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August 26, 2013

A Quarter of a Year

Hudson is 4 months old!

We finally moved into size 2 diapers. I have officially removed all of the 0-3 month clothing out of his closet. His well check deemed him 14.2 pounds! He did great with his shots, cried like he should but quickly calmed down and took a nap.

He is now playing in and enjoying the exersaucer - his sister was more excited about this than he was. She sat right next to him and made sure he saw all of the toys and knew how to use them. I think he just stared at her instead of the toys. I have to tell her to slowly turn him to see other toys, that contraption is overstimulating enough when the toys aren't moving. His feet don't touch the bottom of the saucer and I love that. We have to prop him up with a thin blanket sometimes or he falls over face first, and looks terribly uncomfortable.

He eats every 3-4 hours. Usually it's 3 during the day and he sleeps though the night. He went through a growth spurt and gets a 6 ounce bottle of formula in the evening - to give me a break and a chance to make dinner and clean it up. And bond with his dad. 

He has more routine naps at home, usually around 9am, 1pm and 5-6pm, then bedtime around 9pm. At school things are different and it's a "big deal" if he stays asleep for an hour. I tell him every day to take a long nap, at least 2 hours. 

He smiles. A LOT. Sometimes I think his pacifier doesn't stay in his mouth because he is smiling so much. He rolls from side to side, but has yet to roll on his belly. I'm anxiously waiting! He loves to take baths and pees every time his naked body hits the water. And then just sits there and enjoys his wash. He giggles a lot. Especially when you play with him or smooch him behind the ears.

 

 

 


July 27, 2013

Hudson is 3 months old!

Hudson is officially three months old! I am back to work so he's been in day care/school for three weeks now! His naps are crazy - short some days, long other days, or rather all over the place, but he sleeps through the night so that is all I care about. When I visit to feed him, he isn't sad or crabby or frantic because he's starving or overly tired, he's often fine and content and eventually begins to get fussy if I chat with the teachers for too long before feeding him.

He must be used to the daily events of waking, riding in the car and napping on our way to school and eating every 3-4 hours. 

He's pooping more, at least once a week and last week he went three times in one day, a blowout at school and twice for me within 30 minutes! 

His size 1 diapers still fit fine, and he is moving into 3-6 month clothing! Some of the 0-3 items are beginning to get too tight! He's quite mellow on his play mat, in the swing and in his bouncy seat. He coos and talks a lot on the play mat and when there are toys in front of him in the bouncy seat. He is holding his head up better, and has been sitting in the bumbo seat. We think he is around 13 pounds based on our scale test (you know the one where you stand on the scale without him and then with him).

He's happy. Even his teachers tell me he rarely cries. And he doesn't. He gets cranky and noisy but rarely is there a full blown cry. He loves to look at himself in the mirror and smile and laugh. And when you get him dressed, he often smiles and laughs and giggles when you take his shirt off his head and put a new one on. It's cute!

 

July 20, 2013

Karma

Lately I've been a single mom. My husband goes out of town for a weekend for personal fun, comes home for 8-12 hours and then goes away again for business for a week. It's brutal sometimes. We get by just fine, I go to bed when the kids go to bed so I'm not overly tired from a long and busy day at work and caring for them in the evening. But I don't enjoy bath, and it's summer so my three year old needs a bath each night to remove the dirt, slime, sweat, sunscreen from her body. So I find myself muttering and asking questions inside my head. Questions like "I will be rewarded for this someday, right?" Or simply reminding myself that all of this hard work equals "what goes around, comes around." But then I ask, is this normal? Is what I am doing caring for my two children alone just normal? It's not normal to my lifestyle with both parents present, but perhaps there will be no reward or karma that comes back to reward me because it's just what I'm supposed to be doing.

All I do know is that he is home and I am SO GRATEFUL! 

July 13, 2013

Blueberries 2013

This year I was on top of the blueberry harvest and because we were so busy, we had one day to get the goods and eat them!

Rachel was very excited to pick blueberries. She got her own bucket and had no trouble picking "just the blue" berries. She did show me the "gross" ones that she picked, that were mushy or eaten by bugs but quickly learned you just drop those on the ground and continue picking. She tasted a few but mostly picked them and set them in her bucket. I found it comical when she set down her bucket, walked three or four bushes down the row and ran back to her bucket to put blueberries in it. I kept telling her to take her bucket with her. 

 

 

Hudson was strapped to my husband in the Baby Bjorn and he did fairly well. He was a little cranky and then passed out while in the carrier. We picked berries for less than an hour - I didn't want to get stuck with too many berries (I know, I know, is there such a thing?) and it was beginning to get hot in the sun. 

 

Rachel picked half a pound and together we all picked 6.5 pounds. We ate blueberries in the car on the way home, we made two batches of blueberry buckle - a fantastic coffee cake with the best crumble topping, and we made a blueberry pie which I would rather not talk about. It tasted very good, but I tried to halve my single crust recipe to make a double crust because I didn't have enough ingredients. And for some reason I added cornmeal when i should have added cornstarch. I caught the mistake in time and did add the cornstarch but the cornmeal was already in there, too! Again, it was good, especially topped with my homemade whipped topping, but it needed more crust! It was from a recipe book that we recently received from Dan's Aunt Lee so Rachel was excited to make something "out of her book."

 

June 30, 2013

Hudson is 8 weeks old

Two months has passed since Hudson was born! Yikes! This means I return to work in 2 weeks and although the income will be fantastic, the day care bill for two children will not! Oh well, I know how fantastic day care is and so it's worth the money!

 

He smiles all the time and seems happy - he lays on his play mat and you can hear him coo and let out little laughs and hit the toys dangling above him. He might have a dimple on his right cheek! He grunts a lot less, but does grunt as he is beginning to wake up. 

He is starting to sleep through the night, or go at least 8 hours without needing food. For example, the one day he slept from 8:30pm until 5:00am. But then he might go two days and wake up in the middle of the night. Otherwise he's eating every 3-4 hours.

I called the doctor for the first time when he hadn't pooped in 7 days. I was instructed to massage his...ahem...anus when changing his diaper, give him a nice warm bath and when that didn't work, to encourage movement with what I call the "thermometer tickle." A few of these tickles and things began to move, and he had a nice full diaper! And he seemed much happier! 

It's been warmer so I'm putting him in 0-3 month onesies that fit well and he still fits into a size 1 diaper just fine. At his 2 month well check he weighed 11 pounds 1 ounce and was 23 inches long. He loves to take baths in the bathtub with the water covering a lot of his body, he barely cries and moves and kicks a lot while in the tub. His hair is still light brown and doesn't seem to be thinning at all, his eyes are still blue.  

Lately he hasn't been all that great in the car! Our trip usually begins or ends with screaming but thankfully doesn't last forever. Rachel usually sings him a song loudly while I am driving. It begins with "Baa, baa, black sheep" and moves onto "Row, Row, Row your boat." 

June 20, 2013

Strawberry Patch 2013

I learned quickly after having one child that I cannot wait for my husband to do things with us. If he is out of town, I just have to do things without him because in this case, strawberry picking, when he returns, the berries may no longer be in season. Of course I would much rather he be with us, not only to help us out, but to also enjoy making memories and traditions with our children.

This year my husband was out of town for strawberry picking, as he was last year as well, but the difference between this year and last year, was that I was hauling two children to the strawberry patch. And I did it.

Hudson was in the baby carrier and Rachel walked with me. We hung on tight while on the wagon and picked 6.5 lbs of berries, about half of what we normally pick, or have picked in the past, but wearing a child means you can only pick one handed and the other child was doing the potty dance so I figured we'd get out of the patch before she had an accident. While waiting in line to pay (after using the potty) I impulsively purchased an $18 pre-picked box of berries. The woman said there were 5.5 quarts in there. I had no idea how much that was so I purchased the box thinking 6.5 pounds was not nearly enough.

Well....that was plenty! Plenty enough to make four batches of freezer jam, two pans of strawberry pretzel jello, enjoy lots of fresh berries and have waffles and strawberries for breakfast. 

Rachel loved helping me make jam. She mashed up the berries, helped me count and measure sugar for the jam, and got the containers ready and set out to fill. But her FAVORITE part of helping me in the kitchen is licking the spoon (or bowl). 

Also, I was NOT the only crazy mother with an infant! I actually saw another woman with a baby wrapped in a moby, and I am guessing she was about 3 or 4 months old and there was another mom with an infant, possibly younger than Hudson in a car seat! So I wasn't the only person people were staring at! 

Last year we didn't get a photo of Rachel with the sign because it was raining and we were seeking refuge in the are of the petting zoo before the wagon picked us up and took us to the fields where we picked huddled under an umbrella. This year I almost peed my pants when she ran behind it and stepped on the stool for her photo. I can't wait until next year to see how much more of her head you can see!

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 05, 2013

Winter Baby vs Spring Baby

I had a baby in December and I had a baby in April and I've noticed that I am comparing the timing of those babies almost every day so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. 

A winter baby means you don't worry about: keeping your baby in the shade because of the intense sunshine; keeping your baby covered because of mosquitos. It means you don't sweat or have sweaty boobs while nursing. Your swaddled baby isn't sweating in the winter.

A spring baby means you don't have to worry much about illness as much as a winter baby.

I do find it perfect that my first child was a winter baby, because I was able to spend lots of time indoors snuggling with her and venturing out wasn't that hard or bad with a car sitting in a heated garage and a fleece car seat cover. The only "illness" that made it into our house was from us, not another sibling. I can see a winter second child as not very desirable because of the first child bringing home germs especially if they are in school or day care. 

I also find it perfect that my second child was a spring baby, allowing my first baby (or toddler) to be outside a lot while I am home on maternity leave. It's quite peaceful during the day at my house and nursing on our covered deck while watching my toddler play with her imaginary friends in her backyard is quite comical. We also enjoy having lunch and snacks on the deck during the day. 

And now, a photo to hold you over since I've been slacking (and I am aware of this!)

 

May 22, 2013

May Days

Maternity leave in May is quite nice. A change from December, although hanging inside, with a new baby in December isn't all that bad. But having the nice weather to spend outside with my three year old in May is super nice. Plus, we're able to get a few things done outside of the house.

Most of our mornings are spent playing outside, having lunch on the deck and then taking an afternoon nap. We then return outside for snack and play after nap. We have daily walks to get the mail and every few days we do a few loads of laundry. 

Here are some photos of our daily lives. 

Hudson hanging out with us on the deck.

 

Big sister helping to bathe her brother. She LOVES to help with this and is actually quite good at washing his legs and feet and keeping a pacifier in his mouth so he isn't "sad." She also helps to pick out his clothing he will wear after his fresh bath.

 

 

After bath, H's hair is fluffy. 

 

 

 

One weekend Rachel helped her dad rake the yard. It took all my might not to help with this task! But I had to refrain due to my csection incision and my restrictions on "working" for at least six weeks. 

 

 

And this girl was kind enough to give baby a ride on the tractor! 

 

May 18, 2013

It's Like a Zoo

I have been a super blog slacker. I'm sure my three faithful blog stalkers (that number is a complete estimate) assume it's because I've gone from a parent with one kid to two kids. But in reality, that's not it at all.

Sure, two kids is more work, but the "more work" comes into play when I have to get both of them ready and out the door at a certain time. Which we've done only once, to go to a doctor's appointment. Our daily lives/schedule isn't all that bad, or tiring, or awful. Of course the biggest help is my three year old and I am SO GRATEFUL she is such a good kid and has no issues sleeping through the night. I cannot imagine dealing with two children, who are "up all night" or at least each of them are up in the middle of the night. I'd assume no parent would get any sleep with two children that do not sleep well.

Plus, having a three year old who can do things such as put on her own shoes, go to the bathroom by herself, open and close the door to go outside with me and always help me with burp cloths and pacifiers is an added bonus. We are spending a lot of time outside, and she loves it and I do, too. 

I've attributed my "survival" to making small to-do lists. Maybe 1-2 goals to get done a day. And on some days that she is at school, I make sure I take a nap with my newborn so that I can catch up on sleep if necessary. 

As for the zoo part, this new child sounds like a zoo. He's a grunter and a groaner and a moaner and a loud sleeper. It's something that I am not at all used to and one day while I was resting, or attempting to nap as he was napping, I thought to myself, "He sounds like a zoo animal." I started to envision his one sound was that of a zebra being chased; then his sound that followed that was of a giraffe screeching, then a grunting lion cub learning to use his voice, etc. I of course have no idea what these zoo animals sound like, but it's fun to think my little one can imitate a wild African animal. And it adds a little comical relief after a 3am feeding, that he's pretending he is a zoo as I listen to him keep me awake.

And my slacking, is simply my lack of wanting to sit at the computer and type. We're spending more time outside, more time getting our to-do list done, trying new recipes, catching up on sleep, enjoying time with big sister and little brother, etc. 

April 22, 2013

Remain Calm

For some reason, I was certain I would go into labor early and have my baby on April 22nd. I think that thought came from the fact that it was 9 days before my due date - which is when my last child was born. I woke up this morning, this Earth Day, and had a little cramp. It was also potluck day, which is what happend with my last child! I began to freak out that my premonition was coming true! Thankfully the cramp didn't last and I didn't have contractions all day long while at work like I did last time. But now there is a new twist. My daughter has a fever. Just in time for me to have a baby and bring a new baby home. Sigh. I'm remaining calm and if the fever stays, she won't be able to see her new sibling in the hospital as I had hoped and planned, She will hopefully be well enough to see her silbling when we return home on Saturday.

March 19, 2013

Mega Milestone Round 2

After my "hell week" of feeling like crap and having a sick kid while being a single parent, my husband returned home from working out of state and I was stricken with headaches. They were so bad that nothing was helping - no tylenol (all I can really take in this condition), no sudafed (assuming they were from a cold that I had), no ice, no resting, sleeping, laying down. I was up so much in the middle of the night in pain that I just wanted "real drugs" to knock me out. I think the biggest relief I got was icing the right side of my face, which is where all of the pain was hiding out - my upper jaw and teeth even hurt.

I broke down one night and took some 3 year old percocet I had hanging out in my bathroom medicine cabinet. I figured one won't kill me or the fetus, since they were left over medications from when I had my first daughter via csection. Within an hour or so the pain was still there, but tolerable. I couldn't believe how much better I felt with a little less pain. Unfortunately I wanted to take them throughout the night but decided not to until I talked to my doctor.

The next morning I called and chatted with the nurse. Percocet was "safe" to take but the doctor wanted to see me so I went into the office. I was given a zpack of antibiotics for a sinus infection and more pain meds after admitting mine were 3 years old. It was fantastic! Within a few days I still had headaches but they were tolerable. Often worse in the morning than the afternoon, but much more tolerable than they had been in the past. I suppose I have been mislead about sinus functions. I always thought if you had a sinus infection, it was possible that you couldn't breathe out of that side of your nose. I had no problem breathing out of both nostrils, so I am still unaware of how to know if you have a sinus infection or not. I suppose a headache on one side could be my best indicator.

Ugh, headaches. I have had at least one headache a day since March 1st. That's 19 straight days of headaches. I'm finding that I am taking at least 2 Tylenol a day to manage when the pain is the worst, which is better than "overdosing" and taking 10 in one day (yes, I did that and I knew it was bad, but the pain was awful!) I've tried Mucinex to break up the sinus gunk and it sort of worked. I even did a sinus rinse twice and was somewhat disappointed at the amount of gunk that came out, but the flush didn't feel as bad as I had expected!

So this is my second round of serious milestones. I'm hoping that in five weeks, all of these headaches go away, whether from sinus issues or pregnancy hormones, or I can take something stronger than Tylenol. 

January 23, 2013

First Snow

Well the first "big snow" came when I was in South Carolina for Christmas. But when we returned home there was snow on the ground and Rachel LOVED it. We had to take the opportunity to go outside and play in it!

We have a few buckets and shovels floating around in her play house and she likes to scoop the snow and fill the buckets. She loves making snowmen and putting "eyes and a mouth and a nose" on them.  We tried to omit the mouth once and it didn't go over well.

Her dad tried to teach her how to make a snow angel. I think she understood laying in the snow, but didn't quite understand what she was making, so she just laid there and looked up at the sky. It was really cute. She loves to make footprints and tracks in the snow and will go all over the yard. And I love watching her.

Sometimes we warm up in the garage, but in the end she usually only lasts about 30 minutes outside, which is fine with me (a girl that doesn't have a pair of snow pants, and even if I did, they wouldn't fit). It's enough to get her out and get her smiling and get her nose and cheeks pink.

Playing with her new shovel and carrying her glow sticks. Glow sticks can go anywhere. 

 

Playing with the other shovel she got for Christmas. She seems to like this one better, I think it's a little easier for her to handle the snow. Plus, it looks fun :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 19, 2012

Things She Says

My first-born is 3 today and the things she says are HILARIOUS. Here are some recent quotes.

