Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's get physical, physical...

(I know there is no way on God's green earth that you could possibly read that title without Olivia Newton John's voice popping into your head. And if you are like me, you just might have that song stuck in your pretty little head the rest of the night.)

It's time for a monthly treadmill update, basically just to inform you, my faithful readers, all SIX of you (really, my popularity is gaining, I do believe, hahaha), will hopefully keep me accountable in my pursuit of slimmer thighs and a tighter caboose.

(Drumroll, please...)
This month's total comes in at 62.3 miles walked on the treadmill. I pretty much averaged between 4-5 nights a week walking 3-5 miles a day, give or take some short stretches of time where I ever-so-briefly fell off the wagon, thankfully eventually finding my way back to the basement. I walk about an hour a night, give or take a few minutes, and currently I am up to a speed of 4.3 miles per hour.

I also thought it would be a good idea at the beginning of this endeavor to take some measurements of the lower extremities of what-God-gave-me, which led me to strip down to my skivvies tonight and remeasure, hoping and praying that the measurements went down. Now, of course, I am not stupid enough to post these measurements on here (who wants to do that?!), but I can, however, tell you the loss so far. If I measured correctly (which is a little blurry at this point, trying to remember how much exactly did I suck in my gut the first time to keep the numbers down) I think I lost a total of around 2" so far, 1" from my waist (at my bellybutton) and 1" from my gludious maximus. Regardless, I thought the measurements idea sounded a whole lot more rewarding than stepping on the scale because we all know that burning calories all-the-while strengthening muscles can sometimes lead to weight gain (from the muscle) or at least no weight loss in the first month or two, and man, that is just sad, to walk 62+ miles and see no change on the scale. Cruel, really. Now, I cannot lie, I have gotten on my bathroom scale a time or two, and if I were to guess, I think I have lost 2-3 pounds so far as well. But I am learning that my goal shouldn't necessarily be weight loss, especially since I am in the normal range for my height, albeit the most I have ever weighed in my life, because really what matters is getting rid of some of the junk-in-my-trunk and getting back to the slimmer thighs I once knew. My ghetto-booty? (And let me add, that is my own "pet name" for my butt, and not given to me by anyone else.) It is probably always going to be somewhat the same shape because that is what the good Lord gave me, but it does seem to be firming up as well.

Sorry if that was more info than any of you wanted to ever know about me, but, folks, I am just keepin' it real. And it's up to you, all six of you, haha, to tune in next month to see if I am still keepin' it real.

A quilt just for me!

I received this lovely little quilt in the mail this weekend from my Doll Quilt Swap III partner (the quilt I made went to a different partner -- you do not make and receive quilts for each other). "Upstate Lisa" could not have made a more perfect quilt for me -- I love the color combination (which is apparent since it is found all throughout my house), I love the wonky log-cabin squares (on my long long list of new quilt squares I would like to try), and I love the details on the quilting. See the cute flowers quilted in all of the corners? Even the back is cute in how it was pieced together! That's one thing I know I need to improve on -- making my quilt backs more fun.

I think this is going to be hung soon in my red kitchen...



Four Seasons Quilt Swap - Spring

Just in the nick of time -- my quilt is getting mailed out today, also going to a destination far, far away from Wonderland. This quilt is also somewhere around 20 or 21" square, made with fabrics from my local JoAnn store. The butterflies are supposed to look like they are either flying in a group, or I think it could also look like one butterfly making it's way up across the quilt. (Deep, I know. Which totally makes me think of "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handy -- remember those on Saturday Night Live, back in the day with SNL was actually funny and a little less crude?). The butterfly fabric is also a glittery cotton, which, unfortunately, you can't tell from the pictures. I quilted it trying to mimic the four-petaled modern looking flowers on some of the fabric, and I drew them on first with my trusty water-soluble blue pencil. But now I can't seem to get the blue lines out -- the water-soluble part doesn't seem to be disappearing with water -- ugh! I guess the bright side is that it barely makes the quilting look light blue, and since that is one of the colors in the quilt, well, I think it still looks okay. I hope my partner likes it!



