Friday, September 30, 2011

That Was Fast

Has it been almost a week since my last post?? I guess it was a busy week, although I don't know what it's been that has kept me so busy. Maybe my 17-month old?

I'll tell you what does seem to make a week go fast... that running group I joined. I have a love/hate relationship with running and the running group. I don't love running. I love when I run, but I don't look forward to it. With the running group it's the same. I really enjoy it when I'm there, and I'm glad I went when I get home and I'm still hopped up on the post-workout brain chemicals. But my dislike of running means that Running Group Thursday sneaks up so fast every week! I'm terrible about making time to run in between Thursdays so by the time I start thinking, "I should really get another run in before..." it's Thursday again. So fast.

I'm also in a mild state of shock at the fact that tomorrow is October 1st. Last October we had a tiny little 6 month old baby and were awaiting the arrival of two little nephews who are now about to turn 1. Where did that year go? How is it time to go back to the pumpkin patch for more kill-me-with-cuteness pictures? (Oh, and pumpkins. We go there for those too.)

This October is another exciting one for us. We are not only awaiting yet another nephew (different parents than either of the two born last year!), but we are celebrating J's 30th birthday with an unprecedented 4-day trip to New York!

New York City is one of our favorite destinations ever. It's such a fun city full of so many things to see and do. We have been making several day-trips per year since we started dating. Last year we did a one-night weekend stay, and this year we will be there for an extra-long weekend (Thursday-Sunday). We've never had so much time to spend in the city, so we're just giddy over all the things we're going to have time to do. It's slightly more challenging to hit the city with a toddler, but we're planning fun stops for her too. I'm not going to lie, I will be pretending that we are residents for the weekend (though our Chicco umbrella stroller will give us away, ha, since all moms in Manhattan have Maclarens or Peg Peregos, or brands so expensive I've never even heard of them). I would love to live in Manhattan... maybe a cute place in Greenwich or Chelsea, or a high-rise on the Upper West Side with views of Central Park. I love the energy and the culture there. Anyway, for this trip we're staying just a few blocks south of Central Park and north of mid-town/Times Square. Across the street is a French cafe at which I'm looking forward to eating breakfast... maybe every day. Some of our activities include a show- Book of Mormon for my hubby, the "Tour de Lower Manhattan" including the new 9/11 memorial, Sesame Workshop, dinner at our favorite brewery, and some play time in Central Park. We still have some time that is unplanned which we will probably just wing based on things like weather/how we're feeling. For the first time we'll actually have some flexibility in our activities if there is bad weather since we'll be in town for more than 12 hours. I'm so excited just telling you about it!

I guess last but not least for this October is the fact that I am quitting my babysitting job. Remember all that talk back in the beginning about how it was a tough adjustment spending less time focused on my baby? Well that has stuck with me, and as she gets bigger I have even stronger feelings about being able to take her places and do things with her besides sitting in our house all day. We take walks, but I'm talking about playdates with friends, story time at the library, visiting the zoo and aquariums, etc. I could technically do those things with both babies, but I don't want to. It will be more of a hassle and I have two babies' eating and sleeping schedules to work around, not to mention being home in time for my nephew to be picked up. We are also talking about planning for the next baby as C gets older and I feel a strong need to spend time with her  as an only child while she is one. I don't want to look back and wish I had been able to do more with her when I had the chance, or heck, not really remember what she was like at this age because my day was so busy with feedings and diaper changes. Sometimes I seriously feel like that's all we do. There are days we don't have time to take a walk if we wanted to because someone needs to eat or be changed, and by the time everyone has pooped it's time to start eating again. So, all that being said, I am no longer babysitting as of the end of October. I'm looking forward to a little more freedom to go and do when it's just me and C during the days. Honestly, having my days free means I will just have more time for everything. I can't help but be excited about that.

So, before it's over... what are you doing this October?

Friday, September 23, 2011

We Meet Again...

