Saturday, May 31, 2008

Make it brief.

I'm just popping my head in to put up a short post. My husband just returned after a long week on a beach somewhere -- don't feel sorry for him, it was a company meeting, no spouses allowed (I know, what a bum deal for me, right?!) -- so we are going to spend the rest of the evening with him, and introduce our three-year-old to this...

This was always my favorite of all the Muppet movies. My favorite scene is Miss Piggy and Kermie riding their bikes through the park. Man, the Muppets were a huge part of my childhood. Remember the good old days, when the Muppet Show was on every Saturday night? I totally wish they still had quality family shows like that on. My family would get pizza (EVERY Saturday night was pizza night from as long as I can remember until I graduated and moved out of the house), and we would watch the Muppet Show, the Mandrell Sisters, and Solid Gold. And if I was good I got to stay up and watch The Love Boat. Whatever happened to quality TV programming and family shows on Saturday nights?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Around the house

If you were to wander around my house today, you would find...

some handquilting going on. This is my very first attempt ever at handquilting, and yipes, it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Those darn size 10 needles are so incredibly little to work with, and when you have ultra-sweaty hands like myself (I've actually been diagnosed with "hyperhydrosis", aka ultra-sweaty hands) it is just even that bit harder. I am, however, enjoying the relaxing rhythm of the needle going in and out, and I think my stitches are improving as I go. Putting a thimble on one finger helped a lot, so I think I might go to the store tomorrow to get another one for my other hand. I am very grateful to the ladies at the local quilt shop for showing me how to hand quilt when I dropped in a few weeks ago to buy a quilting hoop. They taught me how to do the stitches, how to tie a quilter's knot and how to hide the knot within the quilt, all in a matter of minutes.

In the living room you might find a few squirrely Italian greyhounds, sitting on the red velvet sofa that they really aren't supposed to be lounging on. They do it anyway, taking my commands as mere optional suggestions. Thank goodness that red velvet somehow stands the test of time with so many dogs hopping up and down off of it.

Around the corner you would find the phone nook! Because it is tucked into a little space off the hallway, it is next to near impossible to photograph, so this is the best I could get. I love the phone nook, even if it doesn't get used very much. So far I painted the inside wall that deep marine blue color. I purchased the red velvet drape from Target since the one I wanted at Pottery Barn was almost five times the cost, and then I sewed on a panel of paisley fabric at the bottom and made the holdback from the excess velvet fabric that had been cut off. I bought the chair at a little antiques store, and one of these days it will get a trip to the upholsterer to be restuffed and reupholstered in the same paisley fabric. I would also like to add some cool pictures in there, something vintage, but I have no idea what I will do yet.

If you were brave you could venture into the nursery where you would find this lampshade I recently purchased:

My grandmother had the exact same United States puzzle at her house, and I used to love shaking all the cardboard states out and reassembling it over and over. Now that my son is three, I guess I should probably stop calling it the nursery, but I still like the way it sounds.

And here is my breakfast nook -- I had to take a picture of it since it was so clean! Usually I tend to let things like mail, magazines, and my son's little kitchen toys pile up on the table, so it is rare that it is all picked up like this. The padded benches and corner seat are from Ballard Designs. I saved up my money and ordered it a few years back, and wouldn't you know, a mere few weeks after it arrived they came out with a slipcovered version! That would have been nice, to be able to take off the covers to wash them. At least we seat my son in his booster on one of the chairs for now, so that helps to keep the spills off the benches. Our dogs love the benches, claiming them as their own personal lounging sofas while I work in the kitchen. The "EAT" letters are from Anthropologie a long time ago, as are several of the smaller plates on the wall, two of which you can't see in the picture because they are on the right side of the framed elephant print. My mom and I made the window valance, inspired by an Anthropologie skirt I have with several layers of ruffles at the bottom. I ordered the chandelier online a few years back -- I love it because it has a sweet little bird perched on one of the metal branches (you might not be able to see him in the picture) and the whole thing looks like it is made out of twigs. The tablecloth was a bargain in the sale section at Anthropologie a few years ago, as were the seat cushions. See? I wasn't lying when I said I LOVE all things Anthropologie.

Y'all come back now, ya' hear?

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I just read this short little news blurb on the Yahoo! home page. It's mind-boggling for me to think that there are actually still tribes of people on this planet that have had no contact with the outside world.

"In this image made available Thursday May 29, 2008, from Survival International, showing 'uncontacted Indians' of the Envira, who have never before had any contact with the outside world, photographed during an overflight in May 2008, as they react to the overflight at their camp in the Terra Indigena Kampa e Isolados do Envira, Acre state, Brazil, close to the border with Peru."


