Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 2009 Round Up

Created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker.
Click mosaic to biggify, or see my February 2009 Project 365 Posts.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
None. I really need to read more. I don't know why I don't anymore.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
We started watching Dollhouse. It's interesting. Can't say that we love it, but I see the potential. We'll give it a while.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
We ate Japanese for Valentine's Day, but on Wednesday, Feb 12, to avoid the Saturday crowds. That's really about it.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
DH gave me chocolate for Valentine's Day, and Luke gave me a stuffed black dog (he got one, too). And we exchanged cards. I sent off a very belated baby gift to a friend, and finally got something from Christmas in the mail. And I shipped off all of Luke's too small summer clothes to someone I hope can use them.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Horrid month! Me running a fever for no reason the first few days, Luke ear infection, Luke fell and severely scraped his fingers, Luke and DH throwing up Valentine's Day morning, me coming down with whatever they had a few days later, though managing to get through it with only fever and nausea. Last ENT appointment that showed a "sucked in" ear drum, so we have to go back again. DH having stomach issues that had him volunteering to go to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, a heart murmur, and a knot on his thyroid. And Dad had his knee surgery. Can we be done for a while, please?

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
We took a family outing to the aquarium. And Ginny and I saw Cleopatra at The Fox Theatre for a "Mommies' Night Out."

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I had a vendor lunch on 3 out of 4 February Wednesdays this month. The first Wednesday was at a place I had already eaten. The other two were new. Horseradish grill is apparently Atlanta's oldest continuously operating restaurant. Very good, and not terribly expensive for lunch (don't know what the dinner menu looks like). Meatloaf, creamed corn (beyond excellent!), garlic green beans, mac & cheese (so so). They grow many of their own veggies in an organic garden in the "back yard," and the rest of the food comes from local organic farms. Decor was elegant casual, just my style. Blue Ridge Grill was pretty swanky, but very very yummy. I had the salmon with peas and mashed potatoes, and creme brulee for dessert. It was pretty expensive for lunch, IMO; lunch cost about what I would pay for a nice-ish dinner. I don't even want to guess what the dinner prices look like. But it was good!

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Purchased an entire new wardrobe for Luke, head to toe. Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, hats, sunglasses, and a haircut.

What were this month's disappointments?
Everyone being so sick, though better now than when we are at Disney next month. A very hot expedited project that was going so well ended up delayed by a week at the last minute. The announcement that the DOT will go ahead with one day furloughs per month for a while. Financially, we'll be fine. Just sad they have to do it at all, and I know that many others will struggle with a day less pay per month. Better that than being laid off, though.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Work went pretty well. Got a couple of project completed. And I think we bought everything we could possibly need for Disney, so all we have to do now is pack it. Let's see, a 101 update and a Project 365 update are due here. Wow, did I do any of my 101 List items? I don't think I did. Well, eating Japanese counts towards "36. Eat Japanese Hibachi once a year." And we're up to 75% complete on "49. Finish LEGO Star Wars on the Wii." But I don't think I actually completed anything. Bummer. Project 365 is still going well. I missed another day, but just one.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

I think most of those have been posted already, either here or on my Project 365 blog. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but at least I took them as promised.

Luke hasn't actually been up to very much this month. School is going okay; nothing to report really. His finger is healing nicely from where he fell and scraped it pretty badly. It will keep its scab for another week or two, I imagine, but I don't think it will be scarred as badly as I thought it might. And I noticed a week or so after the injury that it is the same finger that he had stitches in. At this rate, he might need it amputated before he's 18! (I hope I'm kidding.) He is still taking some pictures, but I think the novelty has largely worn off. Here is a sample of his work from this month.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
No, I think that pretty much covers it.

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: ready to be well next month!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 2009 Family Aquarium Outing

Photo heavy! Please be patient!