Oh, fall. I'm never ready when you get here. I'm never happy to see you. And yet, here you are again. Why do you have to keep coming back? As many people's "favorite season" you're really just a couple weeks of fair warning that your evil twin, Winter will be here momentarily. When people talk about our region of the country, having "four seasons" is always mentioned as a perk. I beg to differ. There are two seasons. About a month and a half of summer, and then winter. It could be worse, yes. I could live at the North Pole. But I don't because I hate being cold. I could also move somewhere warmer (Texas?) but I love my family enough to endure the cold in order to be close to them. Yes, they're that awesome.

As I look out my windows today at the pouring rain, it sinks in that my precious summer, for which I wait what feels like forever, is really gone. And the long wait begins again. Months and months of ugly, gray, death lie between me and my next summer.

It's a good thing that these next few months ahead are festive ones. The joy of the holidays (for me, the season is Halloween - New Year) is often enough to distract me from the dullness of winter. Once the holiday season is over, then the real drudgery begins. The time between January and May (still winter by my standards) feels like it moves at a snail's pace. Then I blink a few times and it's fall again. So sneaky. Maybe I'll throw a mid-winter/post-holidays party this year. Something to plan and look forward to. Or maybe I'll start a big home project. I think I've got my paint color for the shared spaces narrowed down to three. I'm thinking of getting some sample cans and painting the swatches on the walls in different spots. Certainly the spaces will need some updated decor once they're painted, right?

Tell me I'm not the only one going through this. Does anyone else get sad about winter? What do you love to do during the fall and winter seasons that make them fun? Any ideas for me, especially post-holidays? I'll have to keep things low budget since I don't work (except babysitting, but that's not exactly a home-reno fund). Share some ideas, y'all have been super quiet on the comments lately :)

Oh, and um.... happy fall... I guess.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A little clarity

I was pretty fired up when I wrote yesterday's post. I probably should have given it more time before I wrote it. I'm not taking back the points I made, but I just want to clarify some of them and add a few other things to clarify my position.

So just in case it wasn't clear from yesterday, the main point of my post was to call out the author of the article, Susan Thistlewaite, for passing judgment on other Christians. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, so none of us has justification for pointing the finger at another, especially in regards to their Christianity. I don't want anyone to think I was doing the same thing she had and suggesting that the way I practice Christianity is better than hers. That's between God and her (or God and myself, either way).

I also want to clarify that when I talk about opposing huge tax hikes and supporting the needy through charitable donations I am not at all suggesting that federal, state, and local governments shouldn't provide assistance to those who need it. It seems like that is a common misconception about conservatives in general (as Susan Thistlewaite's article suggested), though I won't speak for all conservatives when I say that isn't true about myself. I believe very strongly that as a nation and as communities, providing assistance to the needy is a responsibility. I'm not sure who we are if we turn our backs on them. Christianity aside, that is simply part of the foundation of America and the spirit of America. We'd all be better off, in fact, if the government spent more of its budget on helping people who are struggling.

That brings me around to the tax end of that matter. The government should spend more of the budget it has on social services. My opposition to higher taxes isn't about hating the poor or wanting them to die in the streets. It's about the fact that our leaders do a disgraceful job of handling the tax revenue they collect. We currently have the highest level of federal debt in our nation's history. Obviously at this point getting that under control is going to require less spending and more revenue. I hope that most people get that. But for future reference, there's a lot of wasteful spending going on in Washington D.C. Have you ever read about Congress from a billing standpoint? I'm talking about how much of the federal budget, tax-payer dollars, goes to funding Congress. It's insane. If the numbers aren't sickening enough, when you find out how that money is used you'll be even more shocked. Just look at the Congressional calendar to see how many weeks of the year they spend on vacation. Consider the fact that they get full-pay retirement after serving one single term. Would you like to work for two years and be paid your full salary for the rest of your life, even if you never worked again? Sounds nice... unless you're the one who is paying for it. Additionally, there are special laws that only apply to Congress as well as laws that members of Congress are exempt from following. Hello, they're the ones who make the laws! 