Doll Quilt Swap III

It's time for the first of a few picture posts. Here is my quilt contribution to the Doll Quilt Swap III. It's already on it's way to it's destination, thanks to USPS, and let's just say it has a loooooooooooong way to travel from Wonderland to get there. I made it up as I went along (typical me) using up scraps I had from the identical three quilts I made out of the "Bohemian" line of fabric from Anna Maria Horner. And I couldn't help but add in the fun Indian princess in the corner just to keep things a little bit quirky. If I remember correctly, it is about 20 or 21" square. I hope my partner likes it! I wasn't given any preferences at all, so I just made one that I knew I would like to receive myself.



Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret...

(Anyone remember that book from growing up?)

What made me think of that title is this:

This morning at breakfast, my little man was pretending to talk on the phone while eating his blueberry pancakes. He ended his phone call with a hearty "MAY-MEN!" (Amen).

A good little lesson in the fact that God is here to talk to us whenever we may need Him, even if it is while we are supposed to be eating our blueberry pancakes...:)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

15 days.

Ooh, that's bad. Yep, it has been 15 whole days since I last posted. Oops.

To tell you the truth, it has been a busy 15 days though, so I at least have good excuses. There were many little birthday parties attended, and there was one big birthday bash to throw for my handsome little man, who is now the ripe old age of three. Whew.

So I figure I could make a list of what I have been doing the last 15 days via my favorite way to list, bullets!

*I spent all of my days as a full-time mama. (Yes, this is what I am always doing, but it deserves to be part of the list since it still takes up most of my time.)
*I made and sent out my doll quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap III.
*I received my AWESOME quilt for Doll Quilt Swap III (pictures to come tomorrow).
*I attended three birthday parties for three little boys turning three (including my son).
*I rode over 100 miles on my scooter -- go me!
*I did a little tickling of the ivories for the children's choir I accompany.
*I walked on the treadmill. (Nope, haven't fallen off the wagon yet.)
*I cooked dinner for my family several times, and anyone that knows me personally knows this is a very big accomplishment indeed.
*That having been said, I provided for my family by way of McDonald's several times, even though I have watched the movie "SuperSize Me" and should have learned from it.
*I learned a valuable lesson in buying a birthday cake from a bakery -- if they say it will feed 30-40 people, it probably will not, unless you want the pieces of cake to be perfectly sized for your Barbie dolls (um, not that I have any Barbie dolls -- my mom never bought me any as a child, but that is a story for another day...)
*I watched a cute movie, "I'm Reed Fish", via Netflix, mainly chosen for the actress in it, my beloved Gilmore Girl, Alexis Bledel.
*I successfully pulled off a Sesame Street themed birthday party for my son, complete with messy decoupage glued treasure boxes as the craft for 12 kiddos.
*I ate gelato twice, and you'd better believe I will definitely be eating more of it now that there is a gelato-establishment less than two miles from my house.
*I hung out with two of my dearest friends from college the whole weekend.
*I got a much needed spa pedicure.
*I voted for my favorite American Idol for the first time this season (go David Cook!), which totally made me feel like a teenager, pushing redial over and over on the phone until I got through. Totally.
*And, last but not least, I continued to wash out more little boy underwear full of poo, but at least I am coming to terms with it.

More picture-filled posts to come this week -- I at least wanted to let everyone (all three of you) know that I am still alive and kickin'...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Girls' Night Out

Hurray for grandma's that babysit (known around our house as Abuela). Hurray for up-and-coming musicians that stop to play at small-time venues. Hurray for girlfriends willing to leave their kiddos at home as well on a weeknight to enjoy a much-needed girls' night out.

Tonight I got to go with two of my best gal pals to see this lady live in concert:

(Feist -- "1-2-3-4")

Oh the thrill of it all!