After a *lovely* Valentine's Day (note the dripping sarcasm), Luke and DH were both feeling much better, so we went ahead with our plans to visit the Georgia Aquarium with my parents (who did not spend Friday night at our house as originally planned; I'm so glad they are flexible and understanding!). Mom had been once with my aunt and cousin. Luke had also been once. DH and I had been twice, once with Luke and once by ourselves to see the Titanic Aquatic exhibit. My father had never been.

The entryway has these two walls with fish swimming by. It is hard to get a good picture of people with the fish because of the lighting conditions. A long enough exposure to let in enough light makes the fish blurry because they are moving. A short exposure to freeze the fish leaves your human subject in the dark. Use of a flash usually reflects off the glass, ruining the shot of the fish. I think this one turned out okay. Took a little tweaking in Picasa, but it'll do.

The main atrium has decorative lighting effects on the wall screens and the floor lighting effects. Again, not the clearest shot due to the long exposure and the lack of willingness of the subject to hold still, but not bad.

He petted the stingrays, much less hesitant about it this time than last.

And we checked out the tanks with the turtle. And this lobster was just fascinated with me! I was using the 2-second timer so that pushing the button to take the picture would not cause camera shake. The timer includes a blinking orange light. This lobster started on the far side of the tank. Every time I took a photo, with the flashing light, it moved closer. When the flashing stopped, he stopped. It was so weird! It finally got right up to the glass, but none of those shots turned out. It was large, too, with those long barbs sticking out right and left over 2 feet from tip to tip. Kind-of freaky watching it come so close to the glass.

Then we discovered the alligator tank. These were about 4-footers. I forget how old the person said they were. Luke has been fascinated with reptiles (joy) ever since we took him to the zoo in Arkansas. He didn't mind looking at them, but when we asked him to stand right next to the glass to have his picture made, he wasn't too sure about that, especially when they came right up to the glass after that. "The better to see you with, my dear!" LOL

I was really excited to take him to see the penguins and the otters again, but neither of those panned out like I thought. The penguin exhibit is closed until like 2010, and the otters.... well, they weren't very exciting this visit. It did give me a chance to notice more about their enclosure, though, which is really well decorated in a Tibetan theme.

Mom got the money shot of the Beluga whales with her brand new camera. As in, "we gave it to her that morning" kind of brand new.

And of course, we all took a crack at good whale shark photos:

Mom and Dad both got great jellyfish shots:

And I got a little distracted by a 3-foot model (understandable to anyone who knows me):

We didn't stay too long. Luke doesn't have much patience for these sorts of things, and he was already tired from being sick the previous day. Still, I think we all had a good time.

Currently feeling: fishy

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The clothes make the (little) man

At least they'd better! With the exception of socks, which I hope to pick up tomorrow, I have now *completely* re-outfitted the child from head to toe over the course of the last month. T-shirts, shorts, jeans (4 of the previous 8 now have holes, with 2 more getting close), shoes, undies, and pajamas, and as mentioned, socks to come shortly (the last ones I got him at the end of last year are actually too big and have not shrunk as much as I expected). He also has multiple pairs of new sunglasses (thanks to Nana, who may be addicted to them) and a new hat to go with his existing two (he's outgrown his Nemo hat, sniff sniff).

BTW, OshKosh B'gosh is now my new favorite store. They seem to understand that not everyone likes scary skater clothes for their 4 year old boy. And yes, they had everything we bought at 40-50% off at the Tanger Outlet Mall, otherwise we would not have been able to afford to shop there.

So, bring on Disney! We're ready. Two weeks from right now (11:32 PM on Saturday, 2/21), we should be collapsed in our room for our first night's hotel stay after a half-day at the Studios (so hard not to call it MGM anymore), hopefully sleeping and preparing for our first full day at The Magic Kingdom. I can't wait!