It's my strong belief that two simple changes would make all the difference in the way our laws are made, as well as free up some of that budget money: Congressional term limits, and a public servant's salary. First, if there were Congressional term limits you would find candidates seeking office who actually cared about meaningful and important legislation. Currently, too many of our lawmakers are in Congress for a career and serve lobbyists and special interest groups who fund their campaigns instead of serving their constituents. Second, as public servants, members of Congress should be paid a salary comparable to other public servants (e.g. police officers, firefighters, teachers, etc). Even if their salaries were higher than local public servants, it would still be far more reasonable for the job they are doing -- voting on legislation as representatives of citizens in districts around the country.

If you found yourself with bills higher than you could pay due to irresponsible spending, would you go to your employer and demand more money? Of course not. That makes no sense. So why would we let the government - our employees, don't forget - demand we pay them more as a result of their wasteful spending? They can do a better job with the money they have and they don't have to cut social services to do it. They threaten that first because they know the majority of people are against those cuts.

I can acknowledge that in certain circumstances a more liberal government is for the best and even necessary. I see the merits in it, again, for some circumstances. Government is never (yes, I'll say never) a good thing when it is one extreme or another. Point being, opposing higher taxes doesn't mean someone is also opposed to social services. I don't really understand why that is usually the assumption in across-the-aisle political discussions. It does mean, for me at least, that I'm opposed to forking over more money for our government to misuse (and I mean genuinely misuse) while We the People struggle to get by.

Whew, I'm starting to feel better. I hope this did offer some clarification since I know conservatives are often seen as judgmental, bigoted, and hateful. And while I know some of them may be, I do my best not to be any of those things and I'd like to be an example of a conservative who isn't. Rather, I hope that someone would say they know a conservative who is caring, compassionate, respectful, and reasonable. Even if they only know one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Bad" Christianity

Gotta love the election season! It seems an old topic has resurfaced. It's a little more pointed in today's extremely rough economy, but the bottom line is the same.

It's not "class warfare," it's Christianity

Where to begin?  I saw this article posted on Facebook by my cousin. I don't ordinarily read the Washington Compost myself, but being a sucker for politics and serious about Christianity, I couldn't resist reading. My mistake was reading before I went to bed because my blood pressure went right through the roof. I found the author's very broad, sweeping generalizations to be so offensive (not to mention inaccurate and hypocritical) that I couldn't even organize my own thoughts and responses to it. I literally felt my heart pounding in my chest. My mind was on overdrive and I'm sure that when I finally fell asleep it was the result of pure exhaustion.

My thoughts on this article are too numerous and still too jumbled to be able to capture them all here, but I will try to address the main things I take issue with and then attempt to summarize. Here goes...

1. The author generalizes that conservative Christians want to "amass wealth" and therefore hate the poor. Let's get real here. I wouldn't say that 100% of people who identify themselves as Christians are all good people (that's me not generalizing) but to try and say that conservative Christians as a group only care about themselves and amassing their own wealth is absurd and hate-mongering (yes, I used one of your favorite terms against you. Bazinga). I don't get how anyone can make a generalization like that about an entire group, especially since she includes zero statistical back-up.

2. Her explanation of conservative Christians' viewpoint: Let me be clear as I can be. We need to understand the so-called “Christian” underpinnings of the anti-tax, anti-government, anti-the-poor, “let him die” approach to economics and public policy today as completely un-Christian, as well as un-American. Is she serious? I honestly don't know a single person who wishes there were absolutely no government, no taxes and for all poor people to die. And I know a lot of conservative Christians. Again I beg, let's get real. Stop trying to act like all conservative Christians are some kind of extremists. 

