Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011 Round Up

Click mosaic to biggify. Created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
Went through a ton of catalogs, but I don't think that really counts. I've started reading my Boston touring book, but I haven't gotten very far.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
* TV Time: Tried Body of Proof; it was fine but we didn't love it, and we watch more than enough TV as it is, so we dropped it. Mythbusters returned, yay! Saw a great documentary on the 35th anniversary of Jaws, which prompted me to see the movie again for the first time in ages.
* New Films: The Tourist (blah), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (haven't seen it on stage; quite enjoyed it, especially Donny Osmond), The Importance of Being Earnest (quite good Oscar Wilde adaptation, though I prefer An Ideal Husband), The Sting (fun movie full of classic eye candy)
* Old Favorites: Tangled, WALL-E, Kung-Fu Panda, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Transformers, Jaws, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Chances Are, Reign of Fire, Gattaca, Goldfinger, Dr. No, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Reign of Fire, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Emperor's New Groove, An American Tail

What special days did I celebrate and how?
We were able to celebrate our niece N's birthday in North Carolina. Unfortunately, I had to miss my best friend's baby shower in Texas.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
Lots of clothes for the nieces, per SIL's request. Also managed to sneak in a couple of Star Wars toys and books to counteract the scads of princess stuff; we're evil like that! LOL Steve's aunt and uncle sent Luke an adorable little bunny and a coloring/activity book for Easter. We haven't seen them in at least 3 years. I think that was a hint! LOL

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
I'm coughing for no particular reason I can discern; not fun. Luke ran a fever for a day, but no other symptoms besides some fatigue. And I had a mole biopsied; should have results in early May.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
The birthday party, of course. Went shopping with my mom.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
BIL and SIL took us to Red Robin during our visit. I hear we have them here, but I've never seen one. It was pretty good. Probably a good thing there isn't one near by! I also tried two new recipes: Peanut Butter Truffle Pie (pretty good, but needs some tweaking) and Chicken and Rice Chowder (okay to good, just not what I had in mind in terms of flavor).

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
New summer clothes, since some from last year are missing (no idea what happened to them). Also new sneakers, since mine are well over a year old and were already not supportive enough when we went to Disney.

What were this month's disappointments or frustrations?
Luke dropping his toothbrush down the sink was also not fun (still haven't fixed it). I had a terribly frustrating week of cooking where I didn't have enough of something or I burned it or it didn't turn out right. Mostly my fault, but not totally. I also missed a weekly Luke picture for the first time since I made the commitment to do it. Previously, I might have missed it by a day or so, but I went nearly 2 weeks without a single photo of him this time. Must do better about that.

What were my accomplishments this month?
I've been very good about meal planning this month! Since spring break week, I have planned 3 consecutive weeks of meals and mostly stuck to it. Most days when we didn't make whatever was on the schedule, it was because we had enough leftovers that we didn't need to cook again. Only twice did we eat out instead of at home as planned (does not include times we planned to eat out, usually Wednesdays before soccer practice). I'm just so proud of myself!

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

Luke finally scored his first goal of the spring soccer season! Between games being rained out, and the ones that weren't were against really good teams, it took a little while, but he did a great job. I can't believe we only have 2 games left, and only 15 days of Kindergarten!

Speaking of which, Luke's reading is really coming along. He's started trying to read signs and billboards, which I consider excellent progress in both ability and interest. He also did his first ever algebra problem. Not bad for Kindergarten! He really loves the math star sheets they've been sending home, which makes me a very happy mommy. We *were* doing very well in the behavior department since spring break, until last week when he made it to the step *past* red (the teacher's desk) for the first time. That did not make us happy. I thought being on the teacher's desk meant you get a note or phone call home, but we've received nothing so far. As usual, his answer regarding what happened was "I don't remember," which frustrates me to no end.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Yes, I watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Such a beautiful couple, and a truly glorious wedding. I wish them all the best in their new life!

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: lovey dovey

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It makes me want to wag my tail....

"Here's the mail, it never fails,
It makes me want to wag my tail.
When it comes I want to wail
(YouTube link for those unfamiliar with Blue's Clues; first 10 seconds)

I've ordered several things online in the last few weeks, so we've had boxes and bags coming in a couple of times a week. "Why don't I ever get a package?" Luke whined one day. In preparation for our Boston trip later this summer, Papa decided to buy Luke a new hat, and he had it shipped directly to the house, addressed to Luke.