Currently feeling: very excited!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 2009: A Month of Illness

I am so tired of February already. Thank goodness it is a short month. I'm not sure how much more I can take. I now seem to have whatever DH and Luke had last weekend. Fever of 100.1 (with required shivering) and nausea that comes and goes. I was tired when I woke up, I took a short nap instead of eating lunch (not hungry anyway), and I'm getting more tired as the evening progresses. I'll probably go to bed when Luke does in about 20 minutes.

I also spent a good chunk of the day trying not to worry about DH. He's been having some stomach issues for nearly a week now. This man has "white coat syndrome" big time! Doctors, hospitals, and especially needles all terrify him. So when he said to me Monday night that he was going to call and make an appointment to see a doctor, with absolutely no prompting from me, I just about freaked out (though I think I hid it pretty well, covering with a nice "I think that's probably a good idea"). His appointment was today at Noon.

Apparently, they were not having a good day at the office. He waited nearly an hour to be taken to a room and have his vitals taken, and that doesn't count the 30 minutes early that he arrived to fill out paperwork. So at 1 PM, the doctor comes in and apologizes profusely that this is not normal for them. He does a full and complete physical, and they discuss DH's symptoms. He also ends up with a urine test, drawn blood, an EKG, X-rays of his chest and abdomen, and an ultrasound on his heart and thyroid. He has now been diagnosed with congestion (duh, we knew that), fluid behind his ear drum (most likely from the congestion), a knot on his thyroid (detected by feel), a heart murmur (first we've heard about it!), and a hiatal hernia (causing the symptoms that sent him there in the first place). The heart murmur was the biggest shock, since he always had to get a physical to play sports in high school, and no one ever mentioned it. What, he turns 32 and falls apart? Sheesh! He was there from 11:30-3:30.

The congestion isn't bad enough to require anything more than OTC meds if DH feels he needs them, so unless he gets an ear infection with the fluid, there's nothing to do there. The thyroid and heart murmur will just be monitored to make sure there are no changes going forward. The hiatal hernia is being treated with prescription meds and time, for now. He has a follow up in 4 weeks. It was supposed to be a 3 week follow up, but we'll be in Florida, and the doctor had no problem with us proceeding with the trip as long as DH does not start experiencing abdominal pain between now and then. Guess it's a good thing we're taking a nurse with us who has worked in gastroenterology for nearly 20 years! (That would be my mom.)

Is it March yet? February has not exactly been the best month for us. Now, given the choice, I'd rather do all of this now than when we are at Disney, but my goodness! Will it ever end?

Currently feeling: ready to move on to March

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The networks are trying to kill me

(Aquarium photos coming, I promise!)

Back in September, I was rather boggled by the thought that a 2-tuner DVR was not sufficient to capture all of our television watching on Monday nights. We had a conflict at 8 PM with Chuck, Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Dancing With the Stars. Recently, they moved House to Monday nights at 8 instead of Sarah Connor, so the dilemma did not change, it just got worse (we like House better than Sarah), but until Dancing with the Stars resumes, we can still catch Chuck and House on Mondays at 8.

That luxury will end on March 9, with the return of DWTS, and there will once again be a conflict. And I hate to say it, but I think we will most likely pick Chuck over House, especially since it has been a little boring lately. We also have three shows at 9 PM when DWTS resumes, but one of them (The Closer on TNT) replays at Midnight, so we can catch it then instead. But wait, there's more! The one and only sit-com we watch, Rules of Engagement, is also about to resume. Guess when? MONDAYS! At 9:30 PM, I believe. *And,* they are now adding a 10 PM show that I want to see, also on - you guessed it - Mondays! The one good thing I can say for this new show (Castle, starring Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame) is that it is also on ABC, so there is no chance that DWTS can conflict with it.