"Mom, I need earmuffins so my ears don't get cold."

R: "Can I hold the baby?"
Me: "What baby?"
R: "The one in  your belly?"
Me: "Sure, as soon as it comes out."
R: "Okay."

Dan: "Wanna come to the shop with me?"
R: "Where is the shop?"
Dan: "Well, it's in our garage."
R: "No the shop is at Grandpa Dave's."

Every morning when we pull out of the garage to go to work/school our Christmas lights are not on. She says, "Oh no, the rainbow lights are not glowing. That's okay, they will glow when we come back from school."

Me: "What should we name the baby?"
R: "Um....John."
Me: "What if it's a girl, then what should we name it?"
R: "John!"
For some reason she is obsessed with the name John!

She has a placemat that is a US map. We talk to her about where we live, where her cousins and family members live, where we went to the beach and of course where Mickey Mouse's Club House is located. Last week she said, "Where does Fresh Beat Band live?" 

 

December 13, 2012

The Big Reveal

Now that my Christmas cards have been sent, delivered, and received, it's no secret that I am having another baby. Of course, as my husband tells me says that I can't make anything simple, so the reveal that we were having another child couldn't be simply stated. And he was right. Most things I want to be special, and fun, so this was no different.

My family got cards in the mail that looked like this on the front: 

 

And the inside:

 

My friend, who is always bugging me about having more kids (she has four of her own), received three pieces of mail, each sent a day apart (thanks to my mom) and she was "onto" me right away, but I denied until she received all pieces. I tried to blow it off stating the fact that I don't scrapbook, there is no way I could have done this. This plan backfired just a tad because she posted the first two pieces on Facebook, and I freaked out a little bit. I honestly didn't think she was that Facebook savvy. Some of our mutual friends commented that they thought it was me, too.

 

 

 

 

Then there were Rachel's teachers. One teacher in particular had been bugging me to have another child since Rachel was just over a year old. She said Rachel is a "little mother" and needs a sibling. A few months before I found out I was pregnant, Rachel was babbling (most likely being "the teacher") and I overheard her say something about her sister. I caught her talking about a sister again and after asking my husband if he had said anything to her, I immediately knew who was to "blame." Ms. B. fessed up one day and told me she let Rachel "hold" one of the babies and told Rachel she needed a sister. Therefore, this reveal had to be special. I created cupcakes and sneaked them into the center at the end of the day, so they were there when Ms. B. arrived in the morning. Shortly after finding out, there were three teachers and 12+ toddlers in my office congratulating me.

I found these cute little sugar bees on Amazon and made a chocolate cupcake with a white creme filling and topped it with chocolate butter cream frosting. 

 

 And I made these little toppers: 

 

And finally, the Christmas Card reveal - which was really a test to see how many people actually read my card. It says: Dan, Kari, Rachel and Baby Perrine, arriving April 2013.

 

 

November 26, 2012

Proud Parent

I haven't talked about it much, because there really isn't much to talk about. My daughter has microtia, atresia of her right ear, meaning she has no hole/no opening and is missing a full sized, fully developed ear. She was born this way and we've taken the necessary steps to ensure she is as healthy and normal as she can be. And so far, she is. She's hitting all milestones, she is not delayed in anything and if you saw her in a room of "normal" kids her age, there is no way you would be able to point her out as the kid missing the ear. Most recently I had her speech and language clinically tested at U of M to create a baseline to ensure she continues to improve and not hit any set backs in her learning and development.

Of course I think my daughter's speech and language is great for an almost three year old. She talks a lot, and I attribute that to the fact that I talk a lot to her and with her no matter where we are and I've always talked a lot to her, even when she was an infant in the car seat at the grocery store! Her sentences are complex, her memory is good and she does mix up a few words which always make me laugh. Most recently she was calling Thanksgiving, Kindergarten. Anyhow, at her evaluation I was super happy to learn my daughter has the vocabulary of a 3 year, 8 month old child. And her speech is normal, and falls right in the center of being normal for a child her age - meaning she has an issue with all the things kids her age struggle with - Saying "L's" and "Fr" words. 

So there's my gloating, I'm a proud parent of this amazing child: there she is, just sitting on her blocks, wearing a butterfly antennas and wings, pretending to cook and eat....

 

November 21, 2012

Crazy Week & New Knees

My mom decided to have two new knees put in the week before Thanksgiving! Not sure what she was thinking, but I've been spending every-other-day at the hospital visiting with her. It gave me the chance to use up vacation time that I struggle to use since I only work four days a week! 

Rachel loved visiting grandma in the hospital. She loves to take walks down the hallway and smile at all the nurses and people that pass by. She ate her lunch with grandma one day and we took grandma to see all the hospital sights on Sunday. They included: the Christmas tree, gift store, toy store, restaurant (cafeteria) and the naked babies. The naked babies are mannequins at Beaumont hospital. They are spray painted colors and have writing on them. I honestly don't even know what they are for, but Rachel loves to go to the first floor and see them. Rachel also likes to sit in bed with grandma and watch cartoons. This works well for us since we're often visiting during nap time.

My mom is doing better. Her knees are great, she's getting around great, just not feeling so great from the epidural, pain medication and other meds they have her on. But she's coming home so that's all that matters! She's motivated and not going to let these new knees slow her down! 

November 15, 2012

Leaves!

Before my husband mowed the grass/mulched the leaves, I asked him to rake a pile for our daughter to play in. He used the leaf blower to make this pile and one afternoon and Rachel loved playing in it. Later on she brought her baby and stroller into the pile and was throwing leaves onto her baby.

She was giddy with excitement running to the pile! She was giggling the entire time. 

 

 

 

November 08, 2012

I the Teacher

I catch my daughter being the teacher a lot. Whether she's at home, eating dinner, riding in the car, I overhear things like this:

"I the teacher."

"You have to sit. Alex, do you see Chloe using her listening ears?"

"Shhh, quiet, I am talking." 

It's hilarious and sort of scary at the same time! How on earth is she imitating me when I'm not around!?!

One morning when we were home she sat in her rocking chair and lined up her "friends" and read them a story, because she was the teacher. I feel like I need to tell you who her friends are....Fluffy, Wally, Monkey, Baby, Bear, Monkey, Big Boy, Baby....

 

 

November 06, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012

It wouldn't be Halloween without a visit to the pumpkin patch. Thankfully the one we go to has a petting area, too, because Rachel loves to check out the animals. This year it was a touch warmer so we decided to do the wagon ride. While we were there, Rachel saw one of her friends from school so they sat by each other on the wagon!

Every year I make her sit on a pumpkin. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 02, 2012

Potty Training 101

Last Monday I decided it was "Potty Training Day." I sent my daughter to day care with just underwear on. I figured I better start soon because she's asking about underwear, wearing them every now and again and can already recite the potty book. Plus, we were done with our long car ride vacation to Ocean City, so I really didn't have an excuse.

I figured the first three days would be chaos, and I was right. Peeing here and there, not making it to the potty. Peeing in her pants and then telling me she peed. Peeing while eating breakfast, etc. Lots of cleaning the floor and scrubbing the carpet, clothing changes and laundry. I was washing a load of pee soaked clothes every night after work. Then on Thursday (day 4) it clicked a bit and less soiled clothes came home. By Friday, my daughter was accident free all day...even when we went to the fair.

You see, I had this brilliant idea to pre-buy a bracelet for the rides for the fair on Sunday and then I brilliantly declared/decided/flew by the seat of my pants that Monday was no more diaper day. So instead of letting my $15 pre-purchased ride bracelet go to waste, I packed a bag with wipes, a towel, change of clothes, and a toilet seat and headed to the fair in the morning. We went in the morning to see the animals and while there, Rachel peed on the potty. But not just any potty, the PORT-A-POTTY! The funniest thing she said, was "Where's the flusher?" I was SO PROUD of her and I also learned the acoustics for pee hitting the toilet water are amazing in a Port-A-Potty.

We went home for lunch and a nap and went BACK to the fair to ride the rides - since the midway didn't open until 2pm and I still had that aforementioned bracelet I paid $15 for. The rides were great. Mostly because the weather was great, overcast and in the low 70s. It sprinkled a few times, but nothing that stopped us from having fun. We visited the Port-A-Potty AGAIN and were successful! I should mention I did take her to the "normal" restrooms at the fair a few times during both of our visits, but she didn't go potty.

So though the weekend she did fairly well. She took a super long nap and peed through her clothes, which I expected since she didn't potty before going down and found my secret stash of Capri Sun and asked to have one. And she peed outside while I was filling up the pool - but who doesn't pee, or have the urge to pee when they see a hose with flowing water!?!? 

This week at school has been a struggle - which is to be expected. Friends that don't come to day care every day are there and she doesn't want to take the time to potty. So I'm not giving up, because once the diaper is gone, it's GONE! (Okay, she still uses one at night, which is fine since I have an entire case from Sam's Club to use up.)

At home we have a potty area in our (giant) bathroom for her, and she loves it. She asks for her table and says she needs her stool if it isn't under her feet. She enjoys flushing the toilet and watching the toilet paper go down. She also likes to tell us to "listen to the tinkle." And after we tinkle, my husband and/or I do a wild dance that she loves. 

Here she is in her potty throne, flushing the toilet and watching the (this time) poo go down. 

 

And sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Here she is after the fair, sitting on the potty we have in the vehicle and reading books. She hasn't peed in this potty, but it's here for emergencies. 

 

This photo is completely unrelated to potty, except that you can see her bootie and I thought it was hilarious when it happened and I needed to document/scrapbook/blog about it, yet at the same time, I'm grossed out. She was playing with these necklaces one day and all of the sudden....
(You'll have to ignore the bug bites she was scratching)

 

 

 

July 17, 2012

Blueberries 2012

After our vacation, we went to pick blueberries one Saturday morning. It was hot, but not as hot as it got later in the day. We each got a bucket and picked until the sweat started to run. We ended up with 6.25 pounds, two bottles of water and an awesome handmade elephant basket when we left.

Rachel had fun picking. She didn't quite understand you had to pick the blue ones at first but when she realized she could instantly pick and eat them, that's what she did. I think almost every one she ate, she picked AND after eating them from the tree, she'd steal them from our buckets and eat them. 

I always look forward to seeing the dogs at the blueberry patch - Max is a boxer and Snippy (I think that is his name) is a small terrier and this time was wearing the cutest little cone because he had gone up against a critter the night before. 

 

 

 

 

For comparison visit:

Last year: Blueberries 2011

July 12, 2012

Positive Thinking

I love my kid, I really do. And I try to be positive in most of my blogs. But this "phase" my daughter is going through is DRIVING ME NUTS. It's the screaming phase.

It's that high pitched, short scream that can happen anywhere: while changing diapers, in the car, in the grocery store cart, outside, etc. She knows when she does it that she should not do it, because it's often followed by her saying, "Don't Scream." And I've followed day care's lead and said, "When you scream like that I think you are in trouble, so please don't scream like that if you are not in trouble." And she usually stops. 

Of course, this isn't all the time and then I look through my photos and see this photo and I forget all about her screaming (but I will never forget the labor pains!)

 

 

July 02, 2012

Rules of Dress

I don't have a lot of issues with what my daughter wears at any given time. She's pretty good about simply wanting to wear shoes and a coat and "normal" things outside of the house. As long as she has clothes on, I really don't care what she looks like in public because I know she is cared for and fed and watered and spoiled!

I rarely dress her up to go places, and she doesn't have a gazillion shoes like I would like her to have, I'm saving my money for the day when she doesn't grow out of a pair of shoes in six months, and wants a prom dress AND a homecoming dress, and new shoes to go with each of them :)

I don't always encourage her to pick out her clothes, unless I'm struggling to get her to come with me into her room to get dressed. Then she will pick out which shirt she wants to wear for the day. She is also not into wearing the dress up clothes that we have. But sometimes she looks a little crazy, and i actually catch it on camera.

This day, I caught her coming out of the bathroom, without any shorts on (which doesn't happen too often) wearing my shoes and carrying her milk and goldfish that Grandma Linda left for her. She is also photographed saying, "cheeeeese." 

On this day I put on a bathing suit that she has never worn (but was handed down to her), and it was too small, but it was on and we were wearing it for the day. She asked to wear her rain boots, even though she knew we would be going outside in the pool while I stained the deck. 

 

 

June 28, 2012

Goats in the Rain

My daughter loves goats. Whenever we go to a petting farm, she immediately gravitates toward the goats. And the strawberry patch has a small petting area with goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, peacocks and roosters. Of course the piglets were soooo cute, but all she cared about were the goats. She did mimic the roosters a few times and constantly point out the turkey to me.

Again, it was a rainy day, so our photos aren't that great, but this progression of photos with the goats is my favorite. In the back of the photos you can see a few girls. They are paying 25 cents to feed the animals. I asked Rachel a few times if she wanted to feed the animals and she said no. Then all of the sudden she said, "I wanna feed them." I knew she wouldn't hold onto the feed and give it to the goats, but after I fed them a few times, she DID IT!

 

 

 

  

 

June 27, 2012

Father's Day 2012

My husband was racing in Bowling Green, Kentucky with his father over Father's Day, so I wasn't in a rush to get anything for him in a timely manner (which is very unlike me). But my daughter's school was on the ball with gifts, and Rachel picked out a "teddy bear" card for her dad and she had a lot of fun giving him a gift on his special day when he returned home. I loved her enthusiasm this year! She was very into giving her dad his gifts.

Signing the card a few days before dad comes home. Notice Big Boy was also watching. She was taking to him the entire time. "See, Big Boy..."

Handing her dad the bag/gift she made at school:

 

 

Excitement followed the photo above. She said, "I made that, with paint" followed by some jibberish, some gestures showing her hands and then saying, "with my hand." Here was the message that was in the bottle.



Showing him the card she picked out:

I recall her saying, "I made that." 

 

June 25, 2012

The Perfect (High School) Graduation Gift

Are you looking for the instructions to make this PERFECT High School Graduation Gift?

This page has been moved to my blog: CraftCreateCook!

You'll find the detailed instructions and everything you need to make this amazing gift! Don't forget to like us on Facebook, Visit us on Pinterest, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! We love making new friends! Can't wait to see you there!

-Kari

 

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June 20, 2012

Teacher Thank You Gift

After sharing my blog with my day care and receiving great comments from the teachers, it was now time to say goodbye to the "baby" room and watch my daughter move to the toddler room. I "himed and hawed" about what to give them as a gift...and decided on this - fresh picked STRAWBERRIES and scratch pads (of course, everyone loves and needs paper)!

Rachel and I picked 15.1 pounds of strawberries on a RAINY Sunday afternoon. She was such a good trooper and I was amazed we picked so much while I was holding an umbrella over her with one hand, squatting down and picking strawberries with the other, all while she ATE berries! My goal is always to just pick, pick, pick, and without any complaints of the weather, and the situation from my 2.5 year old, I kept picking until our box was full.

And this was a record year for our picking - last year we nabbed 10.5 lbs and the year before, 10.25. 

Originally I purchased bowls to put the berries in, but when I got to the strawberry patch I was able to buy the boxes for a DIME each! So I went that route and made a little note, tacked it to a popsicle stick with a dab of hot glue and delivered it to the "baby room" teachers. 

 

The tag reads: Thank you for being the BERRY BEST teacher and for helping me GROW. I couldn't have PICKED a better one. 

 

 

June 12, 2012

One of the BEST Decisions of my Life

Some people might say one of the best decisions of their life was marrying their husband/wife, or going back to school to continue their education, but my most recent "best decision" was putting my child in day care and being a working mother.

A little bit of background about my day care. I did shop around, I checked out another center and an in-home day care facility and decided to "go with" the one I have always used for many reasons, but mostly because, it's "right next to my office." When I say this, I mean it. I mean my boss owns the building and rents the second space in our building to my day care. The back doors are right next to each other, I go out one door and into the other. I can take breaks and visit my daughter while she is playing indoors or out. The sad realization is that my boss pays me, I pay day care, day care pays my boss. But that's life!

While visiting my daughter twice a day to nurse her, I quickly learned that almost all good day care caregivers, or teachers as I refer to them, are just plain awesome.  Awesome to be able to spend their entire day with small children, no matter what the age. Awesome at calming a cranky infant, awesome at working with toddlers and their feuds and breakdowns, awesome at giving me the tools I need to be a better a communicator and parent to my child. Sure, they all have bad days, and I'm certain that kids get on their nerves and when the last child walks out the door and there is silence, they are relieved, but we all go through this, and no one is perfect, even I have bad days. But no matter what, my daughter's teachers always smile and are very happy to see her and me.

I would love to be able to slip each of my daughter's five teachers a $20 bill every month, but it isn't in my budget, so instead, I often make them goodies to let them know how much I appreciate them. Of course they aren't always healthy goodies, but they are usually homemade, so that has to count for something. I write them thank you notes when they send cute projects home with my daughter, and I let them know when they leave cute notes for my daughter on her report sheet that it makes me smile. 