That is the sweet, sweet sound I heard tonight coming from the bathroom.

Literally, a grand "yahoo", singing out across the tiled floors and down the hallway to my ears. You know those "easy buttons" from Staples? A friend recently gave my son a similar button, except this one is purple, has the "Yahoo!" logo on it, and as you might have already guessed, yodels out the famous "Ya-hoooo-ooh!". As a last ditch effort (seeing as the previously awarded poo prizes were really no incentive at all for our unimpressed little guy), we told him it was a special poo button, only to be pressed triumphantly when the poo had made it's way successfully into the toilet.

Folks, that poo button has sat on the top of the toilet for weeks now, just yearning to yodel good news to our aching ears. Sure, there have been "close calls", when the yodel has sounded because little hands couldn't bear to let it sit there silently, but not until tonight has the poo button been pushed for the right reasons, yodeling out the good news. Yes, tonight, my son finally made it to the potty.

Thank you for all of your support throughout this trying time (well, trying for me that is, as there wasn't a whole lot of trying happening on my son's end of things). Of course, now this leaves me with a different issue altogether -- if I can't post about poo anymore, what in the heck will I have to talk about?

Welcome to the zoo...

I actually have a wooden sign on my mantel that says that phrase in one font, with my last name in capital letters behind it in another font. My friend and I came upon a booth where you could have custom signs made, you know like where it might have your family name in the background and say something like "Established 1999" (or whatever year you were married) in the front. But really, the world was my oyster when it came to trying to pick out what I wanted my sign to say, and if you know me at all, I don't do so well when there are zillions of options. I'm much better with picking A, B or C, but not having to zero in on one choice out of a million. Needless to say I think I was about to drive the salesgirl batty with my inability to pick one of the handfuls of sayings they had already used as examples because, well, I tend to do things totally against the grain, so all of a sudden, I blurted out "Welcome to the zoo". Which ended up not only being perfectly appropriate for our quirky little household, but quite the popular sign once it was done and hanging up in their booth, waiting for me to come and pick it up.

Anyhoo, I'm sure you're all hanging on the edge of your seats, cough cough, wondering why in the heck I launched into that random story, huh? Well, today we went to the zoo with my friend, L, and her son. Here are some fun animal pictures:

The river otters have been a personal favorite of mine since I was a little girl, so I was thrilled that they were out and extremely active today. They were in the water wrestling most of the time, but they also were running and jumping loop-de-loops in and out of the water, which was amazing to watch.

This beautifully colored guy (or girl?) was proudly strutting around...

Jaguar=gorgeous. But this beautiful creature does pose a question in my mind: is the toss pillow on my red velvet sofa leopard print (like I have called it all along) or is a lot of that popular exotic decorating motif actually jaguar? Hmmm.

The producers of "Happy Feet" certainly got it right. When you see these little guys in person, they really do move just like in the movie (minus the tap-dancing, of course).

Glad he was at a safe distance (he might have thought the same of us, armed with my little vicious three-year-old)...

These two were a bit mad at being locked outside while their cave was being cleaned, so they took out their aggression on each other, you know, just like any other old married couple...

(Okay. This post has taken me over two hours to upload, due to Blogger having some issues with my photos apparently. Now, don't worry, I haven't sat here with my eyeballs glued that whole time to the computer, but really. Ugh. I meant to have this posted a little before now. Oh well.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Just arrived home from a little one-day roadtrip to hang out again with my sister-in-law and two nephews. We took the boys to a science museum where we chased them around for over two hours from exhibit to exhibit. My son's favorite part of the whole museum? The wall-mounted hand dryer in the water area -- nope, nothing scientific about it, it was just there to dry hands of kids after playing in the water tables. Seriously. That kid. He threw a royal fit when we had to leave the hand dryer.

So I am exhausted after getting up early, driving an hour and a half, chasing three little boys for another couple of hours, and driving an hour and a half back home, with a very awake little guy in the backseat, the same little guy who normally crashes the second I put him in his carseat and sleeps the whole way back. Nope, not today. But he was quiet as a mouse for the entire hour and a half, content to look out the window and enjoy the scenery, which I am terribly proud of. I don't think most three-year-old boys are that good with roadtrips minus some sort of DVD player.

I promise to return tomorrow with a much more exciting post. I've no idea what exciting thing might happen between now and then, but I've certainly got the right kid for giving me material to write about, and I'm sure he'll do something entertaining by then.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random Tuesday

That's what I am declaring today: Random Tuesday. Obviously I don't have a whole lot going on today that is post-worthy, so I will do my best to just round up a little bit o' randomness for your reading pleasure.