So, to recap, we have:
* 3 shows Mondays at 8 PM - DWTS, Chuck, and House (House will lose that fight)
* 4 shows Mondays at 9 PM - DWTS, Heroes, Rules of Engagement (which will lose that fight, which makes me very sad) and The Closer (which we can catch on the rerun at Midnight)
* 2 shows Mondays at 10 PM - Castle and CSI: Miami (which I can catch OnDemand, if need be)

Heaven help us if any of those shows ever have a special 2-hour episode! We will be totally hosed. Can the networks please get it together and spread these out some? Tuesdays and Wednesdays are somewhat busy (especially when Mythbusters resumes), but Thursdays and Fridays are mostly open. Saturdays and Sundays are completely empty! Or can someone please invent a 10-tuner DVR? It would make this avid television watcher much happier. Thank you.

Currently feeling: stuck in a mess

Monday, February 16, 2009

Better rest of the weekend

Thanks for all of the sympathy. DH and Luke were fine by Sunday morning, so we went on to the aquarium with my parents (who spent Saturday night in a hotel room, just in case). Pictures to come. Just wanted you to know that everyone is fine, and other than Saturday morning, there have been no further issues.

Currently feeling: so glad that's over!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Vomit Valentine


Well, I sure hope your Valentine's Day is going better than mine. Mine certainly hasn't been much fun, though it most certainly could have been worse. Luke got up and came to get us so he could go to the potty around 2:20 AM last night/this morning. DH got up to handle it, so I went back to sleep. The next thing I know, I hear DH retching in our bathroom. Apparently, Luke then threw up while he was sitting on the potty. That was right in front of DH, who doesn't handle vomit well. DH had already been feeling queasy earlier in the day, and apparently watching Luke puke and then trying to clean it up was too much for DH's stomach to handle. At least DH made it to the toilet, so nothing to clean there. Luke then spent the next 4 hours coming into our room every 20-30 minutes, saying he was scared or there was something wrong with his bed, so no one got any sleep. I suspected at the time that he was not finished throwing up, and I was proved correct around 6. DH handled changing the child (most of the mess was on the bed itself) while I changed the bed. Luke zonked out about 10 minutes later, fast asleep, so it was probably a still-wobbly tummy that kept him from sleeping. Neither of them have thrown up since, and I feel fine, so I hope we're all done. Happy Valentine's Day to me. Sheesh!

Currently feeling: bleck!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

But why?

We have entered the why phase. We may not survive.

Currently feeling: resigned

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Always be aware

I did something incredibly stupid last night. I lost track of my surroundings and forgot where I was. I went to see a movie at The Fox Theatre, right on the border between "Midtown" and "downtown" Atlanta. I took MARTA (public transportation system) in to the train station next door by myself, and I was fine. I wandered around the blocks nearby while waiting for my friend to arrive, and I was fine. We left the theater a bit after 10 PM, and we were fine. I took a few pictures outside while we were waiting for our ride to arrive, and we were fine. Then I got distracted trying to get a particular shot, and very suddenly, things were not fine.

Up to that point, I'd been doing well. There were people coming out of the side doors where we were. There were plenty of people on the sidewalk very nearby. I was aware of all of that, and I felt perfectly safe. So I looked up and started working on a good shot of the arches overhead. I couldn't get the camera still enough (and flash ruined the effect), so I tried to vary my pose, position, and grip, trying to get a clear shot. It took longer than I thought, and when I looked back at eye level on the street, there was no one around except my friend and me, and two people approaching us asking for money.

Now these two people in particular did not set off my alarm bells. I was annoyed with them and mad at myself for being in that situation, but that's it. I did not sense any real danger with those two particular individuals. But it did smack me upside the head that I had lost track of where I was and what was going on around me, and *that* scared me. I don't mind walking some of the main areas of downtown at night, as long as I am not alone. But when I do it, I need to be focused and aware of who and what is around me, both potential dangers and potential safe havens if needed. I lost sight of that last night, and that was stupid! Our ride arrived just as we were letting them know we had no money, so it all worked out okay. But, it put the two of us in potential danger for absolutely no good reason. Stupid, stupid, stupid!! I'm still rather rattled by it this morning, as well I should be. It isn't even the actual event that scared me, just my lapse in judgement and awareness. We all need reminders now and again of how and why to be safe. Please let my scare serve as yours.