Isn't it cute? Luke will have to "live with it" for a while before he'll wear it without fussing. He's always been this way with hats and sunglasses (don't ask, I can't explain it). It will be much cooler than his black Jedi Mickey hat, though, so hopefully he'll wear it during vacation without much fuss. I'm sure it will help when Papa wears his that is just like it.

Currently feeling: covered

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - April 27, 2011

Currently feeling: surprised Cleo let Star get that close

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holy Moley

I had a mole biopsied today. Um, ow. The actual biopsy itself didn't hurt (well, not once she put the second dose of local in it), but it is right on the side/back of my left shoulder, so any time I move my arm, it tugs on the wound, making it sting. She took a chunk about 7-8mm across and 1mm deep. Doesn't sound too bad, and it's not really; could definitely be worse. We should have the results back on it next week. If it's fine or if the margins were clear, then I'm done. Otherwise, I'll go back and she'll take some more. Given the family history of suspicious moles, it could easily come back that more needs to be taken. Not something I would look forward to, but certainly better than possibly dying of skin cancer. No reason to fret about it yet, though, since it may not have to happen. none of my other moles looked suspicious to her, so as long as nothing changes, I should be fine.

She did use liquid nitrogen to freeze off a very tiny spot on my face, right on the apple of my left cheek. It's one of those "probably nothing, but might have the potential to become something, so if we go ahead and freeze it off now, then you never have to worry about it again" things. It stung a little, but that was it. Not bad at all. The itching afterwards as the skin thawed out again was the worst part, and even that subsided after 30-45 minutes.

Given my coloring, my family history, and the fact that I haven't been to the dermatologist in at least 15 years, I'd say one tiny spot and one funny looking mole isn't bad at all! Both my mom and my brother have had several spots taken off in the last few years, which is what finally prompted me to go. (If something had looked suspicious, I'd have gone before now.) I'll let you know the results on the biopsy next week. If you could think good thoughts for me, I'd appreciate it.

Currently feeling: a little owie

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring 2011 Soccer Portraits

These came in the mail this week. Not sure why they look like they were taken at night; it was overcast but definitely daylight that day. DH says he doesn't see much difference from the fall pictures, but I do. I've also posted the team picture. Total age gap from oldest (not Luke) to youngest is 9 months. This picture just makes me smile; it perfectly captures the team attitude! LOL

Coach C, J, O, S, M, D, and Luke

Currently feeling: sporty

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kindergarten Algebra

A few weeks ago, Luke's school started a Math Stars program. They send home an extra homework sheet once a week. You can read the question to your child, but you can't help them solve the problem in any way. Each problem is worth a certain number of stars. Not sure what happens at the end with the accumulated stars, but that's not really the point, especially since he thinks the sheets are easy and fun (his words).

This problem was rated as one of the hardest on this week's sheet. All we did was read it to him, and he understood intuitively what to do and how to do it. He did use his fingers to keep track of all three numbers, but I'm fine with that. Six years old, and my baby is doing algebra. Given his parentage, I guess it's not a surprise. ;-)

Currently feeling: super proud!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - April 20, 2011

Currently feeling: getting tired of daredevil kitty

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Build Team: A Conversation With Luke

High praise coming from a 6-year-old! While watching the intro to an "Adam and Jamie" myth on Mythbusters.

Luke: Mommy, look at that room. They made all that stuff?
Me: That's right, the Mythbusters made all of it.
Luke: That's even lots more than Phineas and Ferb!

Currently feeling: scientific

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Randomness

Sorry I've been so quiet. Just not much to say for the past couple of weeks. Here is a list of random things from the first half of April.

* We didn't have soccer the first 2 weekends in April due to spring break. The first game after the break was supposed to be this past Saturday, but it was rained out. Not sure if/when it will be made up.

* With Saturday suddenly free, I did some spring clothes shopping with my mom, which was nice. Got some new capris and shorts, since 3 pair from last year managed to wander off over the winter. Just need to purchase and start breaking in some new sneakers, and I'm all set for Boston!

* I'm finally back to meal planning again. I was doing well in January, not so well in February, and virtually not at all in March. I'm back on track with a second consecutive week and doing quite well.

* Tried two new recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Pie was pretty good but needs some tweaking. Used my stand mixer to make whipped cream in about 2 minutes. Wow! Chicken and Rice Chowder was also pretty good (it's by the same lady who posted the World's Best Spaghetti Sauce recipe). It was definitely what I had in mind, but the flavor was different from what I would like it to be (not bad, just different). The problem is that I don't cook enough to know how to tweak it.