Lest anyone out there in BlogLand think that my life is anything less than glamorous, let me tell you a little about my day so far.
Today I have:
*plunged two toilets
*hand-washed little boy underwear, previously filled with poo the size of Nebraska, in the bathroom sink
*scrubbed my poo-covered boy in the tub
*stripped a bed with poo
*done two loads of poo-laden laundry

It's official. I am over potty-training. So over it. I know that there is a glimmer of hope that my son will actually learn to go #2 on the potty sometime before he turns 18, but I am so ready to be there, at the end of the finish line. And never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would say the word "poo" so many times in a conversation.

Motherhood. Gotta love it.

Weekend recap.

*Ate California-style burgers, fries, and vanilla custard from our favorite burger joint (better than In-'N-Out, in my opinion).
*Took the boy to soccer where he was definitely not on his game. He didn't care to listen to his coach like the other kiddies, so my husband brought him home early as punishment.
*Attended a fun first birthday party for one of our favorite little guys.
*Took a long nap.
*Took the boy to see the movie "Nim's Island". No trip with my husband is ever simple, and this time was no exception. An older lady (early 70's, maybe) in front of us fell in the dark theater while trying to find her seat and dislocated her finger (looked horrific, I had to turn my head away) and scraped her leg up pretty badly. My husband, the hero, went to bat for her with the theater complex manager, got the insurance info from the theater, went with her after the movie (she wanted to sit through the movie before leaving) to the emergency room, and sat with her until she was admitted (because her loser friend left her there by herself, seriously). I jokingly refer to him as St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the animals, because he loves to take care of anyone and anything -- and no, I'm not Catholic, I think that is the only saint I could name.
*Went to church -- the boy apparently acted up in Sunday School (never good news), but his teacher reassured us that he is almost three, after all. Ugh.
*Took another giant nap.
*Watched "Spiderman 3" from Netflix. Somehow I missed that last one in the theater, and I tell you, I really liked it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Seriously cute.

Okay, I just watched this on my friend, Angel's blog (Faith's Journey), so I had to steal it and post it on here. Sorry for all the YouTube love lately, but this is pretty cute!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

For my Doll Quilt 3 Swap partner

A little birdie told me I needed to post some of my likes/dislikes, favorite colors/color combos, etc. for the fabulous gal (whomever she might be!) making my quilt.

Really, I think I am pretty easy to please as far as no matter what you make, I will like it. It's just exciting to me to get something fun in the mail, something that someone took the time and effort to make specifically for me, and arriving from some far-off, exotic place, be it Hickville, USA or a foreign country!

Right now I love the colors red and robin egg blue together, but I also love orange, I love yellow, I love spring green, and I even love pink! (Well, maybe not all of those together...) As far as styles, I am big into anything vintage-looking. The vintage love extends into my whole being -- I love big band music, I love older cars, I have a scooter, I wear funky glasses, I love the more vintage-looking clothes and home decor from Anthropologie, etc., etc. I also like traditional, applique, and even some of the more modern, funky art styles of quilts.

Um, yeah, reading back over this I realize that is still a pretty broad range of things I like, but hopefully it will give you some insight.

Boundless energy

Warning: this video will wear you out just watching the poor chap who had the part of jumping to the rhythm for that long.

("Happiness" by Goldfrapp)


I just watched a couple of clips via Yahoo News from a recently aired 60 Minutes segment. The story was about a 28-year-old man named Derek Paravicini, a blind, severely handicapped man who miraculously is also a musical genius. He can play the piano quite brilliantly, and he is even like a human iPod, remembering every song he has ever heard. In the 60 Minutes interview, the reporter asks him to try doing several different things musically, which are impossible for even professional pianists like me to accomplish, none of which seem to be the least bit difficult for him. The guy can't count to ten or dress himself or even go to the bathroom by himself and is likened to a 2 to 3-year-old child, but he pretty much might be one of the most amazing pianists I've ever seen.

I don't know how to link to the videos on Yahoo news, so check them out if you get a chance. I did find this one on YouTube from a couple of years ago that is not the exact same segment, but I'm sure after even just watching a few seconds, you'll be able to see his amazing abilities for yourself.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Will wonders never cease.