Currently feeling: stupid!

Friday, February 06, 2009

There is nothing left

That's it, I am through. I have nothing left. None, zero, nada. I am officially, totally, and completely out! Out of patience, out of understanding, out of good will, out of good humor, and out of endurance. I am also fresh out of both laughter and tears. The well is dry, I am staring at the end of the rope, and that light at the end of the tunnel is actually the train has already run over me more than once. This week has chewed me up and spit me out. Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

I know it could be worse. (Hear that, Fate, The Universe, God, Karma, FSM, whatever you want to call it?! I know it could be worse! Please do not insist on proving it to me.) It is all small to medium stuff. Work projects crashing, discovering project errors very late in the game, "the help" not being very helpful in more than one location and throwing multi-million dollar projects in jeopardy. Making several trips to various stores only for them to be out of whatever it was that I needed (size 8 boys underwear, baked potato soup, Mickey Mouse stickers, prescription medications.... I could go on). Finding out we owe 4-figures to the federal government and 3-figures to the state because we didn't fix my taxes when we found out they were taking out less than we thought (because we've gotten a huge refund the past several years and we hoped to break even) the same year that we went up a tax bracket. Severe colds, fevers, ear infections, nasty antibiotics to force-feed the child, PMS, my annual doctor visit (everything is fine, but they're just never fun, especially when the high temp for the day is not above freezing). And last but not least, injuries that would not have occurred at 4:45 PM this afternoon had I actually left work at 4:15 like I planned. But no! I got stuck on the phone fixing someone else's mistake, so we didn't leave until 4:40, arriving just before 5 PM.

I GIVE UP! I am taking my ball and going home. Wake me up when it is next week, because I am *more* than done with this week. (Heck, I was done with this week on Tuesday, but apparently it was not done with me.) I can only hope and pray next week is better. I don't know how much more of this I can take. I will now go and meditate on the 101 Things that Make Me Happy and hope it helps.

Currently feeling: squished by life

Little Drummer Boy

I think he just earned himself a set of Guitar Hero drums, what do you think?

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Currently feeling: ba-DUM-bum

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I see your knee

Um, son, that look went out in the 90s! This is his second pair of jeans to come home with a hole in the knee this week. I noticed this weekend when folding his jeans that they are all starting to look worn in the knees. I can't say that I'm all that upset, though, considering he is about to outgrow them! I was just hoping they would last another few weeks so I wouldn't have to buy him summer clothes (for Disney) *and* replace his jeans all in one shot.

Currently feeling: holey

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

That does help a little

Thanks for all the hugs yesterday. I was just so stressed and so overwhelmed. Looking back today, it wasn't all that bad, just frustrating. It was really my coping mechanism that wasn't working (sick child and my own fever must have shorted it out). In the midst of it at the time, though, it was not fun at all. However, I saw my boss at a vendor lunch today, and she made it a point to come and tell me, in front of everyone I was sitting with, what a great job I did getting the catch-22 situation worked out yesterday. Made me feel good. Not only did I do a good job, but it got noticed. That's rarely a bad thing!

Currently feeling: yay me!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My job, my family, or my sanity?

So, my job, my family, and my sanity are in a bar fight. Which one do you think will lose? I'm getting beaten to a pulp at work. Spinning my wheels, sitting on conference calls where people ask *me* to fix things that are so far out of my jurisdiction that it's not even funny (but none of them are responsible, so I have to figure it out), trying to manage escalations to impossible dates, and finding out that I have a "circular argument" situation on one project (I can't finish until they do, and they can't finish until I do; who designed this?!) and having to figure out how to break the stalemate. Then at home, I have a husband with a severe cold, a son with an ear infection and a high fever (also home from school today, complicating work even more), and a fever of 99-99.5 for me that I seem to be running for no apparent reason other than to make sure that I am at my most tired and irritable to try and deal with work crap and home illness. Yay.

