Friday, October 31, 2008

Monkey Business (aka Happy Halloween!)

We had a fun Halloween in our house! First, Will did a little trick or treating at daycare today. Nana also came to visit and brought some cool pumpkin cookies. Then we came home, put on his costume and went to a couple of houses in our neighborhood. Will thought that was pretty cool, and said "O-Treat" or "Hi!" at every door. He was a little confused when we came home and started giving away candy! Lots of little kids this year, and when they saw Will sitting on the couch in his monkey outfit, watching Noggin, well a few tried to get past me and join him on the couch!

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Mmmm....pumpkin cookie!

Mama and her Monkey

Daddy and Monkey Will

Will's first Halloween stash. He couldn't wait to dump the bag out onto the floor to see his take!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Book #4--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

I'm done with my fourth book in The New Classics Book Challenge. This one was "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz.

I found the story of Oscar and his challenges and his family fascinating. Judging by the title, I expected the sad ending, but didn't realize how bad I would feel for him or his family.

This book is NOT a quick read by any means. I liked the author's style of writing, I've never read a book quite like it. He goes a lot into Dominican history in his footnotes to describe why something is the way it is with his characters. I am not sure if it is based on a true story or fiction.

I think that it really helps to have a working knowledge of the Spanish language. I speak Spanish (albeit not fluently, but enough to get by) and if you don't speak or understand the language, you are going to miss a lot in this book. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just like a Kid in a Candy Store....

I should mention that this weekend was also a very crafty weekend. Friday night I went to the "Moonlight Madness" Sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Oh my goodness, what a madhouse! They actually had to use the number system like they do at the deli counter if you wanted to get fabric cut. I was there because I had a coupon, and wanted to peruse the Lion Brand yarn. Yes.....the pink scarf that I was making? The fun fur doesn't hide as many sins as I thought, I found holes big enough to stick my hand through. Apparently I had been dropping stitches left and right and I'm not quite far along enough to figure out how to fix them. So through a recommendation, I got some new yarn and started to work on a new scarf. It's variegated yarn, all grays and blacks. I'm going to say the Crafter's Mantra here: I'm making this one for me! Anyone who does a lot of crafty things knows that they always say that, but end up giving away what they make. :) So far it's going well, I need to learn how to purl though so that I can continue. That's my next step.

I also tried something new today....making my own jewelry. I went to a class at someone's house today and made a necklace and earrings. So I got to hang out with other Mamas and make something pretty. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I will definitely do that again. No pictures this time....what I made is actually a Christmas present for someone.

The jewelry is actually the first thing I've finished in quite a while. I have a bunch of projects started that I just need to sit down and finish. I'm just discovering all of these things that I've never tried that I want to do! My creative side is bursting with energy! :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Weekend

It's Sunday night, and I'm finally sitting down long enough to post. This weekend was wildly busy in our house. Will's birthday party was on Saturday!! It was a great time, family, friends and food! Will loved all of his presents and had a wild time playing with all of his little friends. We had a great time too, so thanks to everyone that came out to party with us. Here are a few pictures:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sally's Challenge

In reading another blog that I follow, SallyHP has challenged readers to write seven random things about I'm here to take it on! Here goes nothing...

1. I've been known for my good memory. Most of the time it's like a steel trap, however, lately it's not as sharp as it used to be. If you want to know anything that was in People magazine in the last two years, name every job I've ever had in order, or the name of that guy in college whose dorm you sneaked in by shimmying up the drainpipe? I'm your girl. But what I was just saying five minutes ago or who the hell I loaned my Sex and the City Seasons 2 and 3 DVD's to? Not so much!

2. I really wish I had more opportunities to travel. There's so much of the US and the world that I would like to see!! I've never had a job that required a lot of travel, and now I don't want one because of my family. But I really would like to travel more. I guess I can save that for "The RV Years" when Brian and I retire and drive all over the country! (We'll see....)

3. When I was in first grade, I got in trouble for painting my nails with a black permanent marker with the girl next door. Do you know how long it takes for that crap to wear off????

4. A big thank you to the person that invented the brownie pan that makes every square an edge piece. There's something to put on my Christmas list!!

5. I once had aspirations to be a teacher. Now I work with the elderly and I'm thrilled. Go figure.

6. Will won't ever be allowed to watch The Wiggles or Barney. I put my foot down!!

7. I wish I hadn't had such bad stage fright when I was younger. I think I would have liked to get involved in local theatre companies. I love, love, love live theatre! Even to work behind the scenes would've been fun. I wish I had done that. Guess it's too late now.

I'm not going to tag anyone....instead I'll tag everyone! If you read and become inspired to share, go for it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bus Trip!

Today, instead of spending the gorgeous autumn day stuck in my office, we took the residents on a bus trip. What a great day! First we went shopping at Christmas Tree Shops, where I got a jump on some Christmas Shopping (yes, I did!) and then we went to Wright's Chicken Farm. The name is a bit misleading, it's a restaurant and not a farm at all. And a fantastic place, by the way. I've only ever been on a Saturday night when it's cram-jammed like sardines. Today it was just us and three other groups, so it was a nice pace and not so crowded. On the way home we stopped at a local farm stand for pumpkins and apples. I came home with cider donuts. Oh well. I LOVE cider donuts!! The trip was a huge success, except for when the handicap elevator on the bus jammed when we got home. Ughhhh......but with some patience and positive thinking everything worked out and I was home early!