3. Her quotes about the biblical approach to economics.
     A: “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common... There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.” Acts 4:32-35. It is absolutely a tenant of Christian faith to love one another and to help those in need. No argument from me on that. What the author fails to acknowledge is that the folks did this because they wanted to. It was their choice, not the law of the land. No one said to them that they must give up their property and fork over the proceeds. No one forced them to share. Their hearts desired it. SO MUCH good is done every single day because people care and not because they were forced by lawmakers. Furthermore, this works great for the disciples, a small group. It makes sense for a small number of people like this to look out for one another and share resources such as in a family (or other group giving up their lives to study?). For an entire nation, or even the world? Unrealistic and a proven failure because it depends 100% on the willingness of everyone to contribute meaningfully. The result is a few contributors supporting a mass of non-contributors to equal poverty for all.
     B: "Part of the way we got here is by Christian conservatives ignoring a lot of what the Bible says on wealth and poverty, and being highly selective in what they call “biblical.”" Wow. It's conservatives who are picking and choosing from the Bible and ignoring what it says. This is coming from a liberal who, regardless of her personal stance, most likely votes for liberal politicians, who more than most likely vote for abortion/murdering babies. Now, where in the Bible did she get that murdering God's most innocent and precious creation is ok? Interesting, she didn't include that scripture. Hello Kettle, this is Pot. You're black. 

This same topic came up around the '08 election and I wrote a heartfelt post (actually far better articulated than this one) on how I feel about it. I really can't understand someone telling me what kind of Christian I am, in this case with no knowledge of how my money is used, especially when they support something as hideous as abortion. No crime could be more wrong in my eyes than the murder of an innocent baby. I don't know how she sleeps at night, much less has the balls to publish an article claiming conservative Christians practice "bad Christianity" for opposing giant tax hikes. How utterly hypocritical? I'm pretty certain that baby murder isn't considered "good Christianity." 

And with that, I'm going to close. Partly because my blood pressure is up again. Partly because nap time is over. Honestly, I just needed to get that off my chest. I'm happy to hear others' thoughts as always, as long as they're not attacking or name-calling (ie- "bad Christians"). Offer facts, even opinions, but do so respectfully. And thanks for reading my rant.

**Update- check out some of the great comments at the bottom of the article pointing out that God wants us to give to the needy of our own free will and not because a government has first taken from us (and lots of other good biblical evidence objecting to the article's stance). And you may see a comment or reply posted by 'theluckiest.' That's me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Current Events

I find that Tuesdays are generally not exciting. They're actually my least favorite day of the week (except that I was born on a Tuesday) since you feel like the week is well under way after a long Monday, yet you realize that there are still three more days between you and weekend fun. I hate wishing life away though, so I won't say that I hope Tuesday is over quickly. I'll just say that there's not a lot happening in my life on Tuesdays. Ha, was that meta enough for you?

So I decided I'd hit some current events today and share a few news items that I find interesting. It's mostly, but not all, political and conservative. Save yourself now, if needed.

...but those who DIDN'T vote for Obama are the racists.

A really cool article about why it's not so horrible that your kid - or husband - plays video games :)

I can respect this 100x more than standing/sitting with a cardboard sign, and will happily fork over my change!

Illegal immigrants get a helpline

There aren't really any words for this one...

Proof that you don't need high school math to be a billionaire!

And if you still seriously believe that wealthy Americans aren't paying their share of taxes...

I realize that these articles are probably 46x the amount of reading that you get out of one of my ordinary posts, so I'll stop there. Just some things to ponder. Hopefully they were of interest on some level to some of you. As always, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on any or all of the articles/topics, even if you disagree. Just be respectful, ok? I'll nix any legitimate hate.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Great Weekend :)

Ok, Fall, I guess you can stay.  We had another fantastic weekend. The weather took a major Fall turn and temps dipped into the 60s for daytime highs. Fall seems to happen so quickly and it takes me by surprise every time.

Our weekend turned out to be 3-day sort of by surprise. That makes a great weekend in itself! My nephew that I babysit stayed with his grandmother on Friday instead of him coming to my house. That gave me the day off, so I thought it would be fun to meet my husband for lunch since we never get to do that. That plan turned into a late lunch so he could just not go back to work afterwards. At that notion, I said "Let's take Bebe to the zoo or something!" So we planned for that. Then when I woke up Friday morning I found him working happily in our basement. Hooray! We ran some errands, visited a couple of friends (another thing we rarely get to do during the week) and then headed to the zoo. Our munchkin has been so into animals and their noises lately that I'd been hoping we'd get to squeeze in a zoo trip before the weather got cold.

So here we are...