I just finished this book:

Heaven's to Betsy, that is some funny stuff. Haven Kimmel kept me in stitches the whole time I was reading. And really, it does fit in with our "Random Tuesday" theme since the stories are all a bit random, thrown together from her childhood. I highly recommend it both for summer reading material (I like my summer reading material to be light) and for some laugh-out-loud pick-me-ups for all of you mamas out there having the kiddos home all day every day. Don't you just love summer break?!

Then there are these three, always providing some real-life laughs for us here on the homefront:

(I figure most blog readers love seeing cute pet photos, right? That'll keep 'em coming back for more.) From left to right we have Romeo, Minnie Pearl, and Tex. They are Italian greyhounds -- for those of you that have never heard of this breed, they are smaller than whippets and basically look like greyhounds that got shrunk in the dryer. We love them to pieces, which is a darn good thing, especially when it comes to Minnie and Tex's inability to see the house as anything other than their own personal poo-poo palace, and Romeo with his fascination with the garbage. Enough said. Oh, and if I haven't mentioned it before, we do have two other dogs as well, bringing the total of four-legged friends up to five, outnumbering the humans in our household.

Hmm, I'm really fishing here for anything remotely post-worthy, people. How about a little talk about the weather? That's always a safe subject. Well, here in Wonderland, it has been hotter than Hades, with about 1000% humidity. So not cool. Come on, it is late May, and that is the type of weather one might expect in July or August, but not May. Ugh. And we've gotten lots and lots of rain. I remember a couple of months back the weatherman on TV was reading the Farmer's Almanac which predicted a "warm, dry spring". Man, did those farmers ever get it wrong. It has been storms and tornadoes and rain and tornadoes and storms and tornadoes. Did I mention tornadoes? Maybe I should change this blog from Alice in Wonderland to Dorothy in Oz.

Speaking of Dorothy in Oz, we are getting down to some slim pickens on our Netflix list, so I went out on a limb and got the first disc to this:

We tried to watch this with an open mind. Really, we did. We made it through Part One, but that was it. I guess it was a big Sci-Fi channel miniseries last year, and, although I am not normally a big sci-fi watcher, I thought the whole modern take on Oz could be cool. Especially since it had Zooey Deschanel in it, the girl responsible for my latest favorite CD:

And "Tin Man" could have been cool, if they'd had a bigger budget. But alas, it was too televisioney for me. (And yes, I did go to college and graduate with a degree, and yes, I do know that "televisioney" is not a word. Wanna make somethin' of it?)

Okay, I'll stop torturing you with my randomness. Tune in tomorrow for...well...another post.

Monday, May 26, 2008

More birthday loot.

Growing up, my mom would always arrange all of our birthday presents on the floor, stick us in the middle, and take a picture (she did this every Christmas as well). We called these the "loot" pictures. As a child I loved to thumb through the old family albums, and it was especially fun to look back and remember what all I got at Christmas and on my birthdays. It's a tradition I have started with my boy as well (not to mention it does aid in the thank-you note writing as well, when you can visually see what all he was given and remember whom it came from, which is the hard part, of course). I haven't continued the tradition for myself, but I still thought it would be fun to share some more fun birthday presents I received since the Nashville post.

From my husband and my son, I received an American Express gift card. ALWAYS the perfect can't-go-wrong gift. (Have I trained them well or what?!)

From my awesome friend, Lauren, I got these two fun things:

WOOHOO! Thanks to Lauren I now own the complete set of Gilmore Girls!!!
and these...

Lauren made those little clips herself. Aren't they cute?

From my mom I received a little cold hard cash (again, ALWAYS the perfect gift) and this...

Now I must tell you, I am not a Sex and the City girl. I've never seen an episode, but while thumbing through the channels with the remote, I have caught more-than-an-eyeful on many an occasion (boy, those producers really do love their nudity, don't they?), which was enough to turn me off to the whole series. But I cannot lie, I do love Sarah Jessica Parker's perfumes. I have worn "Lovely" for the past three years, and the last time I went in to buy another bottle, the store gave me a free sample of her newest fragrance, "Covet". I've been using that little free sample off and on for the last few months, so my mom bought me a bottle for my birthday (and the saleslady even through in a free bottle of lotion as well, wasn't that nice of her?!). Divine.

And last, but certainly not least, my beautiful boy found a piece of cardboard this morning, probably from the packaging of the new present my husband bought himself (but that's another story for another day). Ahem. Anyway, I asked my son if he wanted me to get him some markers to draw with on the piece of cardboard, thinking it would buy me some more time to get the kitchen cleaned.