I turned on "Idol Gives Back" and caught the last thirty minutes thinking they would announce the contestant eliminated this week, but then remembering that they are nicer than that and don't eliminate anyone on the same night they are asking for donations. Anyway, I was about to turn it off at the very end, when Ryan Seacrest said something about "let's welcome back our Idol contestants to sing 'Shout to the Lord'".


I almost fell off the couch. With all the big deal that society makes about not mixing church and state, about not pushing any religious beliefs on anybody else, you know, all of that, they, and I mean they as in "the American Idol Corporation", INTENTIONALLY PICKED THE SONG "SHOUT TO THE LORD". With lyrics that are very much straightforward about Jesus and about how we all should shout to the Lord, all the earth hear us sing, power and majesty praise to the King, etc., etc.

I just about started crying. Hallelujah. It was beautiful to hear them lift their voices to the Almighty, regardless of whether or not all of them believe in Him or not. I am DEFINITELY going to be buying that one on iTunes tomorrow.

What a beautiful surprise. A brief moment to see Hollywood actually embracing Jesus, even if just for a few minutes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Things on my plate

I've been up to a lot. I got a weird bug in me Sunday and started cleaning out my closet (gasp)! And when I say I cleaned out my closet I really mean that I took four entire hours and devoted myself to getting rid of over half of my clothes and shoes, bagging it all up, and hanging everything else back up nicely. Whew. It feels good to be purged of all of that stuff!

Of course, like a good girl, I did some walking on the treadmill, too. My good friend, the pesky robin, came to visit me at the window while I was on the treadmill, and tap-tap-tapped his little beak at the window for me, to give me some good walking rhythms I'm sure. Seriously, that bird...

While on the treadmill, I noticed another couple of interesting Gilmore Girls things that don't add up. In one conversation Richard and Emily Gilmore both refer to Richard's mother as in the past, using the word "was" to describe her as if she has already passed away. Am I remembering correctly that she does in fact appear in some episodes in later seasons, coming over for visits from London? And Kirk makes yet another "non-Kirk" appearance as a delivery guy bringing the swans to the Independence Inn for a wedding.
We also got a LOT of rain recently. Stormy nights mean one thing for certain in this household -- it will be a "five-dog-night". Aren't they just a little bit cute?

And I finally got the courage up to add the first set of borders to my Spring Fling Round Robin quilt square, mailed to me by Kari Day in Texas. It ended up being a lot more traditional and "safe" than I had originally dreamed up, but I thought her quilt square was bright enough and detailed enough on it's own and surely didn't need super-busy borders to be piled up on top of it. Off it goes to it's next partner tomorrow...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Kirk's origins

So I was walking on the treadmill again today (yay, me!), watching Episode #2 of Gilmore Girls, and up on the screen pops Kirk, standing on Lorelai's porch. What Gilmore Girls fan doesn't love Kirk? Well, I was shocked when he introduced himself as "Mick", and he asked Lorelai if this was her residence. What?! Yep, it looks like Kirk started out as an extra on Gilmore Girls as a technician hired by Emily to try to install a DSL line in Lorelai's house (she turned him down). I kept thinking to myself, how did I not notice this before? Well, of course, I didn't notice it the first time because I wouldn't have known who Kirk was at that point, so I am going to be interested to see at what point Kirk becomes Kirk in the series.

Sorry if you are bored by any of this Gilmore Girls trivia, but get used to it. I plan on going all the way back through the series while I walk my hiney off on the treadmill, and I'm sure there will be much more to come.