Saturday was picnic day! Hubby's new company was having their annual family picnic and so was my family. We did a double-header and hit up both, even in the rain. Turned out to be great fun on both accounts. By that night we were pooped!

 They had Buzz Lightyear and Cinderella at the company picnic. She was fascinated by Cinderella and terrified of Buzz.


 My crazy nephew :)

 Literally jabbering about their shoes

 Husband/biggest kid on the playground

Sunday, as always in our house between September-February, was football day. We took it easy in the morning, I grocery shopped while Bebe napped, and then it was game time. I'd love to say that our boys looked as incredible as they did last week against the St--lers (not a word I permit on my blog), but I just can't. I'd be lying to say I wasn't/am not disappointed, but fortunately at this point there's still a lot of football season left to play. We're gonna have to shape up though. After the game we went to my mom's for dinner and that was fun, relaxing, hilarious, therapeutic as always :)

Today has been back to the usual. It is also my grandfather's birthday. He's not with us any more but he would have been 97 today. Our family picnic is always the weekend before his birthday so I've been thinking about him a lot. Ah, I miss that guy....

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Do share!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Improving Home Improvement

Guess what we're up to?

I'll give you a hint, no one got a job at Lowe's. That's right, we're painting! I say we're improving home improvement (on our budget, paint = a home improvement) because the space we're about to paint is actually one that we've already painted since we've been living here (4 years). So why are we painting it again?? The short answer is: indecision.

I chose the color we have in our living/dining rooms now, a soft pale blue, based on a vision I had for these rooms a while back. We painted as the first step. Then as we went along, we changed our minds about a few other things. We got new furniture that wasn't part of the original vision, and then a rug that matched the furniture. So here we are a few years later and the paint is the one thing that just doesn't "go." In addition to all that, I am simply not so much a fan of the color as I was when it first went up.

In our house, the main level consists of three rooms lined up one behind the other. Our living room is in the front of the house, the kitchen is across the back of the house, and the dining room is in between. Each room is easily visible from anywhere you stand so they have to coordinate at the very least. Back when we painted the first time, I let the kitchen be a neutral oatmeal color because I didn't want a pale blue kitchen. Plus the floor and counters in that kitchen are dark green (gag) and would have clashed like none other with the blue. At this point, I've decided that I want basically all of the common living space - living, dining, kitchen, stairway, and upstairs hall - to be one color. I think continuity adds to a feeling of spaciousness (vs. many small rooms all different colors) and is just more sophisticated. We do have a powder room on the main level that is sage green though and I plan to leave that as is.

I haven't yet chosen the new color. It's a pretty big decision since we're painting most of our house this color. I do have it pretty narrowed down though. We're going for a neutral, not beige, not gray but somewhere in between and maybe with a kiss of green. Can't decide about the green though. Our furniture is a lively pattern so we really need to keep that the focus and let the walls be a nice neutral backdrop. I will happily post updates along the way so you can see the transformation!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When you're home all day...

You notice things that others might not. Some things are those that only occur mid-day when most people are at work. Others are things that most people wouldn't take the time to pay attention to. Here are some recent examples...

This is my neighbor (I think. I should write a post about the house beside ours. I honestly don't know who lives there). It was raining the other day and I caught a glimpse of her out my front window looking like this. So interesting. I think she was carrying something out to her trash can or recycling bin which could explain the gloves. And it was raining so that explains the shower cap-thing. I mean it's logical, I guess. But it looks hilarious none-the-less. I'm just terrible and took a photo.

Also, there is another person who I guess lives on our court. We don't know anyone on our court because no one interacts with each other. They pretend they don't see you if you're outside at the same time. There are no community activities or events. The kids play together some times, but that's it. There are probably less than five people from our street that I could identify if I saw them in a store. Anyway. This lovely lady was outside in front of our house this morning doing this....

Come to think of it, I really can't blame our neighbors for not associating with each other. It's a pretty odd group we've got here. You can't make this stuff up, but it sure does make for an interesting day at home. What would my day be without the wacky neighbors??