Sweet little thing that he can sometimes be, he got hard to work, "writing" (or pretending to write) all over that piece of cardboard with his markers. When I asked him what he was writing, he heartily announced, "Haha Barebay, Mama!". ("Happy Birthday, Mama!")

How cute is that? He was making me a birthday card, all on his own! I'm afraid this present wins the prize on best ever. I proudly put it up on display on my shelves in the bedroom, and I know I will keep this little treasure the rest of my life. My first heartfelt birthday present from my sweet little man.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A little late in posting...

...but I finished this a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post about it.

The center square that was sent to me was one of the blocks that was a "replacement" for the quilts-in-progress that "disappeared" in the Spring Fling Round Robin. You can't tell from the picture, but the petals on the flower are all stuffed a little, making them puffy, and they are really cute. I was once again nervous with how to approach putting on a border, but I found a "ricrac border" tutorial online. The hardest part, of course, was figuring out the measurements to get it lined up just right. Sewing math can be tricky anyway, especially when it comes to adding in the seam allowances, but thankfully it worked out all right. This was by far the most intricate quilt piecing I have done, and I was quite proud of the final border! (I took a picture of the back so you could see all of the seams involved.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flick #2

This movie was totally worth the price of movie tickets plus a babysitter (for the second day in a row), at least if you grew up in the whole Stephen Spielberg era of movies like I did. Although it was a tad bittersweet for me today -- my dad was a huge Indiana Jones fan and would have loved to see this last one, I just know it. And with today being my birthday, and with it being just a little over 3 years since he passed away so quickly and unexpectedly, and with this weekend being Memorial Day and remembering those who have passed on before us, well, it was also a reminder of how I wish he could have been sitting in the seat next to me, cheering on Indy as well.


This is the face of 31.

Say it ain't so.

Please, ABC, please tell me that this week's announcement was just a joke, that you are not really canceling one of my favorite shows. Please tell me that you are not seriously considering keeping all the other smut shows instead, all the other crappy reality-TV wannabe shows, all the five zillion crime dramas to choose from, and all the other terrible shows that really shouldn't be considered "primetime" and shown on the air while it's not yet bedtime for millions of kiddos across the US. ABC, shame on you. This was not a good birthday present at all.

(Men in Trees)

Oh, and ABC, if in the future you should so choose to dump my other favorite, Pushing Daisies, as well, I will drop you like yesterday's garbage and boycott all of your shows. For reals. So don't even think about it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Flick #1

I convinced my husband that we needed a babysitter twice this weekend so he and I could steal away to the movie theater (my only big birthday request to him). So this afternoon we caught our first movie, and it was totally worth it. I'm usually a "Netflix girl", one who patiently waits until most movies come out on DVD (since it is now a small fortune to make it to a big screen if you're parents), but I make exceptions for the "blockbuster" movies, and we all know that summer is usually chock full of blockbusters. Man, our babysitter is going to have a good summer ahead...

Don't you just wish you were me.

Because if you were me, you would have gotten a package today from your postman (which traveled all the way from Down Under) with this lovely wrapped bit of fun inside...

which contained not only this terribly adorable custom-made tote bag with a scooter on it...

but also the absolute cutest Four Seasons Spring Quilt inside! (Which coincidentally was the one I had been downright coveting since I saw its picture posted on the flickr group.) I squealed with delight when I pulled it out of the tote bag and saw that it was MINE, MINE, MINE!

I mean, seriously, check out all the details -- I cannot imagine the hours upon hours that it took (at least it would take hours upon hours for little ole' me to do that detail work) to embroider all the way around every little flower, leaf, branch, and bird -- not to mention the hand quilting of both the quilt and the tote bag as well.

And how sweet was it for Louise to make the tote bag as well? Especially for this scooter-riding girl?!

I cannot even begin to tell you, Louise, how much I absolutely LOVE both of them! Even my husband can attest to the fact that I was screaming down our hallway to tell him that one of my favorite bloggers, lululollylegs, was the one who made them for me. That, in itself, was excitement enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And the icing on the cake? Tomorrow is my birthday, so the package arrived with perfect timing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sweet escape

My trip this week was PERFECTION. Absolutely fantastic. Packed to the brim with the most fun you could possibly stuff into less than 48 hours.