But what I most love about my day care, is the things my daughter's teachers have taught me that have enabled me to be a better parent. Most of these things seem so normal to me now, but it was foreign territory at first, and sitting in a room with infants and toddlers while nursing helped me to quickly pick up the things teachers say that toddlers and children listen to. Some examples are:

Avoiding the word "No."
Not for your hands, mouth, face, head, etc. Referring to books, toys, etc. Books are not for chewing with our teeth but for reading with our eyes. Chairs are for sitting, not for standing. Hands are not for hitting, feet are for kicking a ball, not a person. Or simply "not for your mouth" when a child is chewing on a toy not meant for chewing. I use this all the time, and it's especially helpful instead of using the word "No."  I firmly believe this route for telling my daughter "no" makes her rarely use the word no. I also think this has enabled us to not have to use the time out chair yet. I'm sure it's coming, but so far, she hasn't done anything harmful to require it (those are our rules for putting her into a time out).

Two choices and Two More Minutes.
I recently have begun to use this when my daughter doesn't want to eat what I offer. I give her choices. You can have this or that. Or you can eat lunch or say no thank you and walk away. You can bring this or that into the store with us.
Two more minutes is perfect to get her ready to clean up, or get dressed, or brush her teeth. I say things like, "You have two more minutes before we need to get our PJs on and get ready for bed." A few months ago, my daughter began to say this as she was playing alone, thus making me realize she was mocking her teachers!
(She also loves to repeat what she hears on the playground, "Preschool friends, time to line up.")

Listening to her needs.
Day care has taught me to say things like "I hear that you are not happy, but right now we need to go home. Tomorrow we will go outside at the park when it isn't raining." Or, "I know that you are sad that you cannot have the book/toy, but (insert name here) is taking her turn with the toy and when she is done you can have a turn." This also makes her say "we can share the coloring book" when the two of us color and it's made me hold my ground when I am using a toy/pencil/crayon and she wants it. I tell her it is my turn to use it and when I am done I will let her use it.

Manners.
I never, ever, ever thought my daughter would say "Excuse me, Rock" to our dog when she was 1.5 years old. Of course my dog had no way of knowing what she was saying, but it was so sweet to hear those words come out of her mouth. Even better when she uses them with her parents. She has been repeatedly using her manners to say please, and thank you and now you're welcome. All I can say is THANK YOU DAY CARE for teaching those things to her! 

Sensory Toys and Play-Doh.
I have never been a parent before, and I know I would have never given my 6-8 month old play-doh (The package at the store says ages 3+). But the teachers at day care do. And at an early age she learned how to pat it and flatten it and pound it. Now she loves it and I love to watch her get excited about making a snake or a ball or help me stack three balls to make a snowman.
I never would have thought to let her put her fingers in (dry) flour and cinnamon and oatmeal or play with shaving cream and paint on the table. But day care does, and because of this my daughter loves to get messy.

Takes away the guilt.
Day care helps me not feel so guilty about not going outside with my daughter when I get home from work, because I need to be indoors to make a dish I agreed to bring to the office potluck, or had to run to the store and didn't get home before dark. I know that this one day I had something else to do, she went outside at day care and played all day long with friends, so I don't feel so bad at the end of the night. 

Being there for me. 
I do not hesitate to communicate with my daughter's teachers. For example, when my daughter was hitting me, it was somewhat funny, because I really didn't notice it because she wasn't hurting me. But I knew this behavior would not fly with another student or teacher at day care, so I made sure to ask the correct words to be used to "discipline" her for this behavior. It wasn't a time out in the corner, it was simply a talk that hands are not for hitting and we need to use soft hands. She has now cut back on the hitting, but when she gets upset, she will begin to hit me (again pain and harmless to me) and then slow down her hitting and gently pat me and say "soft hands" reassuring me that those teachers know what they are doing and they know how to communicate with children!

Reassurance.
A few months ago, while dropping of my daughter,  I heard a 3 or 4 year old girl say to another girl, "M, you hurt my feelings when you told me you didn't want to play with me."  I instantly knew she learned this from that day care, the one I was standing in, the one that my daughter attends. Because I had heard the teachers tell students to use their strong words instead of hitting or pushing a child because they were upset. Instantly I knew I had some new tools to help my daughter with conflict and her feelings!

Most people comment on how great my child is, and of course she has her moments but all-in-all she is a very good kid. I often reply with, "We pay day care for her to be this way."  And part of me means it. Because they helped my husband and I to reinforce the excellent behavior she demonstrates in the classroom at home. I also believe communication with my husband is key, so we are both on the same page with discipline and parenting. Most of the time we are, and rarely argue about what we do and say to her, but I'm sure we'll have a difference of opinion as she grows older.

In two weeks my daughter will be moving to the preschool side of her day care. She'll be 2.5 years old and will have "new" teachers (she's familiar with them, but will be spending all day with them) and I honestly hope that I can blog about how awesome they were with her and potty training. I hope that she is a star potty student and demonstrates all of her excellence at home and at school. If she is not, I'll certainly communicate and talk to her teachers so we are all on the same page and using the same lingo and tactics to get her out of diapers, but I'm not going to fret over it or rush it, when she's ready she'll go.

So as one school chapter of my daughter's life closes and another opens, I hope to continue to learn as a parent and make her teachers feel special and let them know I appreciate all they do. 

 

One of my favorite photos of her at school is below, and although it's 8 months old, it always makes me smile.  I can still hear the teacher telling me how funny it was and how it made everyone in the room laugh.

 

 

June 06, 2012

She's Famous

She's famous.

While attending Art in the Park and chatting with friends, my daughter was loving these lawn decorations featured by a vendor. She even sat on the ground and was petting the small turtles and frogs that were on display. A man approached me from the local newspaper and asked me if he could get her photo and name. I was certain she would never make it into the newspaper, and she did. Right there on the Sunday edition on page 2. 

Her first public appearance in the newspaper! 

 

May 30, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

My husband has been wanting to take our daughter to a Tiger's game and I'm somewhat boycotting it. Mainly for these reasons: it can be expensive, the games seem to be during her nap time (1:05pm) or near her bed time (7:05pm), and because she really won't understand what is going on.

I decided we needed a less expensive, less serious trial run at a Lansing Lugnuts game. So out of the blue, I bought two tickets online and we went on a somewhat chilly and cloudy Sunday game. I think they were playing the Whitecaps, but I really don't know. We got there early and everything about it was great - no traffic, cheap parking, barely anyone in the stadium, it was kid's day so there were balloon animals, and zoo animals and bounce houses and you could go onto the field. 

As expected, Rachel "lasted" for quite a while but then around 3pm she hit her breaking point of being overly tired, and so we left and she crashed in the car. She was so excited about their mascot, Luggie, the 8th wonder of the world that I was calling a purple dinosaur. She walked by him but didn't want to look at our touch him when she was close up. Throughout the game she would spot him and tell us what he was doing. We let her have a treat - m&ms and I think that made her very happy. This was her first minor league baseball game.

I know all of my blog stalkers just want photos of my kid, so here she is. 

Baby came to the game and went onto the field before the game. 

 

She really enjoyed these cup holders. 

 

 

May 23, 2012

One Week Down

It was a very tough two days after Rockwell went to Heaven. I cried for what seemed like two days straight. By Friday is was much better, way fewer breakouts crying. The weekend was tough because it was nice and I was outside a lot, realizing Rockwell would be right by my side no matter what I was doing outdoors. But then I'd remember his "current condition" and quickly realize if he were still here, he'd be laying in the grass under a shade tree sleeping. His anemia had made him very lazy. So I knew we made the right decision.

It's nice to not have him around because there's no dog hair to clean up. But while I was cleaning, and vacuuming, I was crying. I felt like I was sucking up every last bit of him. And I missed him. It is nice to be able to leave work and go to a car show, as we did this past week, and arrive home at 9:30pm and not worry that he's been home for 14 hours.

I've packed up all of his dog things, donated food to the humane society and given some to my father-in-law for his dogs, gave Rockwell's toys away to other dogs we know and even re-gifted some of his unopened dog treats. He still has a dog cupboard in our kitchen, full of his bowls, collars, leashes, various bandanas for his neck and clippers. And there it sits, waiting for another dog. Which we will get, but not anytime soon. 

Rachel continues to ask about Rockwell. She asks about once a day. She says, "Where's Rockwell?" I usually reply with, "You know where he is." Rachel says, "He's in Heaven." The other day she was telling me she loved me, and her dad and Rockwell.  

 

May 16, 2012

Goodbye Rockwell

 

In my efforts to blog "at least once a week" I'm successfully completing this week's goal on a sad note.

On Tuesday, May 15th, I said goodbye to my 10 year old Rottweiler, Rockwell just before he got into the car with my husband and made a trip to the vet/heaven. 

Rockwell was at the vet on April 21. I took him in because he was losing weight. He wasn't eating well and hadn't been for a while, he was skinny. We were at the vet for 2.5 hours. After bloodwork, xrays, stool samples, and lots of talking, we discovered Rockwell had a tapeworm, was anemic, had a mass on his leg (which we knew about) and x-rays showed masses on his lungs as well as air-filled intestines. This was a lot to take in for a woman like me. We started him on tapeworm treatment and began giving him an iron pill, I made hamburger and rice for his meals and he ate well for about a week. When he got bored with the hamburger rice meal, I added wet food to his dry. When he was bored with that, I was giving him anything I could find - do treats, people foods, etc. He was still doing well taking his medication now that we were stuffing it into hot dog pieces.

Last week I witnessed him have horrific diarrhea. I contacted the vet and on Friday he was given some antibiotics, good bacteria to sprinkle on his food, new food and a de-worming medicine. We were able to give him this round of new medication for about 2 days and after that, I quit. He wasn't taking hot dogs anymore, we were forcing medication down his throat.

One of my last food efforts was liver. I cringed as I opened the package and cooked it up. I offered it to Rokwell plain and mixed with rice. He didn't touch it. Then I tried baby food on Monday and he refused that as well. 

So my husband and I made the decision to let him go to heaven with is buddies Cletus and Diesel. We made an appointment to take him in on Tuesday night. And he was buried with Cletus and Diesel at my father-in-law's house.

Telling my 2.5 year old was probably the most difficult. Thankfully she didn't really get it. When we told her to "say goodbye to Rockwell" and that he was "going to heaven and never coming back" she said, "I go there?" She was more concerned about me being sad. When she woke up, she said "mommy's sad" and I said, "not right now, but sometimes I do get sad, and it's okay to be sad." This morning she said "Rockwell's in (something inaudible) and I corrected her and said, "Rockwell's in Heaven" to which she said "Yeah, In heaven with daddy." Since my husband left for work before she woke up, she was obviously thinking that he was in heaven with our dog.

I miss him dearly and am very sad, but relieved I don't have to continue to stress over his health and weight. His anemia had made him very lazy and sluggish and that was hard to watch. He was a goofy and fun dog - even my husband commented on his quirks, and he has had dogs before, I have not. There are a few things I already miss - one of them is him cleaning up after me in the kitchen when I am cooking and cleaning up after Rachel when she eats. Guess for now I'll have to break out the broom and dustpan. I miss not hearing him drink out of the toilet, or bark at it when the lid is down. I miss seeing him when I get out of the shower hanging out on my bedroom floor and most of all I miss being able to snuggle with him and pet him.

He will be missed.

Rockwell
August 2001-May 15, 2012

 

March 16, 2012

Farewell by Bug

I sold my car.

You know, the car that my husband gave me as an engagement present, my 1966/69 Volkswagen beetle. I sold it. 

It was a very bittersweet moment. I thought I would cry when they drove it away, but I did not. 

It hasn't been driven since the summer of 2009, excuse me, my husband took it out once last year in 2011 and maybe another time in 2010. Although I loved it, it was a stick and I wasn't comfortable driving it by myself let, or with my daughter and I since I tote her to day care every day. And we never had time to practice in the summer/nice months during the week because my husband doesn't get home until late and our weekends are very precious and we often don't have time to spare driving around to help me learn to drive.

I call it a 1966/69 Bug because it was titled as a 1966 and most of the body work was 1969 - only bug people know this. But on a high note, the buyer was born in 1966 and his wife was born in 1969 and they've always wanted one...and now they have the perfect one. 

 

March 05, 2012

Extreme Guilt

I feel terribly guilty for not keeping up on my blog. Things have been happening. Not good, not bad, not awesome, not terrible, but just Life in general. I'm diving into digital scrapbooking hard core and spending most of my extra computer time working on my 2010 album - which should be complete this Saturday at my scrapbook class. After 2010 I will begin 2011 until the present, so blogging may be less and less!

I'm sure my faithful stalkers just want updates on my daughter, so here are a few photos to keep you smiling. 

Here she is very proud of the tower she built and proud to say, "cheese" for the camera.

 

There is a "crack" in my bathroom and she crawled into it once and got "stuck." Now when she goes near it, she says, "don't go in there, get stuck." And I assure her she is correct. 

 

 

I found a whistle I had as a kid, okay, perhaps I was a teenager when I had it, but either way, I still had it and she loves it. She sometimes calls it her "paci" and I correct her and tell her she doesn't have a paci but she has a whistle. Currently we've misplaced it, which means she probably tucked it into something and will discover it in the future. 

 

Here she is just hanging out on the floor one morning going through her Sesame Street flash cards. 

 

February 08, 2012

Since January

I know. It's been a while. We've been busy. With what? I cannot exactly tell you. Let me scratch my head and see if things come to mind....

My husband goes on short, quick trips to Atlanta so that throws a wrench in life. 

I'm trying my hand at digital scrapbooking and spending all of my free computer time whipping up layouts...starting with December 2009. I've made it through June 2010 just in time for my first eve scrapbooking crop this Saturday. My goal is a month a day so I hope to be caught up, or to the current year in no time. Yet so far this week I haven't worked on 1 month at all.

Rachel had a fever one week which allowed my husband and I to do the fun rotation - he works mornings while I watch her, then he comes home and watches her in the evenings while I go to work until midnight. It's not fun but it works and we really don't have any other options. 

The weather has been crazy nice and we've been going to the park on weekends for a quick mile walk and some time on the slide and swings. Rachel loves going there and last weekend while we were leaving my husband and I were swinging her by her arms. This resulted in pain, thus resulting in a 1 hour ER visit which resulted in Nursemaid's Elbow. We figured this was what was going on since we googled it so this diagnosis at the ER was to be expected. She was fine within minutes and running around the ER with her "monkey jammas" on.

We met a friend and went to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum last week, and after I sort through some photos, I'll be sure to post how our day went! We had a great time, all five of us girls did! I wish we could do it more often! 

Next week is single parent week as my husband heads to Germany for the week! Which takes pressure off of me having to figure out what to do for Valentine's day. It's probably a win-win for both of us. 

 

November 11, 2011

My Little Artist

How do you keep an almost two year old sitting still after you just painted her toenails? You let her paint.


 

 

 

And it's always great to taste the nasty paint water and the paint brush! 

 

November 10, 2011

Pretty Toes

When her dad left for one of his Germany trips, I painted Rachel's toenails. She wasn't quite sure what to think about that.

This is the "nail painting station."

 

 

 

Now she loves them. Whenever she sees her toes she says "pretty toes" and "painted toes" and "mommy paint toes." And since this photo, we have changed colors for the season and are now wearing OPI's Suzi Loves Cowboys Brown.

November 09, 2011

Laundry

I think every kid plays in a laundry basket in their life. Here is my kid.

super cheezy grin!

 

November 08, 2011

Playing in the Leaves

I know, I'm behind on blogging, and this is from a nice warm evening after work. We made  a few leaf piles and took some photos.

She had something going on with her tongue that day. And you can see the flour on her face from the sensory tub at day care. It's just above her left eye. 

 

 

There's that tongue again. 

She was probably looking up at the airplane, while Rockwell was digging into the leaf pile.


She was upset he was in her leaf pile, so we made one for him, and she ran over to play in his leaf pile...

And then they managed to both get along and Rockwell was "very funny" to her. 

 

October 26, 2011

Cottage Cheese, Please

My daughter may have inherited her father's love-for-cottage-cheese gene. She could eat this for every meal! And she is very good at scraping the bowl clean with her spoon.

 

Then she picks up the bowl and asks me for "more." 

 


October 25, 2011

Fun with Glowsticks in the Bathtub

I can't take credit for this activity. I found it on pinterest. And I am grateful I did. I put some glowsticks in the bath with Rachel the other night and she loved them. I also had fun with the neat colors. We will be doing this when we go to Georgia with my niece. Glowstick bracelets are $1 for 15 bracelets at Michael's. They are perfect for the tub.

 

 

October 24, 2011

Pirate Princess Birthday Party

Rachel went to her first birthday party (other than cake and ice cream with family)! Rebecca was celebrating her 3rd birthday and after a day without a nap, Rachel went to the party and was in pretty good spirits. It was great to see all the kids running around and having fun and to visit with some old friends.

