Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm into group photos

For a long time I disliked group photos. They always seem so posed and the people all look so small. Plus, they reminded me of 4-H camp photos where someone always looks dumb.

Well, now I'm kind of into them. I like to have one now at every occasion. I like to have at least one photo that shows EVERYONE who was there.

This photo of our friends taken at a wedding in January is just such an example... Sure it's not perfect. Some eyes are closed, John is making a face, some are too serious... there is another version of the photo where the people who are off in this photo are on in the other one. And folks are missing... I was taking the photo and Becka was probably filling me up another plate of food. :-)

Anyway, I was just uploading some photos for printing (got scrappin' to do this weekend) and was thinking about this. Happy Friday and Happy Spring to all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

week 25 status

How far along: 25 weeks.
Last thing I craved: Anything chocolate and GRAPES.
Pounds gained so far: haha. ha. ha. My last report was 6 lbs. Today it's 19. No more pans of brownies, I tell ya that!
Last time I felt the baby move: Oh he is kicking all the time.
Latest annoying pregnancy symptom: Gas. Not the smelly kind, but the kind that fills up your gut and causes PAIN.
Progress on the nursery: 5%. The basement is still the priority. But Mom and I did recover the rocking chair. It's lovely... can't wait to have a room in which to put it. And I think I mentioned that we ordered the crib, too.
What we're reading: I've started reading to JT at night. This week we are reading LullaBible that his Aunt Jen got him.
What we're listening to: JT likes singing to Ollabelle in the car. What can I say? His mom likes to belt it out in between bursts of road rage. :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

autism speaks

Oh, and one other thing... I donated to Autism Speaks today through Ali Edwards' site. It's pretty amazing what these scrapbookers are doing. She's doing this through Network for Good in conjunction with Kevin Bacon's Six Degrees site and she is currently in the lead with the greatest number of donations. So what the heck... there are a few days left for Ali to make number one and I think the prize is that Kevin Bacon makes a $10,000 donation to the winning charity.

I donated because John and I have a nephew with autism. Caden is growing by leaps and bounds and making such good progress in school (he's 4). But it is still going to be challenging for him and his parents as he grows up. Here is a photo I took of him last year when he was numbering the stairs. He wasn't speaking much at the time, but he had memorized the order of numbers and alphabet letters and was crazy about putting them all in order. It just breaks your heart to know that there is a brilliant mind and loving heart trapped behind that disease. I'm all about finding finding a cure or new therapies and preventing it in future children.

chocolate raspberry truffle

Well, swolen ankles may help me keep up with blogging. By evening I am ready for some feet-propped-up time. And while I am sitting here, I may as well catch up on some email and blogging!

I cleaned three windows and the back sliding door this evening. Now, all the other windows in the house look EVEN DIRTIER. Grrreat. Well that moment of inspired-cleaning backfired. If I focus on just those back windows, though... they do look stunning. And I achieved a sparkling view of my back yard that I raked and weeded into shape yesterday evening. Man, I need a patio back there! (Photo from last year.)

Here is a hot cleaning tip for you: Clean windows with a linen cloth to prevent streaking and small bits of cotton fiber left on the window. My windows are supposed to be wiped with just water. So I use a wet linen towel and a dry one to get them really clean. But even if you are using amonia + hot water or window cleaner, try the linen cloth.

We met B&J for ice cream tonight. I had a scoop of chocolate raspberry truffle in a (warm) waffle cone. YUM YUM YUM. I am going to dream about that for a while. Actually, I'll just add it onto the dreams of Dairy Queen ice cream cake I was already having. Yeah, if you are watching what you eat, I'd recommend avoiding me. I am a bad, bad influence. Come back in August to find out how that's working out for me. :-)

Has anyone read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? Folks keep talking about it. I'm not usually into self-help books, but I'm intrigued by what I'm hearing about this one. Have you read it? Did you try anything the book suggests? If so, how is that going?

Monday, March 26, 2007

blink and step into the sun

WOW! The weather the past couple days has been phenomenal!!

Yesterday evening I went for a walk around the neighborhood. Tonight I raced home so I could spend time cleaning out at least one of the flower beds. Everything is starting to come out: the lilac, the peonies, the daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, spirea, the redbud tree, and every other unidentified plant in my yard.

By the time John got home I had raked leaves and trash out from under the pine trees and out of the flower beds so he could help me pick up and bag the piles. He complained and called me names the whole time. But when we came back in, he did say it was nice to be outside for a little while. Turd.

I think I haven't mentioned in a while how much I love yoga. I'm still able to do most of the stuff in my Monday Hatha yoga class (with a few modifications). It feels so good to do that class. Sure, JT gets a little scrunched in some of the poses... but I feel like a new person after that class. My back feels better, I have more energy, my mind is clear, my pickup truck runs again, my dog comes back... etc... you get the point. :-)

On Saturday I tried one of my new DVD workouts: Tai Chi for Expecting Mothers. I loved it. Tai Chi is great anyway. But for right now, I'm just thankful that I will have something to keep me moving through month 9 without hurting myself.

I bought JT some books yesterday. Crazy good deals, even if the books are a little bit old for him. One is called The Paper Dragon by Marguerite Davol and Robert Sabuda. I am in love with this story! It has fold-out pages with chinese-style paintings of people and a dragon. The story is beautiful as well. A painter saves his town from the fire-breathing dragon. And the ultimate moral of the book? "Nothing is stronger than love." Awwww!!! It's art, life, culture, all rolled into one book. If you have kids, you should read this to them... they'll love it.