I flew to Nashville to hang with my good friend, C, from college, and my sister-in-law, M. A couple of months ago I saw that one of my favorite singers was coming to Nashville (nowhere near where I live, by the way) and asked my dear husband if I could buy tickets and go. Sweet thing that he is, he told me to get them before they sold out and he would watch our child for a few days so I could make a trip of it. I LOVE spontaneous trips like this! Anyway, I should have known, that a couple of days with C and M couldn't be anything less than fabulous.

Here's the low-down of what we crammed into less than 48 hours:

After my flight landed, C and I went back to her apartment and watched this movie before catching some zzz's...

Tuesday morning we got up and drove to meet M for this crazy tour of Nashville...

Oh. my. goodness. These two ladies, the "Jugg Sisters", were flat out hilarious. I have never laughed so hard in my life. For over an hour and a half, they drove us around in their flamingo pink schoolbus, pointing out a few sights and giving us the "dirt" on Nashville. Everything they said was totally off-color and offensive (not normally my cup of tea), but the way their comedy act was, you just couldn't help but die laughing. I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in Music City. (

After my stomach muscles finally relaxed from all that guffawing, we drove over and had the best burgers I've ever put in my mouth at Five Guys Burgers (, where I was presented with the most fabulous birthday presents (the big day is coming this weekend) -- an iTunes gift card from C (who knows me well and my love of "mix CDs") and a gift card (from M and the whole family) to this store...

Anyone who remotely knows me knows my extreme fascination, um, who am I kidding, let's just say it, OBSESSION, with all things Anthropologie. It is a darn good thing there is no Anthropologie here in Wonderland. And yes, it is a very sad fact that the gift card lasted for a mere 30 minutes in my hot little hands before I we scurried over a couple of blocks to spend it. But hey, at least I enjoyed spending it!

The fun surprise after Anthropologie (as if life could get any better) was a trip to get a box of...

...delicious gourmet cupcakes. We bought a half-dozen of various flavors -- wedding cake, birthday cake, Boston creme, Texas milk chocolate, apple spice, and darn it if I can't remember that sixth flavor. We tried a different one every few hours to make them last. De-lish!

Dinner was in East Nashville at a hip Mexican eatery called Rose Pepper. It was beautiful weather so we sat on their outdoor patio, and we especially enjoyed our appetizer of fried avocado slices.

Finally, the climax of the trip -- the concert!!! We drove downtown to this historic venue...

(the historic Ryman Auditorium, original home to the Grand Ole Opry)
to see this ultra-cool girl perform...

Let me just tell you, KT Tunstall puts on a pretty fine concert. Since it was really a tour of her second album, I was afraid she would play less of the first album (my favorite), but such was not the case and I was pleasantly surprised to hear ALL of my favorites. Not only is she a talented singer, but she is a true musician that can play instruments and write songs, a rarity in today's day and age.

And then yesterday, my last day in Nashville, we topped off the trip with a delicious breakfast of homemade Swedish pancakes made by M (who treats me like a queen every time I visit with this breakfast since she knows how much I love them) and then a quick trip to this new place...

(myself, M and C)
Gourmet popsicles! Who would've thought?! Mine was delicious -- blueberry chocolate chip, and both C and M got kiwi, which tasted just like frozen pureed kiwis. Yum. We swung by "Music Row" where all the music publishing houses and recording studios are, saluted to RCA/Victor (where Elvis recorded) and Word Records (where C did an internship), and then it was time for me to go to the airport.

Seriously, the trip couldn't have been more fun if we tried.

I'll leave you with videos of two of my favorite KT Tunstall songs...

While the cat's away...

...the mice will play.

Before I launch into a whole separate post to explain my absence, I must regale you with another thrilling tale about my wunderkind, my crazy and apparently very very curious just-turned-the-dreaded-three-years-old son.

To set the story up, you must know that I got on a plane Monday afternoon to go on a girls' only trip, leaving my son and my husband to their own devices for two and a half days. And you must know my personal theory about leaving my child with the husband for a couple of days: all is good if I get some much-needed free time and my child is still alive when I return home. Yep, we have a no questions asked policy, sort of a "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" type mentality. It would be foolish for me to think that my husband would dutifully continue the potty-training, the schedule, the routine, the healthy meals, etc., perfectly in my absence, so I don't even bother pushing it. I just leave, enjoy my time knowing all-the-while my child is getting in some good father-son quality time, however that may occur, haha, and however many McDonald's Happy Meals that may entail, haha, and then come home.