Across the Universe

Man. Jim Sturgess is a force to be reckoned with. You may not recognize his name if you have not yet seen "Across the Universe". It arrived this week in a Netflix envelope, and I am so glad I decided to try it out. I'm usually not a fan of PG-13 movies anymore -- I know, I know, I am really making myself sound like a granny here -- but it is really because they have gotten so much worse and in my mind usually should be rated R instead. It's definitely not a movie for "little eyes" though, so make sure you watch this one after they've nodded off to dreamland. I was very skeptical about watching it -- just the night before I had tried to watch the movie "Once". It had gotten rave reviews for its music and storyline, but I just could not get past the first few minutes and how many times the F-bomb was dropped in a single conversation. This one does have some drugs, sexuality, and nudity, but man, it is a fantastic flick. I'm also not a fan of anything with the whole late 1960's/70's hippie vibe/Vietnam War thing, but again, I really enjoyed this movie. I am amazed at all the work and thought and creativity that went into this movie, and it is incredibly clever how a storyline is woven around these Beatles' tunes. And Jim Sturgess? Incredible singer. Even if you are not a fan of musicals, you might be pleasantly surprised by this one.

Noggin Love

Okay, be truthful. Anyone out there seen this video on Noggin? I must admit, the first time I saw it I thought it was a bit bizarre, but it has grown on me. I kinda like it. (And yes, where I live, "kinda" is a word.) But I am still left wondering, are they for real? Anyone out there know anything about the Trachtenburg Family? He's got kind of a Rick Moranis look going on...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Living vicariously through our child

Finally, pictures as promised!

This is the construction going on in our son's room. Our goal is to have it finished by the end of next month (when he turns 3). I am so very proud of my husband for building this -- he doesn't have much previous woodworking experience to speak of, and this is a mighty big project to tackle, especially since there are no plans and it basically has been built from scratch out of our heads. We did have a friend help us at the beginning, but my husband has done most of the work all on his own. A couple of years ago I had found a picture of something similar in an issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine, and ever since I have been dreaming of having something like this built for our house. Of course, after months of trying to find already drawn-up plans (which don't exist), of getting some quotes from the professionals ($7,000 and above, yipes!), and of bugging my husband about it, haha, we got it started last fall. Unfortunately this means that our son has had to pretty much live in a messy room for months, but by doing it ourselves (I say "we", but it really has been my husband's doing and my, er, guidance) it has saved us a lot of money. Plus, the beauty of wood putty and paint is that it hides a whole lot of things. :)

It is basically supposed to look like the sleeping cars on trains from the back in the day (1930's, '40's, etc.). We will be adding curtain rods to the inside of the archways with curtains that can be drawn for privacy. The headboard on the bottom has a lid on the top to open up and store stuff inside, and it has it's own electrical outlet and switch to turn the light on and off. There will be one or two built in storage drawers in that bottom opening, and there will be two bookcases at the end going up to the ceiling, with a ladder built in between to access the top bunk. The shelf you see going around the room and through the top bunk is for a train that will be chug-chugging it's way around the room and through the bed. And the entire bed and shelves will be painted white. Also, pay no attention to the walls, ceiling or window treatment. We will be repainting in there after it is completed, and I will also be sewing a new Roman shade for the window.

Seriously, I would have loved loved loved to have a room like this as a kid. Heck, I'd love to sleep in there now! It's really neat to lay inside his bed -- it feels all cozy and private like a little cave, and with the built-in reading light, he is set. Our hope is that when it is all said and done, it looks like it could have been built original to the house. Our house was built in the 1930's, and is kind of a Gingerbread brick cottage-style house. And let me tell you, it is PERMANENT. If someone ever bought our house that didn't like it, they would have to pay a professional to rip it all out. But I personally think that if we ever had to move, any prospective buyers would hopefully fall in love with it, and it doesn't hurt that it makes the room feel bigger as well.

So, what do you think? (And yes, I promise to post more pictures as more progress is made.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Keepin' it real...

Ah, another day in the oh-so-glamorous life of me. (cough, cough)

After two horribly unsuccessful months of absolutely ZERO miles walked per day, I finally got my hiney back on the treadmill this afternoon. In January I logged 63 miles on that thing. What can I say? When I fall off the wagon, I FALL OFF the wagon. Can I morph into the Incredible Shrinking Woman (anyone remember that movie from back in the day?) and lose a few inches over the next month or two? We shall see...