Here is the birthday girl!

 

Rebecca had a pirate/princess party. You can view the super cool invitations (made by yours truly) here.  Rachel selected a princess costume to wear. 

 

Reece shows off his crown. 

 

Hanna gives me her pirate face!

 

October 20, 2011

Shopping Trip

Rachel recently discovered she fits into her shopping cart. But she hasn't figure out how to get out of it yet.

 

October 13, 2011

Just Another Sunday

Sunday Funday Picture for my Loyal Readers. 

Here is my daughter, playing "dress up" as best as she can:

Stocking Hat
Cape we easily and quickly made out of her dad's old tee shirt (find the instructions here)
Mom's black belt - wrapped around her body twice
and she's chewing on an "icee" or frozen teether.

 

Go Tigers 2011

My husband is a HUGE baseball fan and he religiously watches and listens and keeps track of every Detroit Tiger's baseball game. As most everyone knows, they are in the running for the championships this year. Unfortunately I don't "follow" baseball, so I won't even attempt to tell you what they are in the running for.

We were invited to a party at a friend's house to watch the game and decided to take our daughter. I did feel bad she was the only kid there, but she's terribly good and it gives me an excuse to get my drinking husband out of the basement and home at a semi-reasonable time because our daughter needs to get into bed (Can you tell who does the driving? It is my choice, though, because I see how he feels in the morning and I'd hate to waste a perfectly good Sunday being comatose due to self inflicted adult beverages). 

I recently sorted through my daughter's closet and found an outfit that she hadn't worn and it was a tiger's outfit! So I grabbed a turtle neck and tights from her wardrobe and made it appropriate for the tiger's party-It was on a cold October night. Rachel loves to say "Go, Tigers" and she is very familiar with "baseball" and says it whenever she sees it on TV, in a book about baseball or an English D.

 

 

October 05, 2011

Relaxing with Dad

One night after work Rachel and her dad were playing in the bedroom. I was asked to check it out and brought my camera. Rachel was imitating her dad relaxing on the bed before he changed out of his work clothes.

 

October 01, 2011

40 Years Together

40 years. Can you imagine where you will be in 40 years?

2011 marked the 40th Wedding Anniversary for my parents. Since I consider anything past 10 years a "big deal" in today's society, my sister and I surprised my parents first with the arrival of my sister and niece in Michigan, then with a party! It was a tad challenging getting everything coordinated, cooking in a motor home, and not letting the secret slip, but we pulled it off and it was a huge success!

Avery and Rachel riding in the motor home.

 

My sister enjoys the co-captain chair. (I purposely pieced this one together so you can see how awesome this seat really is.)

 

We spent some time at the beach even though the wind made it chilly. Rachel just wanted to smash her dad's sand castles.

I cannot take credit for this, I saw it on Pinterest and had to copy it with a touch of my own personalization.

Although I can take credit for the cupcakes and desserts. 

 

And the scratch pad party favors. 

 

The only surprised photo I have of them is this one (thanks to Aunt Marcia).

 

Some of the original wedding party was there!

 

 

September 16, 2011

Helping Dad

One of the items on our to-do list was to make a crawlspace screen to allow air to flow under our house in the summer. It was on our list for a long time and one day I picked up the supplies and was going to tackle the project by myself. Thankfully my husband took charge after I bought the materials and knocked it out rather quickly one Saturday morning. But not without some help of course.

 She marks the wood, just like her dad.

 

She helps to hold the wood while he saws...and she makes more marks.

September 12, 2011

Cruz comes from Indiana

After the first rainy race day, Cruz and his mom, Heather, came to visit us from Indiana. They were 'passing through' on their way to a family function in Flint, and crashed at our house for the night. Cruz is 1 year younger than Rachel and he loved our dog Rockwell. He would watch him and laugh, crawl toward him and often use his body/fur to stand up!

 

 

A bath was in order for the kids and this was the first time Rachel had a bath with a BOY!

Rachel thought Cruz was pretty cute and the two of them played well together. She enjoyed laughing at him a lot. 

August 14, 2011

Wonder Woman

A few weekends ago, I was super productive. My husband was out of town and I was non-stop busy. I was so proud of my self and came to realize something after this weekend passed.

I cleaned my garage, primed my bathroom, washed my car, vacuumed the inside of the car, made banana bread, made bean dip, cleaned out my husband's files (he had tax returns from 2001), did laundry, cleaned the house, filed paperwork and I chlorinated (bleached) my well and flushed it after a water test determined there was bacteria.

The last item was a big accomplishment. I not only had to get the wall cover off, but I had to bypass my water softener and let the bleach soak for a few hours and then flush the bleach out of the well. All while remembering not to drink the tap water or give it to the dog until the chlorine smell was gone. I will admit I enjoyed taking a shower after my super productive days because it smelled like a hot tub. 

Sunday night after all of this happened, I was washing a load of rags and the washer was not filling up very fast. Cold water was trickling in while hot water would pour in like Niagara Falls. I googled the situation and feeling ever-so-confident and productive, I decided I could tackle the fix: cleaning the filter on the hose. I turned off my water supply to my washer and stopped myself. I was confident I could fix the issue, but I figured my husband would be home the next day and it was his turn to tackle this project. (It was almost 10:30 pm at this point!) This was one of the reasons I got married, so I didn't have to tackle everything on my own! Monday night the two of us quickly fixed the problem and it's almost like I have a new washer!

August 11, 2011

Family Reunion #2 2011

My niece stayed in Michigan for almost three weeks and the last week my sister and her husband came to visit. We were able to make the trip to the Thumb and spend a little time with them. We all had lunch together on Sunday and my grandmas came to join us as well as my aunt and another aunt from Oklahoma! My daughter and I experienced our first Moose Lodge visit and that's about all we have to say about that!

The kids played in my water tub again and Grandma bought a blow up pool that they enjoyed splashing in. 

On Monday we were able to hang out at Miss Anita's pool with some other cousins, G & B. It was a lot of fun. 

And Rachel considered taking a nap on the pool deck. 

 

 

 

August 01, 2011

Rockwell & Rachel

Rachel and our dog, Rockwell get along very well. We work hard on teaching her to respect the dog and treat him with the same kindness she treats her friends at school. We don't allow her to hit him or run her toys into him or get mad at him when he is on the floor and she needs to walk by. We make her go around his space and get to where she needs to go. Recently she has began to say "excuse me" when she walks by him.

The other night I looked and there she was, attempting to get a dog ride. I somewhat freaked, because if Rockwell would have stood up, Rachel would have been dropped to the ground. I made him stay and grabbed the camera for a few shots before I made Rachel get off of the dog. He didn't seem to mind at all, which was nice. 

 

On a side note, a few days after this photo was taken, I decided to google the "pepper" that kept falling out of Rockwell's skin. I blamed it on my husband taking him to the race shop and letting him lay in "something" and get all dirty. Rockwell was itching a lot, but i figured it was his allergies - so we upped his allergy medication and when the pepper never stopped falling out of his skin, a google search determined it's FLEA FECES! I was mortified and thought about waking up Rachel at 11pm to rush to the store to get some sort of flea killer for our dog and house. I refrained from waking her up and we were at the store by 8:15am the next morning. I have yet to see a flea, and I know if I do, I'll freak out! 

 

July 26, 2011

What do we need?

Rachel was supposed to be helping me "shut the door" on the fridge, and when I looked to see if she followed through on her instructions, this is what I saw!

 

 

 

July 22, 2011

Eggs

The other night Rachel had a snack before dinner. I gave her a hard boiled egg while I was making dinner. It must have been a full moon because she was "out of order" and being extra messy and funny. I believe she shoved most of the pieces into her mouth at one time.

 

 

 

July 18, 2011

Slippers for a Princess

Rachel loves to wear her dad's slippers. She puts them on, walks around and continuously laughs.

 

July 14, 2011

Closet Babies

Can you find the baby in the closet?

 

Rachel loves to sit on the unopened package of diapers in her closet, and play with the tags on her unworn clothes. I've caught her a few times in the morning sitting on those diapers, drinking her cup of milk. 

I must admit I'm somewhat ashamed of how messy my daughter's closet is, but it's summer and I have ALL WINTER to clean it! So instead of staying inside, we'll be outside playing or at the beach!

 

July 06, 2011

Springtime Fun

It seems like there is "something" with the weather each year. Lots of snow, no snow, lots of rain, no rain, too much hot weather, not hot enough, but that is the joys of living in Michigan. I don't complain about the weather too often, why gripe when you really can't change it at all, but some people will say we never really had a spring and went right into summer.

This weather didn't stop us from making Rachel's play area in our back yard. I burnt the collapsing picnic table we had, we scraped away some sod, dropped some mulch on an area and plunked her plastic toys on the mulch. She loves it! I scored a lot of outdoor toys from a lady on craigs list and Rachel loves being outside.

Since then, the weather has gotten nice and warm. Rachel plays in the sprinkler and her blue pool. I often set up a low rubbermaid tub and put water and toys in and and she splashes around in it while I am outside trying to get yard work done, washing the car or cleaning out the garage.

 

 

 

May 02, 2011

24 hours and Counting

I hate to admit what television show I just finished watching with my husband when we heard the news of Bin Laden being found and murdered. But that's another story, the big story here is that we are both on our way to Germany, two days after the world's number one terrorist was killed. Wish us luck and pray for our safety, short lines and lots of added TSA agents for all of the random searches and travel fun.

 

 

April 30, 2011

15 Month Stats

Most everyone wants to know all about my "baby" so here is the update. 

At her 15 month appointment in March she was 19.8 pounds, which is in the 6%. She was 29 inches long and is in the 11th percentile. She is tiny. She still fits into 6-12 month pants and some of them are loose on her. I often roll the waistband to make them shorter and to add girth to her midsection. She has quite the belly. Not in a fat way, but when she walks around, her belly is sticking out! It is truly cute to see when she is naked. I put on a pair of tights the other day that were 3-6 month and they fit perfectly. I'm learning very quickly that "name brand" tights with "feet" are much better than other brands that don't have a heel and toe shape to them.

Her hair is getting longer. I still haven't decided if I will be giving her bangs. Part of me does not want her to have bangs because then I will always have to trim them, and Rachel's stylist is 2 hours away. She is probably due for a haircut and we might try to get her in sometime in June when we are in the Thumb. For now she gets a lot of side-like ponytails near the crown of her head. It keeps the hair out of her eyes and under control. She has curls in the back after it dries from a bath. They help keep her looking "trimmed." 

She is quickly learning her body parts and what to do with them - for example feet go into shoes, your "bottom" is for sitting, hands and arms go into coats and shirts and hats go on your head. She tries to comb her hair when I give her a comb. She loves shoes. She wore a pair of Avery's sketcher clogs to school today. She LOVES these shoes and they are a size 6. Rachel wears a size 4. When you push on the toe, you can't even feel a foot! 

She loves it when the fridge is open. She "plays" with the items on the bottom shelves of the door. She never takes them out, or picks them up, but touches them and checks out the tops and their labels. She is very good at shutting the door of the refrigerator. 

Most recently Rachel has started to mimic things. If you pretend to sneeze and nod your head and say, "achoo," she will not her head as well. If you howl like a dog (something I do to get my dog howling as best as a Rottweiler can howl) and tip your head to the sky and make a noise, she will do the same. She knows what comes after "On your mark, get set." She likes to say stop and if you ask her what a lion says, she will "roar." If you ask her what a cow says, she will mooo.

She LOVES bath time and I cannot wait to get her out of the tiny inflatable duck tub we use and into a R E A L big-girl tub! She needs room to roam and play and splash! 

April 27, 2011

Can Collections

I cook and bake a lot. I'm in the kitchen a lot. Probably more than the living room! But thankfully our kitchen and living room are right next to each other and nice and open. So while I'm cooking Rachel and play and hang out with me if she wants. Sometimes she wants to help me and that usually means I hold her while I'm using my mixer or stirring something on the stove or she sits on the island in her chair and watches me mix, mix, mix.

One day when I was in the kitchen she was out and about playing. At one point I looked over at the trash can - probably ready to toss something in - and she had begin to pile her collection on top of it. I had to grab my camera and laugh. I even watched her for a few minutes while she went into the other room and gathered a toy to place on top of the can. 

 

 

 

 

April 25, 2011

Water Bowl

My daughter L O V E S the dog's water bowl. We have to tell her constantly to stay out of it. We have a gate to keep her out of the dining room where the dog bowl sits, but we often leave it open so the dog can drink out of his bowl! Usually the gate is open in the morning and this day was no exception. I was gathering things to get us out of the door and was calling Rachel to come and get her coat on. She did just that and as I was about to walk out the door with her, I noticed the dog bowl in the dining room.

Rachel is very aware the dog's water bowl is not her toy. She often stands near it, looks around to see if anyone is watching and if she thinks she is in the clear, she goes for splashing her hands in it. It has resulted in us leaving the house with one wet sleeve, or very cold hands, since we usually put ice in Rockwell's water. 

A few days after this photo was taken and the blocks were removed and sanitized, I found a block on a shelf in the dining room and I couldn't help but chuckle. 

 

April 20, 2011

"Excuse me, can you hand over some T.P.?"

Last month my daughter went "missing" for longer than normal. By missing I mean she went into her room for what seemed like much longer than usual and when I went to investigate, I found her walking out of the bathroom, which is right next to her bedroom door.

She had a trail of toilet paper in her hand and was running toward me. I couldn't help but run to grab my camera. I wanted to discipline her by telling her no, but I refrained because I wanted to catch this Kodak moment. I knew this day was going to come. I was thinking I would discover her sitting next to the toilet paper holder in the bathroom with a pile of unrolled paper on the floor. I must have gotten lucky this time because the roll was almost empty. She managed to pull all of it off and was carrying it down the hall (toward me) that morning. As I was snapping photos, I let her "play" with the toilet paper to document the event. She ran back and forth to the bathroom and thankfully (knock on wood) hasn't shown interest in the toilet paper since then. 

 

 

 

When she went back for a second run, she stepped on the toilet paper and broke her streamer. 

 

 

 

 

April 07, 2011

Getting Old

The other day my friend told me she felt old because she was scheduling an open house for her almost three-year-old daughter to attend preschool. I chuckled because this is her second child, and she is younger than me. But I also had an 'old' moment and I shared it with her. I recently purchased a pill box at the store. Lately I've been awful at taking my daily vitamin, so I thought a box showing the day would encourage me to take it. So far (on day four) it is working.

Speaking of old, Rachel had her 15 month check up last month. She's 19.8 pounds and still under the 10 percentile. She is always laughing. The simplest things make her laugh and it is always great to have her around. Just the other day I went to get her out of the car to go to school and noticed she had a nice green slimy booger on her forehead. She often sneezes in the car, and that day's sneeze must have brought up a booger that she then smeared onto her forehead. She thought it was hilarious when I wiped it off of her face. She just giggled and laughed! 

Yesterday when I went to see her at school she had a blanket and was wrapping any animal/baby item she could find up. Then she would hug it and carry it around. 

We picked up a large plastic ball for her from the store the other day. She just laughs when she carries it around and laughs even harder when you throw it to her. We're working on making sure Rockwell realizes and knows this is not his ball to play with, since it looks a lot like his purple jolly ball outside in the yard. 

I've taken her to the park a few times and she loves the swings. She enjoys going down the slide but hasn't quite mastered sitting on her butt to slide down. She tried to go face first a few times and then I caught her. She went face first down a very small indoor slide at school and had rug burn on her forehead. We have a slide in our yard that she climbed up the ladder and then decided to let go and rolled off the side.

Tonight is a big night for us. Rachel is a closet pacifier girl. She doesn't have a pacifier in public, nor in the car, she only has one at night when she sleeps. I've determined 15 months is too old to have one, so I'm taking it away from her tonight and we will never see it again. I know it will involve crying and sadness, but I'm hoping I can be strong and do it! And by Monday we can tell all of her teacher's she is a big girl and done with the pacifier.

March 23, 2011

Storytime with Grandpa

Grandpa and Grandma came to visit one weekend and Rachel took advantage of story time with her grandpa.

 

March 21, 2011

The Blue Basket

This post was prompted by one of Rachel's teachers. Rachel always "scares" her teacher because she frequently walks around with a basket covering her face. Except the baskets at school are not clear, they are opaque. Rachel's teacher is always afraid Rachel is going to run into something and hurt herself. When I saw this situation occur, I realized it was probably because the "blue basket" we have at home is clear and Rachel often walks around holding it up to her face.

The blue basket actually belongs in the dog's cupboard. This is the one cupboard that Rachel regularly opens and "plays" in. She often carries bags of unopened treats around the house, unknowingly taunting Rockwell. 