Throughout my absence, I called to check on them and was told two interesting things: first, that my son fell asleep at school on Tuesday. Yes, it was during naptime, so that is the normal part, but the abnormal fact is that my son never falls asleep anymore during naptime at school. (Clue #1 to Mommy: something is up.) Secondly, my husband called yesterday to tell me that during the night, he heard a noise, got up to investigate, and found our son in the kitchen with his shoes on (who knew he could put shoes on by himself?) opening the side door out to the driveway. Thank the good Lord above the chain latch was set, blocking him from any nighttime adventures, but it was a good reminder to my husband that he should have continued setting the house alarm at night in my absence. (Clue #2 to Mommy: something wicked this way comes.) When he told me the story on the phone, not only was I a little bit beside myself at the fact that my precious child could have apparently embarked on his "flight to Egypt" without us knowing, but it just hammered in the idea that the teachers at school had also passed on to me: I have a very curious child.

Fast forward to this morning. After arriving home last night and passing out in my own bed, I woke up, walked down the hallway to shower some morning kisses on my beautiful boy and noticed before I opened his door that the lights were on in his bedroom. I opened the door to find my son lying across a partially made bed looking like a passed out drunken sailor, face-down across the top of the bed, shoes and socks on his feet (he chose some handsome dress shoes usually only worn to church and zipped them up on the opposite feet), every single light on in the room due to his recent ability to finally reach the lightswitches while on tiptoe (ceiling light, bed light inside his sleeping car-style bed, and closet light), books and book jackets strewn across the bed, comforter spread out across the floor, closet contents strewn across the bedroom, and stuffing floating like tumbleweeds across the room (from a toss pillow I had to take away a week ago and had put up HIGH in the closet, or so I thought, one that he likes to unzip the cover from, and pull out the stuffing by the handfuls). Not to mention some very dark baggy circles under his little sleep-deprived eyes.

Seriously? Ugh. This Mommy is going to have to now figure out a way to remind her son that we do not get up at nighttime, we do not turn on all the lights at nighttime, we do not put our shoes on at nighttime, we do not get up to read books at nighttime, we do not wreak havoc on our bedroom at nighttime, that nighttime IS ONLY FOR SLEEPING.

What happened to my beautiful two-year-old? The one that was a super champ, envied by all the other mommies for his ability to not only sleep soundly for 12-14 hours a night but also 2-4 hours each afternoon, the one who never would have dreamed about climbing out of bed nor causing any trouble while his ever-so-grateful mama was peacefully catching her own good night's sleep in the other room, secure in knowing that her son was sound asleep in the other room.

But as my husband so kindly pointed out this morning, there is a small bright side to this. Our child now knows how to put on his shoes and socks. Ha.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

You win some, you lose some.

I am on my third load of laundry in dealing with "the aftermath" of this afternoon's minor catastrophe. There is a bright spot to today's events -- my son asked me to go sit on the potty, which he never does. That was a small victory in and of itself! I am a bit sad, though, because in taking out the first load of stuffed animals from the wash, I found a casualty of war -- my beloved stuffed Dumbo, from my own childhood, that I had passed on to my son -- didn't survive the washing machine. Well, he did, but I am going to have to spend many an hour trying to sew his little hat back together. But the craziest moment of the evening was still to come. After spending a good 10 minutes remaking my son's bed with new freshly laundered sheets, I needed to go back down to the basement to switch over more laundry, so I asked my husband to please finish the process of tucking my son in for the evening. When I came back upstairs, I ran in his room to kiss him goodnight, only to find that my son was sitting in wet underwear, pajama pants, and yes, you guessed it, sheets. You see, my husband forgot to change my son into his Overnite diaper before putting him to bed. And my son peed. Yes. Another bed to strip. More sheets to wash. Another bed to remake.

Maybe this will be an anniversary to remember after all...

Love is in the air.

Ah, romance. And nothing says romance quite like walking in to the nursery after your beautiful 3-year-old child has woken up from his (very long) nap to find him completely, and I mean completely, covered in "Montezuma's revenge", if you catch my drift. Yes, not only was my child covered in poo, and the absolute worst type of poo, but his sheets, his comforter, and all of the twenty or so stuffed animals that he insists on sleeping with -- all covered in poo as well.

Not exactly what I had in mind for celebrating six years of wedded bliss, but hey, I'll take time with my two favorite boys any way I can get it, I guess. And I suppose it is just a good example of what romantic love eventually blossoms into -- a much deeper, more substantial kind of love that gets you through six years of marriage, of growing together as not only husband and wife, but as parents -- the type of love that gets you through even the pooey-est moments in life.

Happy Anniversary.

Six years ago I married this guy. It's hard to believe that it has been six whole years, but it has. Here's looking forward to a whole lifetime of anniversaries to come...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Off to the lake...