If only I could stop eating chocolate everyday and snacking so much, but right now I will work on coaxing one monkey off my back at a time. Thank goodness I've almost finished polishing off the rest of my son's Easter candy. (Oh, come on, don't act like you've never snuck candy from your kids, especially when they are too little to notice. I know, I am a big meanie, picking on someone smaller than me! Well, all that candy-stealing served me right because unfortunately now there is a little more junk in my trunk than there was a couple of months ago!)

And I started back on my journey by popping this into the DVD player while I walked:

Oh Rory and Lorelai, why did I ever go for even a few weeks without you in my life? Of course, starting this series over from scratch and just having watched the pilot episode is putting a whole new slew of questions in my head:
Does Lane have a dad? (She mentions her "parents" several times in the pilot episode, but I don't recall ever seeing a Mr. Kim on the show.)
Was there a different set used for the pilot? The kitchen at Lorelai's house is very unfamiliar in the pilot, with country-style green wallpaper up.
How old was Alexis Bledel when the series started? She looks so young!

And while I was on said treadmill, I made a new friend (note the sarcasm in my voice that you can't hear). Sure enough a new yellowjacket has come to visit. Yuck. I forget that along with the nicer warm spring weather, the bugs return. Ugh.

In this picture he is sitting on the head of the fake snowy owl (a Christmas decoration from Target that has found new life in the new basement windows trying to scare the robin away that keeps pecking at the windows ALL DAY LONG, a whole other story in and of itself, and unfortunately the robin only seems to enjoy the owl more and more and the pecking seems to be growing worse). Anyway, I was afraid to try and swat at this fellow, in fear that I would miss and really make him mad, causing him in turn to chase my son and I around the house, so for now, he can have the basement to himself. Ugh.

I did finish the quilt top yesterday, sewing all 80 blocks together into 10 rows. I like it! I think I will be adding some thick white borders (maybe 5 or 6" wide each) around it to make it big enough for a decent size lap quilt).

Last, but certainly not least, let's not forget where I have been spending most of my time lately:

My son has mastered the art of going #1 on the potty (hence the jar of Jelly Bellies on the toilet, his reward of one every time he goes #1 successfully), but we are waiting on pins and needles for #2 (hence the stack of wrapped presents, yes, I am not above bribery). I am REALLY TIRED of spending so much time in the bathroom. Also, you might have noticed the Disney storybook sitting on the throne as well. I have even stooped so low as to sit in there and read him a story or two in the hopes that he might go #2 while listening. I'll let you know how that works out...

And since I've been seeing so many "meme's" on the various blogs that I read, I am tagging myself with one of them (since I have no idea if I have enough readers to even tag me), here goes, 7 random things about myself:

1. I hate folding fitted sheets. I figured most people hate this as well. I even watched Martha do a demonstration on her show, but I couldn't replicate it, and it makes me hate the chore even more since I watched her do it so beautifully. Darn that Martha.

2. I always COMPLETELY rinse off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. (Remember that dishwashing commercial where they put a birthday cake in there and it rinsed completely clear? Yeah, I pretty much don't believe the soap manufacturers.)

3. It freaks me out to be stuck in traffic beneath an overpass. I do not want to end my days sandwiched between the asphalt and a big concrete bridge.

4. I can rap the entire theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and I'm not too proud to admit it.

5. I always order the same thing at Chick-Fil-A: a six-pack kid's meal with a lemonade and Polynesian sauce. It is a BAD DAY if they forget the Polynesian sauce.

6. When asked to play the piano for friends or family, oftentimes the first thing that pops in my head is the Muppet Show theme song. Thankfully I wait until something more impressive pops into my head before I start playing, considering I'm a professional pianist and all.

7. I have an iPod (super cute pink with a Coach case even) and don't use it. I'm still stuck in my "old school mix-tape" frame of mind and burn "mix CD"'s from my iTunes library and play those in the car. I know, I know, it's the same idea really, but I guess it's like trying to teach an old dog new tricks.