 

March 18, 2011

Where's Daddy

Rachel loves it when her dad comes home. I often tell her to "go see if Daddy is here" and she goes into our bedroom and looks out the window to see if he is home. I put her step stool in front of the window so she can have an excellent view of what he is doing when he is outside, or on his way into the house. She loves going in there to check on him! When she hears the door open to the house, she runs toward it and smiles!

 

 

March 16, 2011

Snow Snow Go Away

We seem to be quickly moving into spring, then regressing to winter with a snowfall, and then back to spring! We did make it out in the snowy weather a few times this year and my daughter was her usual, mellow self in the sled.

Thankfully we have 2 snow suits for Rachel! Dan's coworker gave us the pink one and we left the blue one at day care of the weekend! And the pink one is a little big, but it might fit perfectly next year!

She loves going in circles on the driveway. We spin her around and she always laughs. 

 

 

We went to Faux Aunt Julie's house for a skate party, but the crazy amount of snow we got ruined the ice, so we were stuck sledding! 

 

 

March 14, 2011

First Dentist Appointment

When I called to make Rachel's first dental appointment in December, she only had one tooth! I had to call and reschedule her appointment three times, and finally me made it to the office in February. I was informed this would be a "knee to knee" check up, so I was aware of what was going to happen when we arrived and I checked out the office website so I was familiar with how cute the rooms were decorated and the play structure that was in the lobby. 

Rachel sat happily on my lap as the dentist explained things to me - water testing, parent mouth bugs that get into kid's mouths, preventative care, etc. When our knee to knee exam began, Rachel's  head rested on the doctor's knees as her legs sprawled across my knees. She did exactly what I thought she would do, she cried, and thrashed, and tried to get the doctor's finger's out of her mouth. And I did exactly what I usually do - laugh. 

Rachel checked out with a clean bill of health - no spots on her teeth and my homework was to get our well water tested and send the report to the dentist! We'll be back in six months for another follow up! As of now, Rachel has 5 teeth! 2 on top and 3 on bottom.

February 23, 2011

Georgia Photo Shoot With Cousins

My sister and I had big plans to take our daughter's for a photo shoot while they were together in Georgia. We held out sharing the photos until we gave a few of them to my mom as a birthday present. Now that is over and here are the pictures from the shoot!

I call the plaid ones "Huron County Plaid" photos. I think they are fitting considering our roots. 

Rachel is 13 months in the photos and Avery is nearly 5.

 

 

 

 

 

January 31, 2011

Resolutions

2011 has arrived and Rachel's New Year Resolution is to gain weight. At her 12 month check up, she had only gained 3 ounces in 3 months. The doctor isn't too worried, she typically sees babies who learn to walk and burn energy not gain as much weight. We need to add some meat to Rachel's bones by adding some healthy butter and olive oils to her diet.

I love this photo of her skinny legs! 

P.S. The bottle is GONE! Rachel is officially using a big girl sippy cup for all drinking! 

 

January 28, 2011

Sledding

Since Rachel got a sled for Christmas we had to suit her up and take her outside! It's a good thing we did because shortly after it got warm and all of our snow melted! She was pretty mellow in the sled (as she is with EVERYTHING) and just sat and enjoyed being pulled around the yard. I was able to catch a few smiles!

 

 

And of course Rockwell had his red ball outside! 

 

January 26, 2011

Cart Rides

I fell in love with Ikea's Ekorre Wagon/Walker and put in on Rachel's Christmas list. Rachel's Aunt Dawn bought the cart for Rachel for Christmas and she loves it! She pushes it around until it stops/she runs into something and then she walks away from it, or takes a toy out of it and walks away, but her dad and I like to give her cart rides.

We empty out the toys and put her in the cart and push her around the house. The rubber tires create a nice grip on the slippery floor, but also make it harder for us to steer her around the kitchen island and turn down the hall and into the bedroom. She loves being in it and going for a ride. 

Here she is in her PJs and with her baby taking a cart ride. 

 

 

January 24, 2011

Bloody Nose

Rachel got her first bloody nose in January. She was home with her dad and I and she was walking with a toy and fell. We thought she just hit the toy and bumped her face but then shortly after getting up we noticed her nose was bleeding. it didn't bleed for long, and she quickly bounced back, but we took a snapshot of the incident.

 

January 21, 2011

The Mouse Ran Up the Clock

Do you recall this song:

Hickory, Dickory Dock
The Mouse Ran Up the Clock
The Clock Struck 1 the Mouse Ran Down
Hickory, Dickory Dock.

Well, I woke up one night to the sound of something falling. I just thought, oh, it's the broom or something in the laundry room. The same night I woke up and heard something shuffling or moving. I thought to myself, I have a mouse in my house. I crept into the kitchen to listen where the sound was coming from and it stopped. I didn't turn on the light because I don't know what I would have done if I would have actually seen a mouse. I went back to bed and woke in the morning forgetting all about the mouse. 

Then I found dog treats, on my counter top, next to my stove. There were two of them. I know I didn't put them there. I did put the bucket of dog treats on the counter so Rachel would quit opening the cupboard and feeding them all to Rockwell, but I did not specifically place two treats near the oven. Mission Find and Destroy Mouse 2011 began. 

That night I bought a few traps, i had one, but needed more. I baited three of them, two with peanut butter, one with cheese and went to bed. The next morning I had a mouse in one of the traps - although he did manage to escape with the cheese, he got nabbed with the peanut butter trap. I threw everything away, the trap and all. I was so disgusted that a mouse was in my kitchen so I bleached all the counter tops.

I left the traps out for a few days just in case there were additional friends of this mouse, but nothing ever came out of them. A few days later I pulled out my oven/range to see what might be behind it since I figured the mouse was dragging dog treats to an area behind it. I found dust, dog treats, dog hair and a knife! YES! My favorite knife was behind the stove! This mouse managed to remove it from the knife block and carry it across the counter and drop it behind the stove! This is what I probably heard drop in the middle of the night. I believe I found the hole where the mouse came in as well, it was around the electrical outlet that the stove plugs into. I put the stove away and a few days later planned to close what I thought was the entry hole.

Then randomly one night my dog begins to bark at the gas fireplace we have in the dining room. It is a ventless fireplace (and if I had my way, it would be gone, but I'm married) and has an access door on the top that can be opened. I opened the door and saw a PILE of dog treats in the corner. This is what my dog was barking at! I even saw a piece of popcorn. I safely removed all of the treats and disposed of them.

A few nights later I had my steel wool and tape to close the access behind the stove. As I pulled out the oven, my dog began to sniff at the back, top corner of the stove and I noticed 2 dog treats sitting there. I removed them and noticed popcorn in the back of the stove, near the top where the knobs are housed. I got out my shop vac and began to suck up popcorn. I could then see more popcorn but wasn't able to reach it with the shop vac so my husband helped me take the stove top off of the oven and this is what I found: 

This super mouse even drug two treats under the stove top to the corner! 

 

I am so grateful my dog smelled those treats, because I don't know if I would have noticed the popcorn. I'm sure this could have easily started a fire, especially if I used the self cleaning oven function!

January 20, 2011

Spaghetti Face

Spaghetti was on the menu one night for dinner and Rachel shoveled it in so fast my husband and I were amazed! She must love the Italian sausage we use instead of ground beef! (Thanks to Uncle Eddie for that secret!)

And like usual, Rachel's "friend" is waiting next to her in case anything makes it to the floor! 

 

 

January 07, 2011

Christmas in the Thumb

What was I thinking when I suggested having my daughter's first birthday on Saturday and our family Christmas on Sunday while we were in the thumb?!?! Maybe it was because somehow I knew my husband and I would get the flu on Christmas Eve and lounge around all day on Christmas. 

All weekend Rachel loved looking out grandma and grandpa's front window to look at the birds. 

She wasn't sure what to think about her new camping chair. 

 

But she loved being pulled around inside in her new sled!

 

January 03, 2011

A Day Off and the Scrap Yard

For the first time since my daughter was born, I took the day before Thanksgiving off of work and sent my kid to day care. My husband had the day off as well and we planned a day to visit the scrapyard and maybe have lunch together.

Our visit was a tad off schedule, when the vehicle I was driving (1990 Dodge Diesel Truck) needed a new battery and stranded me at work the night before. So while attempting to jump the old Dodge, with the new Dodge (our 2005 Dodge Truck), it ran out of fuel. I blame my husband for this, since he drove it the night before and when we left he was aware the "get fuel" light was on. The quick stop to jump the truck and drop it off at my father-in-law's house turned into buying a gas can and new battery and replacing it in my office parking lot. An hour later, we were on our way to the scrap yard. 

I LOVE the scrap yard. This is the second time I have been there and I look at metals in a different way since I've been to the recycling center (and received a check). Today's big adventure was to recycle the Ramcharger my husband had dreamed of restoring. After taking out the engine, and selling most of the parts, the final resting place for the Ramcharger was at the scrapyard. Naturally I documented our event in photos. 

You can see it was "time" for the Ramcharger to go, the "Fear This" sticker was almost peeling off the back window from the elements. 

 

Almost everything that could have been sold was taken from the body. 

Here she sits, loaded and ready to go. 

You are greeted with dust and noise when you enter the scrap yard entrance. 

And she begins to move...

She is raised up, as if she is being sacrificed to the Gods. 

 

Here is her final resting place, with her new friends.

 

 

And here is what we went home with. 

 

December 30, 2010

First Haircut

I've been heeing and hawing about getting Rachel's hair cut. I wanted to be sure her first cut was by my very good friend, and salon owner, Dawn. When I decided to have Rachel's first birthday at my parent's house (also the hometown of Dawn's Salon) I knew I had to make an appointment for her to get her hair cut.

Rachel didn't get bangs, just an all over trim and even things up. Dawn kept saying she hair was very nice. She said it was even and the layers were nice! Rachel sat so perfectly on her dad's lap and didn't fuss one bit.I was very pleased with the results.

Here she is before, the side view. 

 

Another before picture, I think she was excited because she saw a dog cape. 

 

Getting the back trimmed, by her personal stylist, Dawn! 

 

An itchy nose! She probably got hair on her cheeks! 

 

A quick curl before the bow! 

All finished! 

 

December 29, 2010

Good Dog

The week between Christmas and New Years my day care is closed and I have to work so Rachel is spending some quality time with her dad. He's in charge of it all, picking out her outfit to wear for the day and even doing her hair.

Yesterday one of her toys quit working and so her dad went to the garage to get "something" so he could look at the toy and figure out why it quit working. He told me when he came back into the house, Rachel had the dog treat cupboard open and was feeding the dog treats, one after another from the bucket. 

The video he took is short and doesn't document her laughing, but I guess she was giggling as he took the treats from her. You can view the action here

Update: My husband thinks the title of the video should be one of these two options: 1. Rockwell is thinking, "Like taking candy from a baby". 2. You know what they say about those vicious Rottweile's!

December 23, 2010

Deer

My daughter is very into pointing at items and then saying "something" after she points at them. She was fascinated at the deer at my parent's house. My dad "took her to see them" several times. Usually she would let out a loud, "ahhhh" and then laugh and giggle.

When she woke up on Saturday morning, I took her into the room with the deer and stood her on the floor. She looked up at them and started with her "yelling" and looking and pointing at the deer.

 

Grandpa lifts her "high in the sky" to see the deer. 

 

Here is one of her reactions to seeing the deer. 

 

 

December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 was a memorable one. Rachel sat at the table with everyone and ate dinner with us. Later that evening she even took her first few steps. Thanks to Aunt Dawn (who was there in spirit) for the Turkey Bib!

 

She laughs with us at the dinner table.

 

Trying some of the food!

She loved it! And she even liked the left overs!

 

December 08, 2010

And We're Walking

My husband took a video on his cell phone of our daughter walking. You can view the video on you tube by clicking here.


December 04, 2010

Turn off the TV

Our daughter loves buttons, not only the ones that are sewn on clothing, but anything she can push - remote controls, telephones, toys, etc. She also loves light switches, which could have something to do with the fact that we have showed her how to turn them off. In September when my parents were at my house, my dad said, "Wait until she figures out that button on the front of the TV turns it on and off." I kept my fingers crossed that she never would discover what that small 1/2" square did, but I was wrong. One day, the TV just went off. And we began to tell her, "no." At first she laughed at our disciplining words, but then she began to listen. Now when she gets close to the TV button, she looks around to see where we are and then decides if she will turn it on or off. So far, she isn't too much interested in it, but every now and again, she will sneak one past us.

Here she is sizing up the button. 

 

And then I tell her, "no" and this is what greets me. 


 

December 02, 2010

Wash, Wash, Wash the Dishes

My daughter LOVES the dish washer. It is almost like she has a sixth sense when it's open and air drying. She crawls from the living room to the kitchen and is drawn to the dish washer. Sometimes when I want her to "stay in one place" I will open the dish washer and let her "play" with the clean dishes. She doesn't do too much but play with the vent on the open door and pound on the dishes. I am grateful she's never grabbed any of the silverware. Don't worry, sometimes I take the entire silverware tray out!

Here she is playing with the vent. I think her dad did her hair in this photo, and he did a great job! 

 

Pounding on mom's mixing bowl and making lots of noise! 

Rockwell watches with a semi-disgusted look on his face. 

 

 

November 19, 2010

Reach and Scoop

It's official, Rachel survived 8 weeks of Aqua Babies & Tots swim classes. She was the youngest kid in the class, most of them were walking and around 18 months to 24 years. At the beginning of each class, the parents had to set their child on the edge of the pool, get in and then grab your child and get into the pool. I was extremely nervous my daughter was going to crawl away while I was getting into the pool or try to get in with me. She didn't do anything! She sat and waited for me to pick her up and put her into the pool each time! She loved the water and first splashes with her hand, then both hands and then she begins to chat while in the water.

We sang songs, we went up and down, we threw balls, tried kick boards, noodles and life jackets. It's hard to encourage your 10 month old to "reach and scoop" with her hands and "kick, kick, kick" when she doesn't quite understand the concept. My daughter cannot swim, but I am now holding the tools to help her become more comfortable with the water and I know what to do to encourage her to float on her back and "reach and scoop."

 

November 16, 2010

Blue Box

How much fun is it to be inside a box? In September, Rachel was testing out the blue boxes I bought to store some of her toys in.

 

 

November 12, 2010

Pumpkins

There is a pumpkin patch near my father-in-law's house that my husband and I usually go to every year to pick up a few pumpkins. This year would be no different, except our daughter and father-in-law and his friend Wanda would be joining us. The patch is so close to my in-law's house that we walked there.

We let Rachel loose in the pumpkin patch, but she didn't do too much. I let her hang out with a few pumpkins and then we went to the petting zoo part of the farm. There was a tiny goat that was roaming all over the place and she loved watching him! 

 

 

November 08, 2010

Rachel is 5/6 of a year old!

Usually when I take my daughter's monthly photos, she sits fairly still in the orange chair. Well, something was up her butt today because she didn't want to sit on the chair at all! She was fearless and kept leaning forward and falling off of the chair! I had to utilize a spoon and that kept her busy enough to snap a few shots while she sat in the orange chair.

She still doesn't have any teeth, her hair is growing like crazy and she seems to be getting skinnier! I'm not sure if she is a true Stroschein (my sister and grandpa were super skinny as children) but lately her pants keep falling off of her body! The other day she wore 3 month pants and they fit her great. I can see they maybe getting a little short, but they didn't fall down. Usually we have to roll the waist or the cuffs to keep her from crawling out of them.

She loves to eat, but doesn't always love what she has to eat. She will gobble up a pork chop at dinner at home, but then when I pack it for lunch at school, she doesn't eat it! She ate pumpkin last week like a champ and then when I added it to a turkey apple blend, she didn't eat it at all! 

She is becoming more independent, standing with less support and somewhat fearless. 

 

This is what happened when she was "done" sitting in the chair! She insisted on getting out and luckily I caught her! 

 

November 05, 2010

Represent

We have to represent our school through our child! Thanks to Julie and Ted, Rachel is decked out in her LSSU onesie and pigtails! I snapped this just before her dad left for work! This was one of those days where she just had to chew on her fingers!

 

November 03, 2010

Rachel's Craft

I believe this is Rachel's Fourth Craft project that has come home.

First = Easter Craft

Second = Mother's Day Craft

Third = Father's Day Craft

It's too cute when she comes home with something like this! I know she can't cut them out, but she did have to flatten her hand and have it traced! 

 

November 02, 2010

Hat Season

Hat season is around the corner so I dug out some winter items for Rachel to take to school just in case the weather got really cold and she needed a hat for "recess." I was so happy to be reminded of this pink handmade hat she received when she was born! It was made by my husband's friend's mom, Bonnie. Last year when Bonnie gave it to us, I was thinking it would be perfect for next winter when her head was bigger. So we had to try it on Rachel to make sure it fit. She not only has a pink one, but also a purple one!

 

Then Grandpa had to hold her high in the air which she just loved! I'm just surprised she kept her legs stiff, which is key to this "trick."