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nothing starts your week off right.... a case of Roseola!  After a few days of having a fever at the end of last week, and then a day without, our Bebe woke up Monday morning with this lovely rash all over her torso. Luckily Daddy's schedule is flexible enough that we could get a doctor appointment same day. Turns out Roseola is nothing more than a fever followed by a rash. Treatment is rest, fluids, and fever-reducer if needed. The rash is the tail-end, so once you see it you're basically done. Neat, huh?

Go, Mo, No!

Funny title, right? Not if you're my 16-month old. These are just three of her favorite new words! She is repeating so much now, it's hard to believe. But these three words in particular have come to be very popular.

"Go" is what she calls yogurt. I think I've mentioned before that she has an obsession with Chobani yogurt. She would seriously eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks a day. It's not cheap either, so I don't allow that kind of Chobani indulgence. Sometimes I give it to her for some protein with oatmeal for breakfast and I'll also use it as my back-up if she doesn't like what we're having for dinner (I don't cook a separate kid meal) or if it's a particularly long stretch between her lunch and dinner. But she knows how to ask for it and will run up to our refrigerator, bang on the door with her hand and yell, "goooOOOOOoo!" If I open the refrigerator and she catches a glimpse of it in there, same thing. If we're shopping in the store and she sees it on the shelf - or even better if I'm putting it in our cart - she starts yelling, "gooooOOOOOooo!" And that's how she says it. She jumps up an octave in the middle of the word and then comes back down. Kind of hilarious... if you're me, anyway. She will also hold her arms out, palms up and ask, "go?" as in, "where did (something/someone) go?"

"Mo" as I think I've also mentioned is what she calls her nose. For the longest time she called all parts of the face "eyes" I guess because that was all she knew how to say. Eventually she started calling ears "eeeeee" and nose "mo." Best part is that she often says them the same way she says "go," nice and long with a jump in octave mid-word. I thought "mo" was particularly cute and ask her to find the nose on just about everything we look at that has a face. A few times I have heard her call it "no" instead of "mo" and I'm actually a little sad that she'll probably say it the right way soon. Why does she have to grow up??

"No" might just be her very favorite word right now. And she's not even terrible-two yet! She has learned to repeat "no" as a reprimand exactly the way we say it to her. At first she would say, "nononononono" and it was kind of cute. But now she says it with some authority and even points her finger! Part of me feels bad because I don't want other people to think she gets yelled at all the time. She is actually a really well behaved baby. But on the other hand, I like that she knows the word and knows what it means/how to use it. I don't want her to be a child that doesn't even look up when they hear the word because it never gets used around them. And I want her to know how to use it if she needs to (e.g. if she's playing and another kid does something that isn't nice, I'd rather her point and say "no" than hit, or just sit there and cry).

Some of her other new words lately-  Leo and Colt (her cousins), nice, beans, peas, baby, and night-night. She has also recently started making all those animal sounds we've been working on forever including- cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, horses, Sheppie (our dog) and believe it or not, goldfish (they say "blub blub blub" in case you were wondering).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, again

I don't know how it keeps happening. But alas, here we are at Monday again. After tropical storm Lee finally cleared out on Friday, we enjoyed a mostly lovely weekend here in the mid-Atlantic. Cute husband and I took our little lovey and had dinner at our favorite pizza place on Friday night, followed by our favorite ice cream place which just happens to be in the same area. Imagine the luck! Saturday was a bit of a whirl-wind. I needed to do some cleaning in anticipation of a play date with our adorable nephew, Colt on Sunday afternoon. This his him...
However, we also needed to leave for a wedding by 2 p.m. and everyone needed showers, lunches, hair straightening, etc. It was a busy morning, but we left only 20 minutes late and after not one, not two, but three trips back into the house after initially walking out the door. My SIL, Jennie was trying hard not to make fun of me as I warned her never to expect to be on time once she has a child!

The wedding was 2 hours away in a small town in Virginia. The bride was my cousin's daughter. I remember when she was born, and remember when she was just a munchkin begging me to carry her around. Ugh, makes me feel so old! It was a cute little wedding done in fall colors. The bride and groom were obviously giddy in love, so that was just adorable to watch.