This weekend is Will's birthday party! Still have some prepwork to do, so ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to my "Baby"

Today is Will's second birthday! I can't believe two years have passed since he was born. I can't even believe that it's been a year already since his first birthday! Time doesn't fly, it ZOOMS!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, silly, independent little boy! I know you're no longer a baby, but you'll always be MY baby!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Batteries Not Included"

Know what's cool about having an almost-two year old? He's still young enough not to realize that you are buying his birthday present while you guys are out shopping! Sure, he wants whatever it is while he's in the store, but he's still at an age when he's easily distractable. Now next year---that'll be another story!

Will has this little table and chair set that he's starting to outgrow. Well, it only has one chair because the other one broke....practically right out of the box! (Cheapies...I tell ya!) So while at BJ's last week I spotted a "Cars" themed table and chair set that I knew he'd love. It's kind of like an easel/desk style table, and it's pictured with a red chair to go with it. Brian put it together tonight so it would be a surprise in the morning. Imagine our surprise when we had a "Batteries Not Included???" moment.....there's no chair!! In tiny miniscule print on the bottom of the box......"chair not included." Humph. Oh well! It pulls up to the futon nicely, I dare say. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


We made it! We got through our first week of both of us working full time during the day. It was exhausting, but doable. Which is good because it's what we're going to do for a very long time.

Saturday brought us a day of partying...we took Will to his first Halloween Party. We dressed him in his monkey costume, and he was so adorable, complete with monkey noises. The party was great, lots of cute kids in costume, good food and music. Too bad Will just wanted to play in the corner, refuse to share and taking away toys, and cry. Ah well. Every parent's been there, right? So we stayed an hour and headed home for a spell. Then it was get ready and head out to our second party of the weekend--Auntie Kim's Surprise 30th Birthday Party! We had a lot of fun, and she was truly surprised. Will helped her blow out her candles while we all sang "Happy Birthday," something he's going to get to do three times this week! He loved running around the house and saying hello to all of the guests. I'm sure glad that we remembered to bring some pajamas for him, because "Mr. Marathon" fell asleep on the way home. It was really nice just to plunk him into the crib, and then collapse on the couch myself!

With all of the fun on Saturday, Sunday has turned into a day to rest. And by rest, I mean clean the house, shop, do laundry, etc etc etc. I am sure Will's parents are going to sleep well tonight!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'd say I have about a third of a scarf there! I really like this fun fur hides a multitude of sins. I know that there are a ton of mistakes in there, but unless you're specifically looking, you just don't know it!

Like any other craft that I've done, my mind is already pacing to decide on my next project. Another scarf? Maybe read a little more of "Knitting for Dummies" and figure out another kind of stitch? A junkie is being created here!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin As President Website

Got this from my friend Rochelle.....if you are not a Palin fan you will love this website! It will also be updated daily until November 4th. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday--Portrait of the Writer

Monday, October 13, 2008

I, Knitwit?

I attempted to learn to knit a couple of years ago. A friend and I signed up for a class at the local Michael's, and I was most definitely the worst knitter there. That didn't stop me from buying a bunch of yarn and continuing to plug along. As with anything new that one tries, I got discouraged that I wasn't picking it up as quickly as I've picked up other crafts. So I made one awkward-looking turquoise scarf and put away my needles.

Fast-forward to Present Time. After reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club" and seeing a fellow blogger's cool drink cozies, I decided that I hadn't given it a fair try. This time, I grabbed my copy of "Knitting for Dummies" (no, seriously) and attempted to re-learn the basic stitch I had done two years previously. Within a half hour or so, I had the stitch down pat and was playing with some variegated yarn. Then I remembered these cool "Fun Fur" scarves that were ultra-popular a few years ago and decided to try that. (I'm never a trendsetter, really, and I always "discover" things when they're no longer the newest on the scene. Like iTunes. Or "That Seventies Show.") So, here is a photo of my creation, a pink Fun Fur scarf. Not sure if it'll turn into something wearable, but I'm enjoying myself and I guess that's what matters.

I've also joined a Needlecraft group on Meetup called "Hooks and Needlers." (again, as suggested by a fellow blogger.) It sounds like it's mostly a group for knitting and crocheting, but the description said that all needle art is welcome. If anything, it's a chance once a month for me to hang out with some fellow crafties and work on the two cross-stitch projects that have been works-in-progress since the spring. Yes---I'm taking the cross-stitch with me. As a new Knitter, I don't want to embarrass myself with the experienced folks!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Apple, Apple

Right now Will's favorite word is apple. He's also in a phase where he likes to carry things around with him. This morning, I was packing my lunch for work and he was watching when I put an apple in the bag. He started yelling "Apple! Apple!" I said, "Yes, Good Boy! That is an apple." Then I closed the bag and put it by the front door. Five minutes later, I'm in the bathroom drying my hair, and he comes in, struggling to drag the lunch bag behind him. He drops it at my feet with a grunt and starts yelling for the apple. I decided that if he's this excited about a piece of fruit, he should have it. So he carried it around with him in the house, willingly got into the car while holding it, and happily went to daycare without any tears. When I picked him up, the daycare provider told me that he proudly carried his apple all day today, and was very happy when she sliced it for him and fed him bits and pieces.