 

 

October 22, 2010

Salt & Pepper

I was unable to visit the Thumb this past December due to the birth of my daughter, but my sister and her family made the trip from Georgia to my parent's house. While at my mom's house, my sister sent me a photo of the salt and pepper shakers my mom had in her cupboard. My sister counted a dozen salt and pepper shakers and all of them were full and in the cupboard ready to use. We couldn't believe she had so many nor could we believe she even used them all. 

When I visited my parent's house in September, and they were on vacation, my sister came up with the great idea to hide all of the salt and pepper shakers my mom had in the kitchen in different places around her house. I thought this was a fabulous and harmless job so I went for it!

The first salt and pepper shaker was hidden in their bed, so they found it right away. I then put this sign in the cupboard where the salt and pepper shakers are stored. I was hoping they would put the first set they found in their bed away and then see this sign.

 

There was a set in the medicine cabinet. 

 

A set in the antique desk. 

Displayed on the fireplace mantle. 

 

My mom called a day or so after she got home and thanked me for the "treasure hunt" but she couldn't remember how many salt and pepper shakers she had and I told her I wasn't going to reveal the number because if she needed that many, she would know how many she had! The last I talked to her, she only found eight, so if she read closely, she has a ways to go! 

October 12, 2010

Barton Hills Car Show

The Gremlin X had the rare opportunity to be invited to a very prestigious car show at Barton Hills Golf Club near Ann Arbor. The show was very posh, and had a dress code (no jeans) that my husband failed to inform us of. So myself, my husband, daughter and father-in-law all showed up in jeans. We really didn't care, since we were the only car that was a race car. What was extra neat about this car show is that it was on the driving range of the golf course.

 

The Gremlin did not bring home a trophy. 

 

There were a few neat cars there. One was this 1916 Electric Car. 

 

 

Here is the speedometer. 

 

And the running board.

 

And the sign that hung in the window.

 

 Some other notable cars that I liked. And I like cars strictly for their looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 10, 2010

Slacking

It has been a while, but we've been busy! Rachel's first trip to watch her dad drag race, a 9 month birthday, a trip to the doctor for a well check, swim lessons, a birthday trip to taco bell, a surprise birthday for my father-in-law, a car show at Barton Hills, a trip to the Thumb with Rockwell, almost every weekend we were doing something! We are currently booking into November (I have a few free weekends) and I have already started Christmas shopping. But I promise I will get to my blogging to-do list by next week. I'm excited to share lots of things with all of my fellow stalkers! So stay tuned!

September 17, 2010

Little Miss Georgia

I'm unofficially calling my niece Little Miss Georgia because she is very dramatic, sassy and sometimes out of control. I won't go into detail, but when I wanted to get a photo of her and Rachel with their pink hoods, she was very resistant and I ended up capturing this.

 

 

 

She was a little bit more cooperative when she was asked to pose for a photo with grandpa, but she didn't smile.

 

 

September 15, 2010

Take 2

Sometimes we have to take more than one photo because Rachel gets caught blinking when the photo is taken. Maybe she'll be an adult and not be able to have a photo taken without closing her eyes! Her grandma  has a similar problem.

 

September 13, 2010

Camping Adventure

My husband wanted to go camping again so he could go mountain biking at a trail very close to the campground we were staying at. This time we went to Ohio and were lucky enough (again) to be allowed to borrow the motorhome from Rachel's grandpa, so we were on yet another Rockstar camping adventure.

We arrived when it was dark, and it was cold - in the 50s so we had the heat on in the motorhome at night and the A/C on during the day! The state park in Ohio was BEAUTIFUL! Everything about it was great - the grass was green and nicely trimmed and mowed, the bathrooms and bath houses were clean and not smelly, the pool was big, and clean and the camp store not only sold firewood and cappuccinos but ice cream, too!

During the day on Saturday Dan and some co-workers rode the trail while Rachel and I enjoyed a day at the pool. We spent an extra day at the campground on Sunday with her dad! 

The weather was perfect, in the high 80s every day and cool and crisp at night. 

Here is our camping set up. 

 

Can you find the baby under the awning? 

 

As usual, she loved being at the pool. There was a large pool for adults and a small pool for kids that was less than 1 foot deep. 

Here she is hanging with her dad in the big kid pool. 

 

 

 

Here she is playing in the kiddie pool with her dad. 

 

 

 

Sitting on the lawn chair! 

After her swim, she gets naked and plays in her tent. 

And then she takes a nap in her tent!

 

At the campsite having a snack before dinner! 

 

September 10, 2010

Black Eye Trooper

It was going to happen sooner or later, and it happened over a weekend trip to Ohio! Rachel has a black eye!

We were on another Rockstar Camping Adventure, and she was outside, in her father's care, sitting on a blanket playing with her toys. My husband said he watched her bend over at the waist to get a toy and then all of the sudden she started crying. He thinks she fell onto her pacifier! I suppose it's time to get rid of that thing since it can be used as a weapon! 

My husband felt very bad and when he brought her into the motorhome, she was crying but it didn't take long for her to stop. Within about a minute, we had her laughing again, with watery eyes. She still looks so stinking cute! 

Here she is playing happily on the the mat outside before the black eye. 

 

And this is post incident at dinner the same night. It's hard to see, but it's slightly black and blue under her left eye. 

 

Later in the week she looked like this! 

 

September 07, 2010

Gotta Wear Shades

Rachel in he sunglasses at the beach! It is important to protect your eyes from those powerful UV rays!

She loves spending time at the beach/water and sitting in her kiddie pool and hanging out in her sun tent! When she is in her pool, she often reaches over the side and plays with and grabs the sand. And she will chew on that turtle until you take it away from her!

 

September 01, 2010

Avery comes to Michigan

My niece Avery came to Michigan to visit at the end of July! It was great to see her and she LOVES to hang out with Rachel. She shows her all sorts of things and helps her with her toys and even plays with her. It was fun to see them together. Just after Avery and her mom were picked up at the airport, Rachel and I met them and went shopping. We put Rachel and Avery in the cart together and both of the girls seemed to love it. This was actually the first time Rachel had sat in a cart!

 

Avery just grabbed onto her hand and held it.

 

 And after Rachel "checked out" the hand-holding situation she was content and held onto Avery. And I picked up that sweet tee shirt for Avery.

 

August 20, 2010

Sleepy Time

Lately my daughter has been able to get from her back to her stomach, but not from her stomach to her back. She often gets herself into a "pickle" and gets on her stomach but can't get turned back around. This first began when she was in bed. I heard her screaming, which is very rare. I went into her room and she was on her stomach, doing baby push ups and freaking out! It was somewhat cute and funny!

Once a night she wakes up and is in this same belly position, often with her eyes closed. We put her on her back and give her a pacifier and she is fine. Two weeks ago I went into her room to find her sleeping on her tummy! I snapped a few photos before I woke her up for the day! 

Now she often sleeps on her belly, checks mashed by the mattress and arms spread out wide. 

 

 

 

August 18, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

Rachel had her hearing test this past week and she did great! From now on out we will simply monitor and test her "good" ear every six months to make sure it's working properly and hearing what it should be hearing. Rachel is hearing at an age-appropriate level. They did do some bone tests on her right ear, and we were told again, if sound could get to her, she could probably hear.

I'm always very nervous at these appointments not only about the results, but how will my daughter behave, will she want to be napping, will she be hungry, what if we have to wait FOREVER in the waiting room, etc. Well, this time, I forgot the stroller, so here I am in the parking garage, lugging a 7 month old, a diaper bag and a toy bag and trying to mentally note where I am, which elevator I am entering and where I parked the car! Then once I get inside, I need to be sure I am on the correct level and make it to the correct reception area! This time it went smoother than I imagined, but next time I will be sure not to forget the stroller!

We always receive the results of Rachel's tests before we leave and this time was no different. While waiting to meet with the doctor, I skimmed through the paperwork and showed my husband the last sentence (number 4) of the report below. He was so excited, he had me take photos of it and he instantly posted it on Facebook. Yeah, I think he was just a little excited that he was racing that weekend.

 

 

Here she sits on her dad's lap in the "sound room" and the audiologist watches her from the window to see what sort of reactions she makes to sounds. She was getting a little fussy so she was sucking on her pacifier and often stopped sucking and looked up when they tested her nemo ear. 

 

 

 

August 17, 2010

Grandpa Jolly

He didn't get to come to our wedding in Jamaica.

He didn't get to say the prayer at our Wedding Celebration in Michigan. 

He said goodbye the day before my husband's 34th birthday. 

But I will remember him Forever. 

 

 

Wilfred "Bill" Jolly

January 7, 1927 to August 14, 2008

August 13, 2010

Vintage Toys

Not only are there vintage baby items at my parent's house, but there are also toys. My niece loves to play with them because they are new to her, and it is nice my sister doesn't have to haul a bunch of toys with her when she visits.

Here is a set of RingaMajigs. I think these came from my grandma's basement. We used to play with them when we were kids.

 

 

Here is a stool my sister and I used, and now Avery uses to wash her hands and brush her teeth when she is in the bathroom. It is currently in the chair position, but the back of the chair flips down to become a step!

 This is Amanda. My aunt made this doll for me when I was a child. Her hair is a little crazy, but she is still in tact.

 

August 11, 2010

Vintage Baby Items

When I travel the 2 hours to visit my parents, I am utterly grateful for the baby things my mom has held onto. She still has the crib my sister and I used, it's all set up in a bedroom and has a mattress pad and sheets on it. Rachel sleeps like a champ in it. My mom has the high chair my sister and I used, everything on it is original and it's one of my favorite high chairs! It's such a relief not having to haul these things with us when we visit.

Here is the crib at it sits today at my parent's house. Yes, it is a drop side, but I am pretty sure because of the metal rail that makes the crib slide up and down, there is no possible way for the side to fail and for her to fall out. Which makes me wonder, why did crib manufacturers even modify the design. They should have kept it like this one from the 1970s.

The decoration on the side is still in great condition. 

And here is a photo of me in the crib when I was a child. I love looking at things in the background. I asked my mom why she had a baby scale and she said, "I don't know, you just had them back then. I think we got that as a shower gift."

 

This is the  high chair. I LOVE it because it is small, but not too small. It fold in half and nothing on it is fabric, so everything can be quickly and easily cleaned. Notice the vintage strap that keeps her held in.

 

The footplate is barely scratched. And it adjusts. 

She loved it outside, she loved it in that high chair. She banged on the tray with her two hands all the time. 

 

It looks like I also enjoyed being in that high chair. 

 

 

 

August 08, 2010

Bath Time

Since Rachel is an only child and so is Avery, both of them spend time in the tub alone. While Avery was visiting in Michigan, Rachel and Avery took their first bath together!

 

 

 

Avery wanted Rachel to have the little tiny duck. In the series of photos that follow, Avery is taking the large duck away from Rachel and giving her the small duck. 

 

 

 

I think Rachel was amazed and in awe and distracted by Avery being so active and busy in the tub. She pretty much just sat there, holding her duck and watching Avery move and talk. 

 

And for some memory lane photos, here are some bath time snapshots of my sister and I many, many years ago! 

 

 

August 04, 2010

Pink Eye

Rachel had pink eye a while ago and when going through my photos I found this one. I snapped it before I cleaned out her eyes and took her to the walk-in clinic on a Sunday morning. When she woke up her eyes were open but all crusty on the top. I felt so bad for her, but she was very happy and acting like nothing was wrong.

While waiting in the room at the clinic, she was loving the paper on the table. She sat on the table with me and laughed and scratched and scrunched the paper with her hand and nails. 

The doctor, who introduced himself as Dr. Brian, which I found interesting because most of them don't use their first names, told me she had pink eye and she received some eye drops. The first few applications of eye drops was okay, but by day 2 (one drop in each eye, four times a day!) she knew what was going on. But we didn't have to use them for very long and before I knew it, the condition was all cleared up and she was fine. I kept her home from day care on Monday. Technically it had been 24 hours since she had the drops in, but I didn't want to infect any other kids, so I stayed home with her. 

 

Here is a close up of her eyes! 

 

August 02, 2010

Gene

My daughter was born with hair, lots of brown hair, and everyone told me the same thing: she's going to lose it all and if she doesn't lose it, she will have bald spots. She's seven months strong and hasn't lost it yet. It did seem to thin out, but it's still there and she does not have any bald spots - maybe she got her dad's thick dark hair! How great for her! 

The longest part of her hair is the top, which almost resembles a comb over. Her hair on the top is long, it gets into her eyes if not pulled up or swept to the side. It's hard to put clips in her hair, because clips just grip onto the comb over section and nothing on the sides. Therefore we use the pebbles look: one pigtail on the top of her head.

Recently a friend pointed out her hair somewhat resembled that of Gene Keady. Gene Keady is a former basketball coach at Purdue. My husband knew right away who this coach was and agreed that Rachel's hair does resemble Gene's famous comb over. 

I scanned through a lot of photos but I think the one that shows of her "Keady" the best is her passport photo. 

Since this realization, we often refer to her hair as "Keady." We find ourselves using phrases like:
Did you comb the Keady?
Make sure you pull up/back the Keady.
I rubbed her Keady and she fell asleep.

 

 

July 28, 2010

You've Got Mail

I love mail. I look forward to going to my mail box every day to get the mail. One of the first things I ask my husband if he gets home before me is, "Did you get the mail?"

This could stem from the fact that I was born with paper on my butt and ink on my hands, since my dad was in the printing industry as a pressman the day of my birth. And I grew up helping out in his businesses, later pursuing a career in design and working for a printing company. I can remember as a kid my dad would show me things he got in the mail, paper samples, printed samples, samples of things with embossing and foil stamping, shiny finishes and metallic ink. I would ooh and ahh at how neat and how expensive they must be. Now I'm designing those same pieces and oohing and ahhing when the come off the press and I get to see the finished sample, I often smell the ink on the piece. It's a unique high and instant gratification from a job well done.

Or this could have to do with the fact that my job depends on paper. If it wasn't for paper and junk mail, I wouldn't have a job! Paper may be coming to an end in some businesses with letterhead templates now being produced and printed in black and white on "normal" paper with the letter right on them, and the paperless and electronic age booming, but I still love and am in love with paper.

The purpose of this post is to talk about the postage rate increase. I am somewhat annoyed by people complaining about the cost of stamps increasing. I think if more people used the post office, prices would not go up so much, but in the electronic/paperless age I spoke of above, it's become more difficult to use the post office. 

My solutions is to open all of my junk mail and re-stuff things into the business reply mail envelopes. These are the envelopes that come with almost all junk mail: credit card offers, requests for donations, etc. The envelopes can be mailed at no cost to me (or you). I stuff anything that does not have my name on it back inside the envelope - coupons, newspaper inserts, inserts they send to me, etc. I stuff them inside, seal the envelope and take it back out to the mail box. You may be fearful of the "customer locator code" that is printed on the back of the envelope, but I can assure you, the majority of the time, this code is not specific to you, it's just to scare you and convince you to not mail junk back to them. And if someone does contact me and tell me they didn't get my application (and they know this because of the code on the envelope) I will tell them I am sorry, I got my mail mixed up, to send me another and I'll be sure to get it right this time!

If you are trying to go-green this may not be your favorite option. But you will have to decide on a personal level what to complain about -- using paper or spending more money on stamps. 

Read more here: Postal Service Rate Increase. 

 

June 23, 2010

First Pool

Rachel's final first over Memorial Day weekend was the time she spent in her pool. The pool went over well, she was very busy with the floating octopus that I put into the water and Rockwell decided to use the pool as his water dish several times. Our lives wouldn't be complete without Rockwell investigating all of the new things we do with Rachel. I could not get a photo of Rachel looking up at the camera because she was so fascinated with the floating toys!

 

 

 

June 20, 2010

Fun With Dad

 Happy First Father's Day to my husband.

June 16, 2010

First Big Girl Seat

It's now time for Rachel to join us at the table! Here she is in her big girl seat! She doesn't need a high chair! She can join us at the table. Thanks to Avery for handing it down to us!

 

 

 

June 14, 2010

Stand Up, Sit Down!

My baby girl loves to sit up!

 

June 11, 2010

First Boat Ride

Over the Memorial Day Weekend Faux Aunt JuJu texted me and invited Rachel and I on the boat!

Captain JuJu!

 

Rachel's Nap Time. 

 

Hanging in the Shade with Faux Aunt Kelly.

 

 

 

June 07, 2010

Weeeee!

Rachel loves her swing!

 

 


June 04, 2010

Thinking Hard

Here she is! Working hard at the toy on her exersaucer!

 

 

June 03, 2010

Walks

We like to take walks in the big girl stroller! She rarely smiles when I get the camera out!

 


 

May 10, 2010

Shoes

Little girl shoes are so cute, especially when she is wearing them with a Detroit Red Wings outfit!

 

May 05, 2010

Books are Fun

Here is Rachel in bed with Dad on a Sunday morning happily reading a book. You can see she has a serious case of bed head, too!