Ahh, those were the days..... kidding, of course! I'm still giddy over my groom :)  We got to talk and catch up with some people I haven't seen since my own childhood which was very fun also. Our Bebe made the most of the dance floor and could not get enough of the lights from the disco ball spinning on the floor. She was stopping other people to point and jabber at them about it. Cracked me up. 

We called it a night around 10:00 and embarked on the journey back home. After all that dancing we expected Bebe to conk out in the car. She surprised us though and chattered the whole way home except the last ten minutes!

Our play date on Sunday ended up getting cancelled because poor little Colt was sick :(  So instead we settled in with some food and watched the Ravens game. And what a game it was! Needless to say, we were some happy fans at the end of that one. Then we did our usual evening and dinner at my mom's house. 

And I can't cover our weekend without mentioning Sunday's anniversary of the September 11th attacks. There really aren't words to accurately capture all of the thoughts and feelings I have about this anniversary. I think to say that we'll never forget and are praying for the families of the victims is an understatement. Rather I think it's important to say that ten years later we're still here. They didn't bring us down. We've dusted ourselves off, cleared the wreckage, and built ourselves and our country back up. We're still happy and strong. We still practice our many religions including Christianity and Islam and Wicca, and they can't stop us. What happened ten years ago was devastating and the heroes, victims and families deserve every prayer, honor, bit of commemoration and reverence that can be put forth. So we'll continue to remember, and we'll go on living our lives as a freedom-loving nation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Emily vs. the Universe

Remember old Scott Pilgrim? Well he faced nothing compared to what I put up with yesterday. That's not actually true, but yesterday I felt like it was. 

It was a fairly normal day. Babies were napping and I was upstairs doing my Monday chores (even though it was Tuesday, Monday was a holiday.. yes even for chores) which are my bathroom and bedroom. As I'm happily wiping down the shower, I get a call from my dad. He needs me to call and straighten something out with his cable company. For those who don't know, my dad is older and has suffered a stroke. He lives independently, but my siblings and I manage his bills and things for him. I've been trying to figure this issue out for a couple of weeks, so I got on the phone on hold with the cable company once more. I decided to continue cleaning the bathroom while on hold - knowing it could be a while. I'm working with only one glove since I took the other off to use the phone. Of course, as I go to squirt cleaner into the toilet, instead of coming out of the spout, it fills the lid and starts leaking out to the side. I try unsuccessfully to close and reopen the top hoping the cleaner will come out the spout and the same thing keeps happening. Finally I take the whole top off and pour the cleaner into the toilet with no spout using about half of the bottle and toss the bottle into the trash can. This would not be possible without getting toilet cleaner on my un-gloved hand, so I start frantically rinsing my hand in the sink. While rinsing, I remember that we're out of soap, like in the whole house except the kitchen sink. Fabulous. I take the lid off our soap dispenser and pour as much as possible onto my hand and begin to scrub like crazy.  Mind you, I'm on the phone, on hold.

Finally a voice comes on the phone - I've already pressed 8 buttons to navigate a menu and entered the account number and ten digit phone number. The recorded voice tells me that they are experiencing difficulties and I should call back later. And it hangs up on me! After calling another number, navigating another menu, entering the account and phone numbers again, I reach a human (I think) and the issue is finally resolved. OH, but not before my nephew wakes up from his nap thus ending the time I had to get chores done.

Downstairs I go to eat some lunch while my bathroom remains half-cleaned. One look in the fridge reminds me that I did not go grocery shopping over our fun Labor Day weekend and we have pretty much nothing to eat for lunch. I spot a bagged salad on the top shelf dated 3 days ago. It hasn't been opened yet so I take my chances. I also have one piece of a personal sized pizza (so, the size of my palm) left-over from lunch the day before with my brother and SIL. I start in on the salad. It's completely wilted and likely to give me indigestion for the rest of the month. Done with that. The pizza was "spinoccoli" and had one giant floret of broccoli that was cooked barely beyond raw and some brown spinach. I picked those things off leaving and absolutely pathetic mangled piece of dough with a few hunks of tomato on it. Yum. That was my lunch.