...with some of my best scooter girls. Sunshine, perfect temperatures, girlfriends -- what more could you ask for?

(image from Flickr user "mademoisellechrissie")

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Safe and sound

For those of you who joined me in lifting up my friends in prayer, thank you so much. I finally heard this evening that they are indeed safe, albeit they are stuck in the mountains away from their home with no way back right now. Please continue praying for their safety, for a way back to the city, and for all of the people affected by the earthquake. It really tore my heart out to read about the families who lost their only children -- I had forgotten that in China you are only allowed to have one child. I cannot even imagine the grief they are going through right now.

Say wha???

Our local news station just had a little blurb about ABC's "Lost" on the 10 o'clock news. According to them, ABC announced something this week about the fact that the next season will not return until NEXT SPRING. Yep, no new episodes this fall.

Are you kidding me?! Didn't ABC learn their lesson with the whole writer's strike and how the fans were getting so tired of no new episodes and especially with Lost and how they didn't have enough new episodes and NOW THEY ARE GOING TO GO OFF THE AIR UNTIL NEXT SPRING????

What a load of something I can't say. This would be a good reason to give up television, stupid stunts like this.

Ye' old family vacation.

Ah, summertime. It's right around the corner. YIPES!!!!!!!! I haven't really done a whole lot of planning for our big vacation this summer -- yes, the flights are booked, and yes, my son's passport was applied for today (with expedite fees), but I need to get the rental car reserved, book various hotels for over a week and a half, reserve ferry tickets, double-check mileage on all the driving we'll be doing between cities, and on and on. We booked our flights a couple of months ago, and back then, I thought, oh, I have forever to plan the rest of the trip. Yeah, right. Fast-forward now to mid-May, and here I am, starting to panic a little.

But hey, let's not worry about all that. Wanna know where we are going? (Please keep in mind I am a "pack it in" kind of girl -- I was raised by parents who packed in as much excitement as possible during our trips growing up. There was no sleeping in, no relaxing (well, maybe a little) and just doing whatever all week. We got up as a family and "went" and "did" and "saw" all day every day of our vacations.)

In no particular order we will be going to...

Quebec City (image from a visitor's website)

Prince Edward Island (image from a Dallas news story)

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (image from Flickr)

Nova Scotia, driving the island from top to bottom (image from Flickr)

Portland, Maine (image from Flickr)

We chose these places to visit without even knowing that we would be visiting Quebec City during it's 400th anniversary (cool, huh?) and Prince Edward Island during the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables (even cooler)! Icing on the cake, don't you think?

Okay, enough daydreaming. There's a whole lot of things to be checked off my mile-long to-do list...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's one in every class.

You know the ones -- the class clowns, the kids who just can't quite conform and be like everybody else. Well, apparently, that is my kid. Wouldn't you know.

Yesterday there was a little "Mother's Day" program at school. The 2-3 year-olds class and the 3-4 year-olds class both got in front of the room to sing a few songs to their mothers. Before they came in, the school director reminded us all that "preschoolers are not performers" -- that many of them might cry or want to come sit with us in the audience or stand there like bumps on a log. We had also gotten a call the night before from our son's teacher asking us to send a rain jacket or rain boots to school with him to be used for one of the songs they were singing. Knowing we had neither of these, I sent him to school without either. My husband ended up taking him to school for me since they were going to be stopping by the post office beforehand to apply for my son's passport, which we will be needing for a vacation later this summer.

Well, my son's class was marched in first to perform, ready to start singing a rousing rendition of "Rain, Rain Everywhere". There they all stood in their little rain jackets and rain boots, and trailing in last was my son, dressed in a life jacket. I kid you not. My husband dropped him off at school with a life jacket. Every single mother in that room was trying their hardest not to bust out laughing, and you could hear the constant giggles the entire time. It was absolutely hilarious, this I could not deny.

But, oh no, the hilarity did not end simply with my child's costume. The teacher began singing softly, and as we had all anticipated, only one or two tiny voices joined her while the rest of them stood there too shy to sing along, including my son. But instead of standing there like the rest, he decided it would be a good time to add his own "soundtrack", if you will. Throughout both songs, at a constant every five seconds, there was a lovely snorting sound coming from my child. With the most stoic face devoid of expression, that kid snorted like a pig every five seconds. Since the situation was completely out of my control, there was nothing I could do but laugh. And it was like the fits of laughter that come in waves that you can't control, that you are trying to keep inside and quiet, but it is next to impossible -- like when my brother and I were kids and would have to sit quiet as church mice through many a sermon, and we would try our hardest to make the other laugh, knowing full well that would mean a possibility of getting dragged out of the sanctuary by our mother and ending with a spanking in the church foyer for the poor child who couldn't keep it in. 'Cause you know I didn't want my son to see me cracking up and think that snorting during a performance was a fantastic idea. Yep, it was bad. I was laughing so hard internally that tears were forming in my eyes. And so was everyone else.