Currently feeling: like I'm going to crack

Monday, February 02, 2009

2009 Super Bowl Movie Trailer Review

As soon as the first commercial break of the Super Bowl appeared last night, DH pipes up with, "What? You aren't going to keep a running commentary on the movie commercials on your blog?" So, keep in mind, this was my husband's idea; if you don't like it, blame him! LOL Also keep in mind that I am running a low-grade fever, so forgive me if I seem a little cranky and blase. Hey, I just realized this is sort-of a mini summer preview. I should probably start working on that for my Movie Musings readers.

BTW, Luke is convinced that you score a "shutdown." DH is trying to decide if he is supposed to feel like a failure as a father.

* G.I. Joe - Not bad looking. I never really watched the cartoon. Some of the character names are familiar, but that's about it. DH watched *and* had the action figures. He says it looks like an interesting take on the premise. Anything with Ray Park gets our attention. I can't imagine that we won't see it.

* Angels and Demons - Hmm... didn't help you much at all with the plot, did it? Looks like more action than the last one, but replacing plot with action isn't necessarily a good thing (not necessarily a bad thing either). I've read both books (Angels and Demons comes *before* Da Vinci Code, BTW), and A&D was a much better book, IMO. Let's see how they do with the movie.

* Year One - "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

* Fast and Furious - So what does it say about the careers of these two men that they have had to return to the movies that launched their careers because they no longer have careers? What is this, #3 or #4 in the franchise? I'll admit, I haven't seen any of the films in the series, though I have always wanted to see the original. Perhaps it is time to remedy that.

* Land of the Lost - Well, I think Will Farrell is the right guy to take on that particular task. I am not generally a Will Farrell fan, and this looks to be pretty typical for his films, so probably not for me, unless it gets favorable recommendations from people who know me well. It looks pretty well done for this type of thing, though.

* Star Trek - My opinion of this movie has not changed much since the first trailer. It looks like a good movie, but it doesn't look like a Trek. Some would say that is a good thing, given the current state of the franchise (let's not discuss the last couple of movies, shall we?). But Trek has a certain feel to it, and I'm not sure this is it. I'm trying to reserve judgement, but I am also trying not to get my hopes up. Guess we'll see.

* Up - It's a Pixar, so we'll see it. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I don't quite see where they can go with it. Of course, I said that about Finding Nemo, too, and we see how poorly that movie did. (Note the dripping sarcasm.)

* Monsters vs. Aliens - Okay, this preview showed me exactly what I needed to know. I know that Dreamworks animated films tend to be more crude than I care for, but up until tonight, it looked like MvA might be okay. Tonight's 3-D commercial says not so much. If we're desperate for something to see, we might, but I doubt we'll get to that point, and it is even more doubtful we'll take Luke. Up is still the most likely candidate for that from what I've seen.

* Race to Witch Mountain - Okay, doesn't have a whole lot to do with the original film, as far as I can tell. That may well be a good thing. Escape to Witch Mountain is such a cult classic that trying to redo it close to the original would be a mistake. I definitely like Dwayne Johnson, so this is a maybe. Depends on how crowded the rest of our summer movie viewing schedule gets.

* Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen - Certainly not the most helpful commercial. Looks as expensive and loud as the first, with some bigger 'bots. That's about all I can say for sure. Still, we'll most likely see it, just cuz.

Sadly, of the non-movie commercials, NBC had the best ones themselves, usually the Heroes ones, although the "why are we speaking that way" Priceline commercial was pretty funny.

Currently feeling: ready for summer!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Sunday Indeed

Five years ago today, on another Super Bowl Sunday, our lives changed forever. Two little pink lines appeared, much to our delight. Five years later? We have this:

And five years later, knowing we have been entrusted with the life and well-being of another human is still just as wonderful and terrifying and amazing a feeling as it ever was.

Currently feeling: humbled