 

May 03, 2010

Barbershop

Is it too early to play dress up with my little girl? Sometimes I put the burp cloth around her neck to catch any possible spit up. When I do, I think it looks like she is at the barbershop ready for a haircut!

 

April 22, 2010

Fun Photos

Here are some snapshots of our little girl.

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2010

Meat Counter

Why am I so afraid to purchase meat from the meat counter at the grocery store?

The "butchers" in white coats intimidate me. They stand behind the counter as I gaze at the various steaks and ground beef and I begin to get nervous I am taking too much time and then the words and prices on the signs begin to jumble in my head and I can't seem to concentrate any more...round...center...t-bone...rib-eye...9.99...6.99...18.99. Not to mention I never can remember what is the "best" steak to purchase. I don't like to buy the steak with "marbled fat" or bone inside because I don't think I should pay for something I am not going to eat. But everyone tells me that is what makes the steak taste good when you cook it!

Then, I have no idea how to estimate how much the steak I pick out will cost. The butcher slaps my raw dinner onto the scale and the next thing I know I'm paying 23.99 for two steaks for dinner.

This price irks me because I don't know how to properly cook a good steak on the grill. And I know when I take this home and cook it, it will taste so so, not mouthwatering like I hope. If I'm going to spend $23.99 on two steaks, I might as well go to a restaurant and have someone prepare it for me.

March 25, 2010

Perfect Gifts

After getting married and having a baby, I like to think I have the perfect gift picked out for soon-to-be brides and mothers. But after the passing of my mother-in-law, I pondered for a while about the perfect sympathy gift, or if it even existed. I have come to this conclusion: the perfect sympathy gift is a card with a memory of the person who passed away written inside. (And monetary donations can always be used by the family, too).

Cards are very thoughtful during the death of a loved one, but they are even better to read when you can learn how the deceased influenced other people's lives. Of course this cannot apply if you have never met the person but send the card anyway, because showing your support really does help.

 

March 18, 2010

Grandpa Visits

Look what happens when Grandpa comes to visit....

 

March 10, 2010

Hard Words

As most of my devoted blog stalkers know, my daughter has an ear condition called Mictrotia. I was so pleased to receive a call from a woman at the Health Department regarding Rachel's hearing test (obviously because of this condition, she failed the hearing test) because she provided me with resources for her condition. But the hardest thing to hear are these words...

Special Education
Chronic Condition
Hearing Impairment

Then I stumbled upon this poem and it brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. I had to share it.

On my way from Heaven,
God delayed my trip that day.
He said that I was special,
and then sent me on my way.
But not before he kissed me,
Right upon my ear
He left his blessed mark
to carry with me here.
He whispered in my ear right then,
that He loved me without doubt,
and then He closed my ear up tight,
so the whisper won't get out.
He told me both my legs were strong
and would help me stand up tall.
He told me both my arms would work
to catch me if I fall.
My eyes would catch my memories
to store within the pages of my mind,
My heart would fill with all the things I would love,
so many things, I would find.
He told me I could fall asleep
to my Daddy's bedtime tales,
and listen while my Mother sings
of seas and boats with sails.
One ear, He told me, could hear the sounds
that little birdies make.
The other ear was His gift to me,
a blessing for my sake.
For when I'm feeling sad, He said,
my other ear would hear,
His whispered words of eternal love,
left waiting for me there.

March 08, 2010

New Appreciations

I have a new appreciation for single parents. My husband flew to Germany for the week. I went back to work on Monday and Rachel went to day care.

The first morning went very well, as did every other morning after that. The local schools had a snow day and when that happens, day care opens at 10 am. I took Rachel to work with me around 9 am and she slept in her car seat in my office for an hour before I took her to day care. In the mornings, I usually had to wake her up to feed and dress her before heading out the door. The day care she goes to is in the same building as my office, so when she needs to be fed - usually around 11am and 3pm - I just go and feed her. It's nice because I don't have to pump at work and prepare bottles every night and it's a fun break during the work day.

The few evenings I was alone with her went well, but I can see how easily a single parent would go crazy! One night, just as I was sitting down to do something, she woke up crying and had gas. I ended up putting my task on hold and never got back to it until the next day. And my need for adult conversation wasn't always met at night with the 6 hour time difference in Germany. I didn't always get to talk to my husband because he was already in bed when I got home in the evening.

Thanks to my father-in-law, he snow blowed my driveway because of the enormous amount of snow we received the week my husband was out of the country!  

But I survived, and did better than I expected. I'm pretty impressed with myself, but I also would rather have my baby's daddy at home with us!

Snow on the Picnic Table...I think this was day 3 of the snow, so it was nice and wet at this time. I measured 7" with the tape measure.

Rockwell, loves the snow!

This week the weather is much warmer, but my hubby is going out of town again! If I did it once, I can do it again! 

March 03, 2010

He Only Takes The Best

After the passing of my mother-in-law, Libby, my husband and I received several cards and in one of them was this poem. I think it relates to everyone who has lost someone they loved and cared for.

He Only Takes The Best

God saw she was getting tired
And a cure was not to be
So he put his arms around her
And whispered, "Come with Me."

With tear filled eyes we watched her
Suffer and fade away
Although we loved her deeply
We would not make her stay.

A golden heart stopped beating
Hard working hands put to rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.

March 01, 2010

Angels

On Sunday, February 14, 2010, my father-in-law said something I will never forget: "You never know when you'll be kissed by an angel."

In this situation, we were on our way to say goodbye to my mother-in-law who after 57 years of life, perished due to heart failure at the hospital. This comment really had me thinking. I realized there are two times in a person's life when they are kissed by an angel: birth and death.

You are kissed by an angel when you are born because a mother never knows what day her baby will arrive. Modern medicine has given us a decent estimate and scheduled c-sections have given us an exact date for the birth of a baby, but most often, the arrival of a baby is determined by an "angel's kiss."

And sometimes an angel takes the life of the ones we love, expected or unexpected, we never fully seem prepared to say goodbye to anyone.

Libby (Treat) Perrine
born April 27, 1952
died February 14, 2010
We will remember her always.

 

January 18, 2010

Kids Today

I bought my husband a pair of steel toe boots for Christmas and he was wearing them around the house to break them in. The other day he went out and was debuting his new boots, complete with the tags on. I asked him before he left if he wanted me to cut the tag off his right foot and he said, "No, that's how the kids are wearing them today." Thankfully when he returned home, the tag was gone!

December 30, 2009

Baby Everett G.

One of my good high school friends had her second baby boy just before Thanksgiving. Everett McIntosh is his name. He is joined by his big brother, Mason.

As I was sitting at my desk a few days before her scheduled delivery, I received a text message that said, "Mason just asked if the doctor was going to take the baby out with a screwdriver." This had me laughing so hard, I was almost in tears! Therefore, when the baby came, so near to Christmas, I had to act on the comment made by his big brother and send Everett a special, personalized Christmas ornament.

The search almost immediately began, I needed to find the perfect screwdriver AND baby's first Christmas ornament. I wanted a simple, flat baby's first Christmas metal/pewter ornament to attach to the screwdriver. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to locate exactly what I wanted, so I found this instead:

3 pack of screwdrivers at the dollar store, I just had to add the hole. 2 sided, Baby's First Christmas Ornament from Babies R Us. Personalized paper quote that captures Mason's curiosity forever. 

Put it all together and you have a one-of-a-kind, personalized ornament for Baby E. My friend reports that she received the ornament and has it displayed at the top of the tree because Mason wants the screwdriver!

October 30, 2009

Princess Feet

While Avery and my sister were in Michigan I gave them both pedicures and manicures. The next day we told Avery her feet were so soft from her pedicure that she had "Princess Feet."

Dawn and Avery reading a magazine at the "salon" while their feet soak. 

 

 

A close up of the pre-princess feet. 

 

 

 

After the feet, we had to do manicures!

 

September 20, 2009

Good Bye Wedding Dress

 

It's been hanging in my closet for over a year and this week I made a decision to donate my wedding dress. I wanted to do this before the dress got too old to be considered usable and not old enough to be vintage.

A few people suggested I take my dress and make a baptism gown for my daughter, but I didn't see that as something that was very desirable since it would be a challenge to take an adult dress and fit it to an infant body. Other suggestions were to take part of it and make a hankie or garter out of it so my daughter can have it for her wedding. I wasn't able to justify that route because I'd be tearing apart a perfectly good dress and only using a part of it. I did try to sell it on craigs list, with no bites what-so-ever and I didn't even try eBay mostly due to their 9% fees. 

A quick search on the internet lead me an organization called Making Memories that offers a Brides Against Breast Cancer gown sale. I printed the paperwork, got a box, packed up my dress and now it's on its way to Oregon to make another bride very happy. Plus, it's a nice tax deduction if our daughter doesn't arrive until 2010.

 

September 16, 2009

Avery's trip to Michigan

My niece, Avery, came to Michigan with her Grandparents earlier this month. My parents were able to spend a few days with her while she was here, and my husband and I also go to see her.

Avery does not like my husband. I believe it stems from an incident last Christmas. We were all at my parent's house and enjoyed a night out at the bar before our family Christmas.  Amazingly, my husband got over-served, so when we had to open presents the next morning, he was a little "under the weather." He was sitting on the couch, looking like death, and my dad was holding Avery, and harassing her. My dad tried to get Avery to go to Uncle Dan, but she was freaking out in my dad's arms. Uncle Dan was about to visit the porcelain god, so he wasn't at all into having Avery hang out with him on the couch. Ever since then, she has not wanted Dan around, she has not wanted to talk or look at him. She will eventually and very hesitantly open up to him, and usually he can lure her with a quarter or two, but during this last short visit, she wanted very little to do with him. But the morning after we left, she asked grandma where "Aunt Kadee and Uncle Dan" were, obviously not remembering she wouldn't kiss us goodbye the day before.

Avery is 3 and will be 4 in February 2010. Since we only care about photos and how darn cute she is, here are a few.

 

 

This Mickey Mouse shirt is true vintage. It belonged to my sister and I when we were young. 

 

 

 

My parents have this tree in their (new) front yard. I love it. I wanted her to sit on the "seat" but Papa said it was pokey, so he put her up there to stand. 

 

We thought on Sunday it would be the best day to go to the beach. It was 77 degrees and sunny when we left. 20 minutes later, and on the water, it was 10 degrees cooler and foggy. The north wind was super breezy, but Avery had fun building a sand castle with Papa.

 

September 09, 2009

Disagreements - A blog response

This entry is in response to my husband's blog which can be read by clicking here.

Dear Husband,

We seem to be having the same conversation over and over about MY car. And you seem to be asking the same questions and making the same suggestions only to have me give the same answer, "I want my car to look like an original VW Beetle." 

Ever since the fourth grade I have wanted a green VW bug. I was somewhat certain my grandpa would get me one when I turned 16, even though I couldn't drive a stick -- and still cannot. But my 16th, 17th and 18th birthday came and went and there was no bug, so when I got one for Christmas/Engagement in December of 2007, over 15 years of dreaming came true. (And I thank you very much for that.)

Now I am the owner of a VW bug and you want me to conform to your idea of how my bug should look, lowered, sleeker, less "stock" accessories, tinted windows, and race tires. Let me remind you of the passage below. I asked you to write about purchasing my car and you returned a multiple page word document to me that included the following:

November 3, 2007
With my parents away in Delaware bringing back my Grandfathers truck, I took advantage of my Mother’s Jeep Liberty being free to travel to Bay City to look at a 1965 Bug. Let the record show, this is the Bug that I wanted. This was the car in the best shape, it was lowered, had fiberglass rear fenders, and a fiberglass flip front end. Brand new interior, new mechanical parts, and a little bit of chrome accents in the engine compartment. It also had a dual carb set up that came with it. I resist the urge to make an offer, because I have a couple more to look at, one was again a clunker, the other was about to become part of my personal history…

 

November 18, 2007
On my way back from Deer Camp 2007 on Drummond Island, I decide to detour through another buddies house, see his dogs, and head to Rockford to take a look at a 1964 black bug. This was a very solid piece, and the best car for the money. I didn’t like it as much as the blue one but it was in fair shape, ran well (actually had a better motor than the blue one) and was a bit cheaper.
Now I had a decision to make, which to buy?  I begin to talk myself into the blue one, pretty sweet ride, in good shape, the least amount of work, etc. But in the end, I can’t keep my conscious from telling me, “Kari would like the black one better, it is more of a “bug” than the blue one, the blue one is a future street / strip car, that is why YOU like it, and it won’t be your car!”

I rest my case. 

Love,
Your Wife

 

September 03, 2009

H to the 3rd Power

I'm not sure what's going on, but for the past few weeks, almost every day is a bad hair day!

First, I attributed this to the new shampoo and conditioner I purchased. I always use salon brands, but was feeling risky and noticed a bottle of volumizing shampoo on the sale shelf at Bath and Body Works...just in time! I was almost out of shampoo. After using it for a while, my hair felt very tangled and so I picked up a bottle of Matrix conditioner.

Shortly after using the conditioner, my hair felt like it had no body what-so-ever. I was unable to give it any height. I thought maybe the conditioner was weighing it down too much, or that I was in need of a haircut.

I was complaining about this situation to my good friend, Dawn, who has also been a cosmetologist for almost 20 years, and she suggested a new styling product. This lead me to purchase a bottle of Volume Foam by Arrojo. I do love this product, but I still have bad hair days!

Lately, humidity has recently been not-so-great, so perhaps that has something to do with my not-so-glamorous hair days.

That gives me H squared (Haircut and Humidity) and I realize it could be none of the above but HORMONES! (H to the third power!) Perhaps this baby is making me have flat hair!

So whether or not it's that I am in need of a Haircut, or the Humidity in the air, or my Hormones, I want it all to stop, and hope that the easiest fix (a haircut) solves all my problems when I go for an appointment in a week.

August 30, 2009

You've Got Mail!

I was so excited when my husband finally put a flag on our mailbox. I had asked him a few times before to put one on after our mailbox was vandalized in December. I was tired of taking the mail with me to work and forgetting to drop it in the mailbox, or leaving it in my car for a few days before I remembered to drop it off at the post office.

My new flag was installed on a Friday night and on Saturday morning on my way out the driveway, I noticed our mailbox had been vandalized AGAIN! This time, both doors were torn off of it, but I was able to find both of them in the ditch and we reattached them. The part that took the most damage was the post. I think our mailbox can handle one more beating and then it's done. My husband says he's making a steel mailbox after this attack. Although I love him to death, if it has taken him over six months to install a mail box, I cannot imagine when I will get my new mail box...

 

BUT, the best part is the flag! It's still standing strong! 

 

August 05, 2009

Peas Please

Just a sampling of the peas I have in my garden! I love to eat them fresh, right off the vine is when they taste best! They are now all gone, but I'm diving into my green beans!

July 08, 2009

Words of Kindness

After publishing my blog about losing our beloved K9, Cletus, I received several kind words and thoughts I wanted to share.

 

"Dogs only have a short time on earth. They are truly mans best friend and it's sad that we only get a small window of time with them. Dogs make you appreciate life. The little things like watching flies, going for car rides and playing with their favorite toys. I know you gave your dog the best life it could have had. Now it's time to remember and reflect on how lucky your dog was to have an owner like you."
 
"A dog is the only thing in the world that loves you more than he loves himself."   - Josh Billings

My in-laws gave me this poem to read, and a friend referred me to the site

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together

-Author unknown

A similar inspiring blog sent to me by my husband, about the death of Mouse, another pet owners tragic loss of his K9 companion can be read here.

This was actually one of my favorite emails, maybe you have to know the friend who sent this to me, but she always knows how to put a funny, yet classy spin on things: 

"Oh no, I'm so sorry! I'm glad I got to meet the famous Cletus. I'm sure Farrah will take him for walks in heaven."

Thanks to everyone for their sympathetic thoughts. 

July 01, 2009

Sleepless Nights


Earlier this week I began pondering a blog about Sleepless Nights after our oldest K9 companion began to have seizures in the early morning hours. It began last Saturday and I awoke around 11:30 pm to a unique sound and found Cletus on our bathroom floor shaking and breathing oddly. I immediately called my husband who was on his way home from a day at the race track. I was certain Cletus was dying. I didn't know what was going on. I've never seen an animal die naturally. A few minutes later, Cletus "came to" and was looking at me like nothing had happened, I whisked him outside, he drank some water and returned to the floor in the bedroom to sleep.

Five hours later at 4:30 am, I awoke my husband to tell him it was happening again. He was able to see first hand what I was telling him over the phone and Cletus began to repeat the same process. I was certain it was time to say goodbye to Cletus and even tried to talk to my husband in these wee hours about saying goodbye. He fell back asleep while I was up for a few hours thinking, crying and wondering.