Like I said the other day, this kid is going to give me a run for my money.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lifting up my friends

Please join me in lifting up my friends, J, S, & L, in prayer. They live in a big city close to the epicenter of the earthquake in China, and I haven't heard from them yet if they are okay or not. I didn't realize until this morning, when I was reading an article about the earthquake and I saw the map of the area affected, that they were right in the thick of it. I am praying not only for their health and safety, but also for the health and safety of all the people there. I cannot even imagine what it is like to experience an earthquake and all of its devastation.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Treading a fine line...

I watched this video today on Black*Eiffel's blog. There was a warning, if you are afraid of heights, not to watch it, but I thought, how scary could a video be? It's not the real thing. HA! It's more than a little bit unnerving to watch! But I am happy to get my thrills out of watching a video that someone else had to walk up there and get while I sit and watch it with my two feet firmly planted on steady ground.

A little background on this video, taken from the mountains of Spain, from somewhere called El Camino del Ray:
In 1901 a walkway was built to join the Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls. It was completed in 1905.
The walkway has now gone many years without maintenance, and is now in a highly deteriorated and dangerous state.
It is one metre in width, over a 700 metre fall, and over time it has lost it's handrail.
Some parts of the walkway have completely collapsed, and have been replaced by a beam and a metallic wire on the wall.
Many people have lost their lives on the walkway in recent years.
After four people died in two accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed the entrances.
However, adventurous tourists still find their way into the walkway.

(Personally, I thought it would be better for me to post something fun and exciting like this rather than a long, bitter post about how yesterday was a high being Mother's Day and all, only for today to be one of the lowest of lows, starting out with a big poo-in-the-pants episode, followed with lots of ugly three-year-old tantrums and disobedience all stinkin' day long, to be completed with a big pee-in-the-pants-and-socks-and-shoes finale. Of course, now that I think about it, I think the two experiences are similar -- one crazy adventurer choosing to walk on a dangerous path, and me, a woman teetering on the brink of insanity, choosing to walk on the dangerous path of raising a three-year-old. Yep, they're really not all that different.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This mother is tired.

Whew -- what a day. It was a great Mother's Day indeed, but any day full of activity leaves this mama exhausted. We got up, went to church, came home to cook a side dish, went to family's house for a Mother's Day lunch, ran home to change clothes, drove 40 miles away to a big Renaissance Fair, saw more ample busoms in one day than I'd seen in my whole life, haha (Renaissance wear is a great excuse apparently to show off "the girls"), drove home, came in the house and fell into a heap.

It's hard to believe that this is my third Mother's Day with my beautiful son home in my arms. We had just been home for a little over a month with him that first Mother's Day, and he was barely over a year old. Exhausted and overwhelmed from putting up the fight of our lives over that last year and a half to bring home a son from another country, I was just starting my journey on learning what motherhood was truly all about. In the two years since that very first Mother's Day, I have experienced so much as a mother -- mostly joy, a little pain, and definitely a lot of learning about how to develop patience. Words truly cannot express my gratitude that my dream of being a mother has come true and is real and alive. On days like today I am also reminded of the sacrifice another mother had to make in order to fulfill my dream. I pray that wherever his birth mother is, that she is happy, healthy, knows the Lord, and that somehow in her heart, she knows that the little boy she gave up is loved beyond measure.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More peony love...

I just can't help myself. I had to share the pictures of the first bouquet from my peonies. I felt so guilty cutting them off, but they smell too good and look too beautiful to leave them outside (on the side of our driveway no less) for only the squirrels and bunnies to enjoy. Hopefully I will have enough blooming in the next few days to make one or two more bouquets.

Good morning, beautiful.

Thank goodness I don't have to have a green thumb for these beauties. Over the last three years we have planted 7 peony bushes (um, excuse me, my husband has done the dirty work while I point my dainty little finger where to put them). Peonies are my favorite flowers, hands down. My bridesmaids carried beautiful peony bouquets in our wedding. It is a shame that they only come for a few weeks every year, but those are some good weeks! And thank you to my sister-in-law, who knows me well, and bought me an 8th bush to plant this year. It is my goal in life to plant them all over my yard and have the peonies overtake the world. (Then the world would be a much nicer place, don't you think?)