* I've run across a couple of things that have made me smile lately, so I thought I would share. (If you follow me on Twitter, then you've already seen me link to them.) First is an older Savage Chickens cartoon. I was behind on reading them, but this one really made me laugh. Chaos Theory. That is *so* what Luke will be like in a few years! Second is a recent Walmart commercial. The site won't let me embed it, so go here and look for "Stuck."

* I've needed those smiles to counteract things like Luke dropping his toothbrush down the sink. He picked up the stopper to "let the water out faster," and the toothbrush fell in. It is way deeper than we can see. Will probably have to call a plumber and have the pipe underneath taken apart. Joy.

* Luke is really struggling with irregular past tense verbs lately. I know he's always done it, and it is perfectly understandable where the confusion is coming from. I think he's just telling a lot more stories in the past tense lately, so I'm noticing it more. [Note: they aren't studying these in school, the incorrect usage has just come up in conversation with him a lot recently.] Stupid English! LOL Examples:
- go/went, Luke says "goed"
- bring/brought, Luke says "bringed"
- break/broke, Luke says either "breaked" or "broked" (interesting)

* And finally, as of today, there are only 25 days of of Kindergarten left for Luke. So hard to believe I'll have a 1st grader in 5 weeks!

Currently feeling: trying to enjoy the quiet, because I know it won't last

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - April 13, 2011

Currently feeling: unsure whether to be proud or ticked

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Dream Come True

It's not even my dream, and it still brings happy tears to my eyes! In case you've wondered if life-long dreams ever really do come true, I offer proof:

That, my friends, is a photo of my parents at Augusta National, taken this past Saturday as they attended The Masters. That is *the* golf tournament of the year, and it is held right here in Georgia (Augusta, not Atlanta).

"This is a 50-year dream," says my dad. "I remember watching the Masters in black and white on CBS when Palmer won in 1960 and Player won in 1961." Tickets are next to impossible to come by. They are literally willed from one generation to the next and are rarely available to the public. [I stand corrected. Tickets can pass to a surviving spouse once (not again if that spouse remarries), but they cannot be willed otherwise. Not sure if that is a newer policy or if willing the tickets is urban legend.] The wait list is years (or decades) long and is frequently closed due to overwhelming demand, which is why everyone thought it may well have to remain nothing but a dream. Let's just say that there really are genuinely nice and generous people in the world, and I honestly think that my parents being genuinely nice people ("living right," as my dad likes to say) is what allowed this particular chain of events to unfold, leading straight to Augusta National. Proof that good things really do come to good people!

No cameras or cell phones are allowed inside, so this is the only picture, but in this case, it is not only worth 1000 words, it was worth 50 years of waiting.

Currently feeling: beyond thrilled for them!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Niece N's 3rd Birthday

We were thrilled to be able to celebrate niece N's birthday in North Carolina again this year. I still can't believe she's 3! We drove up Friday after work and stopped about 2/3 of the way there; it's just so hard to drive past midnight. We made it in plenty of time for the party the next morning, though, and we had an excellent visit!

Let's start with a couple of comparisons. Last year:

This year:

Yay for *happy* birthdays! How about this one? Last year:

This year:

Dramatic, don't you think? I mean, there's a whole new person (who will be a year old next month!). And M is just as cute and as sweet as she can be.

We talked and laughed and stayed up *way* too late! For the most part, everything went really well, though Luke may stop asking when he will be a brother for a while. (He's never asked for a sibling, he just wants to know when he gets to be a brother. Hmm, slight disconnect there!) N stuck to him like white on rice while we were there, to the point of frustration on his part a couple of times, but they played well together for the most part.

Sorry for the super-short recap; I'm just exhausted from the stress of last week, the late nights (totally worth it!), and the long drive (also worth it). I'll leave you with my favorite photo from the trip: Luke reading a book to everyone before bedtime.

Currently feeling: exhausted but happy!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Work Layoffs (no fooling)

I know today is April Fool's Day, but I'm certainly not laughing. Work is one of those things I try not to talk much about on my blog, but this definitely warrants a mention.

Half of my group was laid off yesterday. There were two "parts" to our group; one had 8 people (my piece) and one had 4. We lost 5 out of 8 on my part, and 1 of 4 from the other part, leaving us with 6 out of 12 overall. It was based on a change in work volume. We all knew it was coming sometime, and probably sooner rather than later, but we had no clue it would be yesterday. It hit me pretty hard, and I'm still reeling a bit. There's nothing to do but pick up and continue on (and polish the resume, just in case). I'm glad I still have a job, but I hate it for everyone who was let go. I worked with one guy for over 3 years, and I will miss him terribly.

Currently feeling: very sad