think that was a good move. The first person who approached him rather freaked him out. It wasn't her fault! She was just being in character, and they're all quite over the top, and he just flipped into shy mode. He didn't want to talk to her or even look at her. She took the hint and backed off, but I felt bad for both of them.

Enter Pirate Captain Helga the Horrible, who was actually quite wonderful! I am quite certain she witnessed the interaction with the first girl, so she approached him very calmly and didn't get too close at first. She was just so gentle with him and really got him to interact with her. He was still a little wary, but he smiled and talked with her, and even wore her special hat. I have since learned her name is Michelle, so I wanted to be sure and thank her by name. Thank you so much, Michelle!

Once inside, we immediately stumbled on Valerie. Excuse me, Lady Bliss Kissingham ("not just a name but a way of thinking;" hope I quoted her correctly there), plying her trade. You'll see her mark on both DH and Luke in the coming pictures. I had one, too, I'm just not in any of the pictures.

The primary thing I wanted to do with Luke was see a joust. I had absolutely no doubts that he would positively adore it, and I was not disappointed. Horses and hitting each other with sticks; what's not to love? Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen:

Oh yeah, and there was jousting:

We ate lunch, though Luke wasn't hungry, so he got down to play in the open space near our table, having a grand time re-enacting some of the jousting he'd just seen.

We interacted with a few more characters, including a true high five:

And there was a boo-boo in there. I sat down in the shade to watch part of another act, but Luke wasn't interested, so he and DH were playing amongst the trees nearby. About 5 minutes later, I heard a familiar wail, spun around in my seat, and saw DH lifting Luke into his arms, blood running down his leg. Great. If it had been a clean cut, I would have just rinsed it with water and gone on, but no. He'd fallen on the ground, and it was full of dirt. Off to first aid, which thankfully wasn't too far away. I'm sure the entire grounds could hear him screaming as they cleaned it. I don't think it hurt that bad (they were using peroxide, not alcohol), he is just suddenly terrified of band-aids. He also clots about as well as I do (which is not at all), so a band-aid was definitely required to stop the bleeding.

We wiped up the tears, got him a bottle of water, and sat down to watch one of my favorite acts. Todd Keys (who I previously saw as part of the Zucchini Brothers) was amazing as always, and he kept Luke's attention the entire time (distraction; always a good thing where boo-boos are concerned). His juggling was amazing, particularly considering the 20-30 mph wind gusts (seriously).

And Barely Balanced was a new act for me (there is one other performer in the group, but this was the best photo). Luke was fascinated, and thankfully, he didn't get any bright ideas.

By this time, it was getting late, and we had all spent way too many hours outside in the sun without sunscreen. I don't know what came over me. Me, the person who preaches about always wearing sunscreen when you're outside. It just never even crossed my mind to put it on any of us before we left, and no one was selling it inside. DH was a little pink, but turned brown in a day. He had also used himself as a shield for Luke for most of the day, so Luke was only a bit pink on the back of his neck. Me? I could put a lobster to shame. Wanna see? And no, it doesn't get any pretty decorations. It's not worthy.

It actually continued to get even redder into the next day, and I ended up with a few blisters. It hurt for a good 3 days, and it took me three weeks to stop peeling. Did I mention I was also wearing a low-cut (for me) shirt? Yeah, fried my chest as well.

But, despite the sunburn, we all had a great time, Luke in particular. How do I know? The exit for the Festival is about 8 miles from I-285, the road we take to go home. He was unconscious well before we got there! We are definitely looking forward to attending again next year.

Currently feeling: knightly

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vanishing tomatoes

To-MAY-toe, to-MAH-toe. Whatever you want to call them, they are no where to be found in this city. I don't remember having any trouble on Saturday. We ate at Artuzzi's, and they make their sauce fresh, I'm pretty sure. We had spaghetti and pizza with no trouble. Then came Sunday. We ate at Longhorn, and DH was denied his favorite cup of chili because they had no tomatoes, "due to the tomato recall." I'm sorry, the what? That was the first I heard of it. When we got dinner at Taco Bell, they had signs up everywhere saying "NO Tomatoes," and the cashier restated that and asked if that was okay before she would take our order. Signs were up in front of almost every fast food restaurant in town yesterday. It doesn't affect me much, for now. I don't care for raw tomatoes anyway. I don't want them on my burger, I don't want them in my salad, I don't even like salsa. But if it means that we can't get pizza going forward, I just might have to cry!

Currently feeling: hungry

Monday, June 09, 2008

Shoe Modeling

This post has two separate but related parts. First off, my husband had me in stitches the other night. Luke, like most children his age, has conceived of every *possible* stall tactic when getting ready for bed. His current favorite is taking forever to change from daytime clothing into pajamas. A couple of nights ago, Luke was once again going painfully slow, removing first one arm, then the other, from his shirt, and in true boy fashion, swinging it around over his head (something he has been told *repeatedly* not to do, I might add). All of this, of course, had been done to DH's constant refrain of "Luke, come on, get your clothes off and your pajamas on. Luke, hurry up, you're taking too long. Luke, if you don't hurry up and get changed, we won't have time to watch Superdog before bed." He finally starts on his shorts, and again, he is inching them off as slow as is humanly possible, totally exasperating my husband (it had been a long day). Said husband then mutters, "it's not like we're all standing around with dollar bills, let's go!"


It took it a moment to sink in, and even then, I couldn't believe that he'd said it. I nearly fell of the sofa laughing! That is *so* not something my husband would usually say, at all, to anyone. I am just dying laughing. So of course DH starts laughing, which makes Luke think he's being cute and funny. I continued to chuckle as Luke finished changing, which prompted DH to do some more muttering: "I bet I just made a blog entry." Yep, ya did, hon. Tee-hee-hee.

But it also reminded me of something he told me several weeks ago that has made me laugh every time the topic has come up on television. He listens to a couple of guys on a local sports-talk radio station, and being guys, apparently the topic of, ahem, "gentlemen's clubs" comes up on occasion. So how do you delicately refer to these girls and their profession on the air without being fined? You call it something else: shoe modeling. I don't know why that struck me funny, but it really did, and every time it has since come up on television (we watch a lot of cop shows (I originally typed shoes instead of shows; was that Freudian?)), I've just had to smile and laugh. I still think it's pretty clever. Maybe I'm just easily amused.

Currently feeling: too funny!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Hat, The Whip, and The Bricks

I have mine! Do you have yours?

Currently feeling: adventerous!