And here is a good way to end a random and wandering post... Check out this article about a wandering mind: When Our Minds are Wired to Wander on No really, look at the image of the article on my screen. The article talks about how much our minds wander during the day and how it can be a big problem. But look at the very screen on which the article is written. How do you keep focused in reading a 2-page article that is bombarded with advertisements that interrupt the reading?! Gee, why do our minds wander? Maybe we are trained to lose focus... we watch tv 10-15 minutes at a time, interrupted by commercials. We visit with friends only until their cell phone rings and we are put on hold. Anyway, the article is interesting, but the context is completely ironic.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

just like leprechauns!

  • Had a great weekend.
  • Spent some good quality time with the fam - Mom, Bill, Theresa, Joan, Wayne, Jessica.
  • Ate corned beef and cabbage. And pretty much anything else that didn't run away.
  • Ordered a crib for JT from Schlabach's. Thanks, Mom!
  • Drank some hot chocolate from Seattle's coffee shop.
  • Loved on my nephew, Bailey.
  • Learned to play Settlers of Catan - loved it.
  • Can't believe another weekend is over. Off to bed now...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

as exciting as watching paint dry

You know it's an exciting life when all I can talk about is drywall and paint. Hey, I've moved on from wood and electricity, right?

The basement remodel continues. We got drywall at the end of last week and since Sunday John has been painting our new walls. Check out the new photos on Flickr.

I spent the weekend with my mom... it was all about hanging out and going for walks. 4 miles each day - yahoo! Saturday morning was unbelievably (and unexpectedly) nice. We went for a walk and then had breakfast on the deck before the rain started. Can you believe it - we not only were able to be outside without freezing, but it was actually comfortable to sit in the sun and eat outside!

The only constructive thing we did was cover the old rocking chair will go in JT's room.
The chair was my Grandma's, then my Mom's. My dad was rocked in the chair, my aunts and uncles, me, my brother. It's not all that pretty... but it's in good shape and with a new turquoise chair pad... it should be rockin'. Alas, the chair is still at Mom's house, so photos will have to wait. Plus, I'm not ready to talk nursery yet... we're working on the basement right now, remember?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

remodeling the basement

We are remodeling our basement... I think I mentioned that yesterday. We are half doing it ourselves and half contracting the work. We had a contractor install glass block windows and we had 2 heating vents put in and a main heat duct reworked so it didn't drop as low into the room. We have framed it, wired it, and put up insulation. The drywall guys are coming tomorrow - yahoo - walls!

Check out the photos of progress so far.

Another exciting thing that happened today was the arrival, assembly, and installation of my new laundry shelf. Ok, act like it's not exciting. But my detergents have all been stored on the floor... it takes up a lot of space and is really inconvenient. So I ordered this shelf from Home Depot. It came today and John and I put it together and put it in place. Oh, and by the way, my laundry area isn't nearly as pretty as this photo. I'll take a photo of it when the drywall is done and we can uncover it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

update on a few things

Here is the latest baby update...

How far along: 22 weeks.
Last time I yacked: Still, Christmas day.
Last thing I smelled with my super-smelling abilities:
Last bit of food I snarled my nose at for no reason: This is getting better... but really, chicken is out and seafood is in lately.
Last thing I craved: Chocolate craving is back with a vengeance. Oh, you know those little yellow cake donuts with the gelatinous chocolate coating? They have been having those at church sometimes... they are lucky I don't eat the whole tray.
Pounds gained so far: Last week it was up to 6, but my pants were tighter today, so I am guessing a bit more.
Last time I felt the baby move: He started kicking where I could feel it about two weeks ago. (It's really very cool to know he's there and doing well.) Today I think he hardly slept at all. He kicked me at least once an hour. And his favorite new trick? Punching me in the bladder.
Latest annoying pregnancy symptom: Losing sensation in my limbs. I can't sit still too long without losing feeling in my legs. And night is the worst... I have to roll over every hour to get feeling back in the bottom leg.
Progress on the nursery: 0%. You may know, we are finishing our basement first. When it's finished, we'll clear out JT's room and get going on that.

So speaking of the basement... it has been framed and wired with electrical outlets and lights. The lights are great... it gives the room great ambience. John hung the insulation this week. The dudes are coming on Thursday to drywall. This weekend is painting. Last Sunday we chose a sectional sofa in a rich chocolate brown. It should be quite lovely, I'm excited to have a space ready for it. It was the smallest sectional we could find. We had restrictions on the entryway to the basement as well as the downstairs room itself being pretty small and narrow. Plus, we like the clean lines of this one... not overstuffed or otherwise ghastly in appearance (I'm picky on furniture, can you tell?) AND it has recliners on both ends. Can you guess where ma and pa are going to pass out after long days of toddler chasing?

I have been scrapping quite a bit lately, too. I was in a creative slump there for a while, but now I really feel like it's flowing. Tonight I scrapped with my friend Jenny for several productive hours. I am now 95% complete on a gift album that I promised in November and started in January. It should be done by this weekend... I'm pretty pumped about that. Maybe I'll post a few pics when it's ready... it's not totally ugly. :-)

That's all for tonight... I am off to bed. G'night.