It's amazing that this apple kept him so happy all day. Perhaps it is a magic apple! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Panic at the Target

Upon waking up this morning, I was relieved to find that my back didn't hurt as much as the night before. I'm doing better (thanks for the well wishes) but I guess the doctor is right on this's going to take a while for this muscle group to heal and feel normal again. But since I can't stop living, I have to keep on putting Will in the car, giving him a bath, doing dishes, etc etc when Brian's not around to help me because of work. (and tonight is his last work night!) So with that I rolled out of bed and greeted the day.

Today's "chore du jour" was doing a bit of shopping. I'm planning Will's second birthday party and had some ideas for things at the local party store. Also, it's Halloween Costume time!!! I had already been to a couple of stores and I'm pretty flustered with the lack of toddler costumes. It's almost gotten me back on my rant of learning to sew! Anyway, Will and I were perusing Target, him clutching Brown Doggie and nibbling on pretzels and me walking slow. I finally picked out a costume (say hello to my Monkey!!) and headed to the checkout. Now, why does Target only have four cashiers open at the peak of a Saturday?? I then realize that the slow checkout is the least of my problems---Will isn't holding Brown Doggie. A quick check reveals that he isn't in the cart either.

OH NO!!!! My worst nightmare is coming true!! People who know us know that Brown Doggie is much more than a stuffed animal. He's Will's lifeline, his confidante, his peanut butter to his jelly. And what's more important...he simply WILL NOT sleep without his best friend! While picturing the long string of sleepless nights because of an inconsolable, doggless Will, I throw all of my items back in the cart and make a beeline through the store.

Now here's the problem--I have walked through the entire store today, and I really have no idea where Brown Doggie was given the boot. Panic sets in at the pit of my stomach, and I start walking up the aisles. After the third aisle, I find myself trying not to cry. A woman coming the opposite way down a crowded aisle offers to let me go first, thinking I'm looking at art supplies and when I say I'm looking for my son's favorite stuffed animal she says "Oh, is it a brown dog?" YES! She then tells me she saw it in the Halloween costumes and hopes it's still there. SHE hopes?? I rush back and go through the costumes like a mad woman, asking all of my fellow shoppers if they've seen Brown Doggie. Dishearteningly, they say no. Will at the moment is totally oblivious, and I'm near tears. In this particular case, ignorance truly is bliss.

So I try the only place left...Customer Service. After a long wait, I get my turn to ask if they've seen Will's Beloved Brown Doggie. OH THANK GOODNESS! Someone turned in Will's best friend. His eyes light up and he shouts "Dog!" and reaches up for him. I contemplate hugging the guy at customer service and then decide against it.

So, thank you to whomever turned in Brown Doggie at the desk. And well, Brown Doggie? Your travel days are now limited!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bad Day?

Don't you just hate it! when:

You spill food on your favorite blouse and it was the last thing clean that you had to wear to work?

You wear it anyway, hoping no one will be close enough to you today to notice?

That blouse also has a bad snap on it, that keeps opening so you accidentally flash all the old people in your building?

Someone takes a look at your shirt and asks if you're expecting, and the baby that you were "expecting" is now almost two years old? (and did you burn that shirt when you got home?)

You're fifteen minutes past your usual fifteen minutes late?

You get stuck behind every construction vehicle in town and now your car smells like hot tar?

Your car smells like hot tar because they're ripping up the street right by your work AGAIN, even though they just finished "beautifying" the neighborhood?

Your office is hot enough to steam a lobster in? Better smells like steamed fish because the fish vendor came today?

You back out of the driveway at the daycare at five mph and hit a parked car?

You come home, cook dinner and then promptly back up the garbage disposal and flood the kitchen because the potato peels didn't go down the pipe?

You go to start laundry and discover that you have an infestation of flying ants above your washing machine?

You bring your dog to the vet and when you get there and open your back door, he vomits all over you and the car?

Your cellphone has a short in it and it keeps calling the last number you dialed, scaring your mother, and annoying your husband and friends?

You burn dinner, order chinese food and, twenty minutes later, have the sinking realization that you didn't say "delivery" and now have to go and get it?

You remember, as you're going to bed, that you didn't put your car in the driveway and will most likely have a ticket in the morning if you don't go and move it NOW!

You leave your cellphone in the car overnight in the winter and when you find it in the morning, it's frozen?

Or, my personal favorite: you realize, as you're getting ready for bed, that you have been wearing your underwear inside-out all day long? Or that you're wearing different earrings? Or, my favorite, one navy blue sock and one black sock!

Yeah......I hate that too. :)

(BTW--not all of that happened in one day, or to me. I just wanted to see how many I could think of. Feel free to add your own!)