Bright spot of the day... (you knew there had to be one) I get word that my nephew is being picked up early, like in 10 minutes. I don't care how you slice it, taking care of one baby instead of two is a help on the best of days. I get him sent off and my husband calls. "Meet me *here* STAT!" I race around, make myself presentable, grab a few things for the baby and run out the door at the last possible second. I arrive missing exactly I needed to bring. Rats. But, of course.

Later that night we're sitting at the table eating dinner and the baby is just not cooperating. She won't eat anything and keeps yelling for something in my husband's direction. We're hiding things, telling her to eat what's on her tray, ignoring her behavior. Finally I assume she doesn't want to eat and put her down. She fusses and walks over to the kitchen island... just on the other side of my husband... atop of which is her cup of milk. Mommy fail. We hand her the cup. She promptly sucks down all of her milk and happily goes on to eat her dinner. Ugh. I felt absolutely rotten for that one.

SO... Emily vs. Scott Pilgrim?  Bring it.

Labor Day Weekend

First let me say that I can't believe Labor Day weekend has come and gone. I feel like it was just the very beginning of warm weather! Vacation is gone, Labor day is gone, summer is... no. I'm not ready to say it yet.

We had a really fun Labor Day weekend none-the-less. Friday the hubs and I both got off work early so we decided to make it a date night! We threw on some "going out" clothes (for me that means not a tank top and sweat shorts) and went to a local place on a nearby lake. We both loved our food, and afterwards, since we were real nerds and went to dinner at like 5:30 we took our Bebe and walked around the lake area. It's hard to describe the area and what it is, but basically there are a handful of restaurants all together along this lake and so there's this nice big sidewalk with benches, and a pavilion, and a little further along there's a big fountain and a hill where they show movies outside on a big screen. Anyway we let Bebe toddle around for about an hour or so. There was a group of people not far from us who were having a dance lesson of sorts and so there was music which our Bebe loved. She also loved watching the ducks swim around in the lake. Anyway, it was a great time. I only regret not bringing my camera, but I had no idea we would spend so much time just hanging out. I figured we were just having dinner!

Saturday we got up and went to the Maryland State Fair. It's one of those traditional things. You've been there before, it's pretty much the same each time, but if you don't go at all you kind of miss it. We thought Bebe would love it too since she's interested in animals now and what sounds they make. Turns out we were right :]  We saw cows, piggies, baby chicks, goats and sheep! We were only there for about 2 hours total, but we got to pet a brand new baby chick and baby piggy. We also got to pet a baby cow that belongs to my cousin who is a dairy farmer. He has been showing his prize-winning cows all over the country for many years.

After the fair and nap time time, my hubby went out for guys' night and I hung at home with our little love. A pretty fantastic day, if you ask me.

Sunday we celebrated my little brother's birthday. He turned 27! I'm pretty sure I'm not even 27, so don't ask me how he is. We got together at my mom's as usual and did a big cookout with steamed crabs and all the summer cookout staples. I made black-bottom cupcakes and my mom made him his favorite, apple pie from scratch. My sister also brought a peach pie from a local farm. What can I say, we know how to do dessert.

There was no shortage of gag gifts since that's kind of what my siblings and I do. My gift to him included both a pair of thong underwear and a very (very) large pair of granny-panties that have been gifted between us for years now. Ha! I'll save the explanation, it's probably only funny to us anyway.

That brings us to Monday. Somehow without my realizing, tropical storm Lee made its way from the Gulf of Mexico to our neck of the woods.
I heard the local meteorologist say something like, "not a dry day in sight!" I looked at my husband and simply asked, "why??" He tells me the storm from the Gulf is here. When the heck has that ever happened? Strange. So it was a rainy labor day Monday... and every day since. We met up with my brother and SIL for lunch and some shopping. Then we pretty much relaxed at home the rest of the day. I love a good relaxing end to a holiday weekend.

Tuesday was a classic, "Emily vs. the Universe."  That's the next post, so stay tuned :]