We were not completely in the dark about this medical condition. Two years ago, Cletus was diagnosed with Melanoma in his lip and lymph node in his neck. We are 99% certain this is what he has, although we never did do any biopsies because at the time he was 10. Now, 2 years later, and still doing well, at our last vet appointment the doctor was surprised at the large size of his lymph node (and the fact that he was still alive) and told us the next thing that often happens is a seizure. The cancer begins to spread to the brain and there are neurological effects.

Sunday we called the vet to find out there are no real health risks associated with seizures, but the problem is multiple seizures, one right after another. A seizure causes a dog's body temperature to rise and having multiple seizures means the dog's body temperature cannot return to normal eventually leads to death. We monitored Cletus all day and night and he seemed fine so we decided to let him hang on a little longer.

Our sleepless nights returned on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when Cletus had early morning seizures on all three days. Thursday when my husband arrived home, I got the phone call from him saying it was Cletus' time to go. Cletus must have had another seizure (thankfully on the tile floor in our bathroom) which caused him to lose control of his bowels. He then must have struggled to get up (he has a hard time with his back legs) and eventually when he did, he moved to another location within the house. My husband said no animal-human or K9-should have to lie in their own waste. When I arrived home, he managed to get into the kitchen, and when I walked into the door, his tail was wagging and he was looking at me like he always does when he greets me at the door. We got him up, helped him outside and I called the vet.

Our vet is ALWAYS open. Seven days a week! Late on most weeknights! And when I called, I got an answering machine that said they would be closed Wednesday and Thursday for a conference. Now is when the panic began, what were we going to do? I called two other places in the area, to see if they could help us and they were closed. Finally, on the third try, I located one that could help us out.

Ironically that morning Cletus wouldn't eat a full plate of soft food (which is rare, especially since we usually mix soft food in with hard for him), nor would he take his medication that we stuff into hot dogs. He even spit out the non-laced hot dogs. So I decided to take some photos of Cletus. Photos that will forever be known as those from the last day of his life here on Earth. (Sorry, none of those photos are posted here.)

But more importantly, Cletus was an awesome dog.

He was born in May 1997 and was my husband's first dog out of college. Cletus' mom was a Rottweiler, and Cletus has been classified by a rott, lab, shepherd mix. He has the coloring of a rott, the nose and white chest of a lab, and the hair of a shepherd. He lived "north of the rifle line" with him and then moved to Southeast Michigan. When my husband began traveling a lot for work, Cletus ended up staying at my in-laws house, temporarily and then permanently. Cletus and his buddy, the in-laws American Rottweiler, Diesel, lived together for about 7 years. When Diesel passed at the young age of 7, Cletus was joined by two puppies at my in-laws. Cletus was 8 at the time and not handling the rambunctious juvenile dogs well. He was snippy toward them, his hair was falling out and he was a cranky old man. I'd assume most old men would be this way if he had two toddlers climbing on him all day long. Therefore, Cletus came to live with us.

I remember the day he moved in with us like it was yesterday. I think we were at my in-laws house eating dinner and decided to take Cletus home that day. We left with him and a dog dish in the car. Cletus adapted so well, it was as if he had lived in our home for years. He slept well, he ate well, he asked out, and back in. He was even pretty good at staying in the yard.

I made a dog bed years before for our dog Rockwell, and Rockwell never slept in it. Once in a while Rockwell would chew on a bone on the bed, but he would never sleep on it. When Cletus came to our house and the colder winter months arrived, he claimed that bed. I was so happy because it had been in our bedroom for years, and I was sure some day, Rockwell would want to cuddle up in it. In the summer months Cletus usually moved to the tile floor in the bathroom. 

Below: Cletus sits on the dog bed.

 

Cletus had some of the softest hair I've ever felt on a mixed dog. And it was always so fluffy. When the light hit it just right, you could see the deep red color in his black coat. He had the curliest tail, the tail that I miss hearing hit the floor when he wagged it or the kitchen cupboards or the side of the couch. Sometimes his tail would get caught on things, a few times it got caught on the knob of the lower kitchen cabinets, and opened the door, at the same time scaring Cletus. Another time it got caught on the cord that was plugged into the island, the handle of my gym bag and the string to the mini blinds. One spring he came out of the woods while outside, and he had about a 5' x 1/2" stick wrapped in his tail. He was wagging the tail side to side and this stick was stuck in it. Cletus was oblivious to this piece of lumber and I didn't have time to get my camera, but I'll never forget how funny he looked walking down the driveway, back to the house, with a stick swaying in the curl of his tail. When my 80+ year old grandmas would come over, they would ask how we can tell Cletus and Rockwell apart, and the first thing we would tell them is "one dog has a tail, the other does not." To us, our two dogs didn't look alike at all.

Below: Rockwell made the paper mess while Cletus just sat and enjoyed a bone. 

 

Cletus was one of those great dogs that had quirks. By the time he came into my life, he was "an old man" as my husband called him. I called him wise man, omitting the old to his name because i felt it was mean. He used to walk into the neighbor's yard each spring and find bones and toys that belonged to their dogs. He would come home and be chewing on a rawhide in our grass, a raw hide he stole from next door.

Below: This is what we called the "Cletus Splat." Arms in the standard goal post position. 

 

He would want anyone to watch him when he ate. If you were not watching him, he would bark at you. Our kitchen set-up allowed us to easily watch him while doing other things, so everyday I would tell Cletus, "I'm watching you" and he'd go for more food in his bowl.

Cletus rarely ever said no to any foods. He would eat almost anything. We did try to give him a dill pickle once, and he spit it out. And I don't think he likes pretzels because of the salt on them. He is also against eating lettuce. But other than that, Cletus was good at begging and his cuteness often got him a little something, especially when he lived with the in-laws.

Below: Christmas Eve 2008 - Cletus enjoys a night with the family and sports his holiday bandanna. 

 

He loved to go for rides in the car. He would just lay down in the back seat or peak his head out of the window. One time I forgot he was even in the car with me because he was so quiet. He had to bark when we got home for me to let him out! He liked to walk on a leash but at the beginning of our walks, he would only walk behind you. And he would zig zag back and forth behind you while you were holding the leash. I would just hold the leash behind my back because with all of the zig zagging, it would get tangled up. Eventually, he would move to one side or another while we walked, but rarely went in front of me, he was always behind or next to me.

Below: One of my favorite photos. It's as if you can see the wrinkles in an old man's face...

 

Below: Cletus enjoys the winter snow. 

 

Our other dog, Rockwell is a fabulous poser, It's as if he knows the camera is coming out and he has to sit up straight and tilt his head just right. But Cletus is exactly the opposite. He will look away, look down, move quickly and I struggle to get a good shot of him, but eventually we get one! It's been called "Cletus' defense" he does the same thing with a toy. When he gets one and you try to play with him and take it away from him, he turns his head from side to side, just right, so you cannot get it. It's quite funny and amazing at the same time!

Cletus was the best at giving a "high five." He can get his paw up nice and high to hit your hand. Sometimes Cletus would give out double high fives! 

 

 

Today Cletus is buried next to his fried, Diesel, in the back yard of my in-laws house. We're trying to decide exactly what to put on the top of his grave, and I think the vote is a dog dish because he loved food and loved to eat. In the next few weeks, I'll find the perfect one and maybe even have his name engraved on it.

As the saying goes, "They go in three's in times like these." Today we said goodbye to The King of Pop, a Charlie's Angel and our dog Cletus.

In memory of Cletus: May 1997 - June 25, 2009.

 

June 29, 2009

What Goes On Inside My Melon...No, Not Those Melons!

June 8, 2009

I just realized this is the last summer of "Kari and Dan" together, two, a duo. Next year our lives will be completely different. 

June 10, 2009

Today I asked my husband if he would "grow a belly with me" and he declined. 

June 12, 2009

I'm 30 today. Three decades. Only about 32 more years until retirement. 

June 14, 2009

I asked my husband if he would paint my nails today. He replied, "Can't you paint your own nails?"

I was hoping since I am carrying his unborn child he would have said, "Yes, I would be happy to."

June 17, 2009

I broke down at one point and cried today. I won't say why so hopefully I will forget what I was so upset about.

June 20, 2009

I will not gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I will not. But I do need one more rice krispy treat....or the baby needs one more!

June 12, 2009

Aluminum Foil a.k.a. Tin Foil

What on Earth would we do without aluminum foil? (Also known as tin foil or simply foil.) It covers a plate of cookies, works great to cover pans in the oven, wrap veggies to cook on the grill or over an open camp fire, and keeps gum fresh. But all of those things are obvious uses for foil.

How on Earth would we make our awesome alien men or a model solar system for grade school projects? Would we ever set goals in life if we didn't decide one day to make a foil ball and continue to search for pieces of aluminum foil to make it grow bigger and bigger?

I don't think I would be where I am today without tin foil. Perhaps we should get together and send tin foil to poverty stricken countries so they can enjoy it as much as I do. 

 

June 09, 2009

2 a.m. Toss and Turn - Pregnancy Update #2

"How are you feeling?" was the first thing the nurse asked me when I went to my first informational doctor's appointment after taking a home pregnancy test. I could sense her sympathy when I said, "blah" and she assured me it will get better. I was then asked if I was vomiting, having a hard time eating, or not sleeping well. All of which I answered, "no." I think this caught the nurse off guard, she was expecting something worse from my feeling blah comment.

April 27-May 1, 2009 (no confirmed pregnancy)

I feel fat. I look at myself in the mirror and think, wow, my belly is getting fat. I need to get to the gym every day this week. No slacking. In one week, I will take a pregnancy test and read the following passage, and understand why..."You still may not look pregnant even if your waist is thickening a bit." www.babycenter.com

Thickening? Is that what they call it? Thickening? Ugh. All the things I read say you will notice this thickening but no one else will. Sadly I feel that everyone can tell.

May 4-8, 2009

This first week was the worst. This was the week I took my home pregnancy test and felt awful all day every day. It was as though I was always going to throw up, then I would burp and feel better. Then the feeling came again, I would burp and the cycle of feeling better then crappy would continue. I felt like a dirty trucker belching all the time, but those burps brought me so much relief!

Food sounds good, but when I get a few bites into something, I don't want it anymore. I still force myself to eat it because the last thing I need right now is a cold or less energy due to malnourishment.

May 11-15, 2009

By the second week I was starting to feel great when I woke up, crappy when I left for work and better by around noon. This was the week I found out I was 8 or 9 weeks along! Yikes, I never thought I would be "that far." I guess never being pregnant I never knew when the crappy sickness would arrive. Maybe it's different for everyone.

This week the sleepless nights began. I started calling it the 2 a.m. toss and turn because between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. I would lie awake in my bed, not feeling 100% and toss and turn until I fell asleep again. I will admit, the few back rubs that my husband gave me during this uncomfortable time helped me tremendously! I think the great feeling on my back took my mind off the uneasy feeling I had in my gut. 

I've been informed of a anti-nauseous OTC medicine called Preggo Pops. I cannot easily locate these candies, but I did find a thread online in which one commenter said a regular Jolly Rancher hard candy will do almost the same thing. I tested this claim, and I think it worked, or I had myself convinced it was working. I'll have to try it again to see if it is really true.

Side note:  The 8 or 9 week estimate is because the nurse calculated my estimated due date by the first day of my last period, but, a good friend suggested temperature tracking via www.fertilityfriend.com and I had an estimated ovulation date based on my temperatures. This date was a week off from my last period. (Yes, Sara, I followed your temperature guidance, and I cannot say it worked, but I "thought" I was pregnant based on my chart's temperature readings before I had any symptoms).

May 18-22, 2009

Over the past weekend I got cranky. I wanted to do things but was unable. I just had such a blah feeling. It is such a unique feeling I'm not sure how to describe it. It's not like when you are tired and force yourself to keep going, yawing your way through the work day or evening dinner party.  It's not like when you have a cold and feel like crap and want to stay in bed all day. It's worse! This past weekend I was crabby because I thought I was starting to feel better, then randomly in the afternoon I would feel sick. But in the evening I felt great. I will say the 2 a.m. toss and turn has currently been eliminated from my night sleep patterns (knock on wood!)

May 23-25, 2009 - Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was somewhat brutal. I got a lot of outside work done, like planting my flowers and garden, cleaning out the fire pit, and putting new mulch in, but on Saturday night I got such a terrible head ache, I got sick. I was crying and throwing up at the same time. I hate getting sick. After that episode, I decided I needed some Tylenol (the only pain reliever I can take). So at 10:30 p.m. my husband and I got out of bed, and into the car and drove to the store to get some Tylenol. I came home, took one, fell asleep and alas, in the morning my headache was gone.

On Monday, I bent down to pick up my shoes to put them away and when I came up, my lower back was screaming! I must have pulled something. It is tolerable, but sore. I'm attributing it to the fact that I will be 30 next month.

Currently I am feeling as if I cannot suck in my gut to make it look flat. I try, and it just stays there. Hopefully no one but me is noticing!

My first official Doctor's appointment is the 27th of this month! 

May 26, 2009

Disposable Lifestyle

Why are things in our life so disposable? Lawn mowers, vacuums, marriages?

It seems as though today people don't think twice about throwing away a lawn mower or vacuum and buying a new one when they aren't even sure what is wrong with the one they have! Sure, the vacuum doesn't "suck" like it used to, but doesn't anyone want to call the vacuum store and get a tune up? Are we just so excited to buy and purchase new items that we are willing to let good products end up in our landfill? I purchased an expensive commercial vacuum about 6 years ago and just had a tune up done on it a year ago. It still works like a charm! I wouldn't trade my Royal Vacuum for any Dyson on the market today. (I'm still wondering why so many people are buying the Dyson...Are we just in awe at the bright plastic color and the way it moves? Have you talked to anyone at a vacuum store prior to purchasing a Dyson vacuum? They are the experts and will steer you away from a Dyson in a heartbeat. I speak from experience on this one!)

My husband picked up a lawn mower about a month or two ago on the side of the road. it's a small push mower, and I'm not sure what we're going to do with it since my brother-in-law cuts out grass, but it's in perfect shape. It needs a new part and will be working in no time. I'm sure it's not an expensive mower, but even at $100-200 bucks, it seems to be much cheaper to call a small engine repair shop to find out what is wrong with it than to buy a new one.

This brings me to my third an final rant and rave, marriages. People seem to be treating a marriage like a disposable piece of property. They don't like the husband they have, so they go out and find a new man, and in no time, their marriage is broken up and they are getting re-married! I get annoyed at women who say, "he'll never do this or that, oh, that's not James, he won't go for that." I find that extrememly hard to believe especially since I feel a marriage is built on compromise as one of the foundations. You would be surprised what your spouse would do for you if you ask, and asking (communicaiton) is another foundation I think a lot of couples overlook and ignore.

May 14, 2009

Mushrooms

I've always loved mushrooms and growing up in Michigan I have heard of Morel Mushroom "season" but have never gone morel hunting or even seen a morel. My coworker talks about them every spring. He doesn't eat mushroom but his wife and daughter love them, so he goes hunting every spring in the woods next door to our office.

A week or so ago, I saw some unique mushrooms in a bowl of water in the refrigerator at work. I questioned my coworker about them and he said they were morels. I was amazed. Just two weeks ago, I found some "cool looking" mushrooms while raking my front yard. I thought these mushrooms were so cool, I showed my husband, then tossed them into the wheelbarrow with all of the other sticks, leaves and lawn rubbish and then into the fire pit to burn them. These "cool looking" mushrooms were exactly the same as the ones in my work refrigerator...they were morels! I have morels growing in my yard!

My coworker was in awe. He told me to pick them and put them in a bowl of water and bring them into work. I told him it was doubtful I would be able to get any more morels from my yard because the grass I found them in gets cut every week, and I figured the mushrooms would get cut as well. Our lawn guys decided to skip cutting our grass last week, and I completely forgot all about the morels until I came home yesterday. Our grass had not been cut again (maybe they are behind because of the rain?) so I was able to take a stroll in my yard after getting my mail and I found these two beauties. My coworker was extatic when I brought them into work today.


 

May 11, 2009

Oh, Your Ring is Beautiful!

I have to brag a little. My marriage has made it one year! Yup, my husband and I celebrated one year of being married on May 7th!

I remember when I first got engaged. People would congratulate me, and then ask to see my ring. Everyone said it was beautiful. Then I realized, no one would ever tell a woman they didn't like her engagement ring. I had this conversation with a friend, and she agreed. I told her no matter how much you disliked the ring, you would always say it was beautiful, but if you really did like the ring, you would elaborate, and tell the woman, you really like it or you love it! I was convinced that my ring was "no big deal" especially with all of the fancy cuts and mega bling diamond sets available. But, one year later, I am still getting lots of compliments on my ring.

Most of the complements are from strangers. The woman at the bank, the girls at the dentist and eye doctor. Some are from "new friends" I meet at candle parties and am introduced to when we go out. It's made me realize people (especially women) really do pay attention to wedding rings! Honestly, this hasn't made me more aware of other peoples rings at all! It just seems to blend in with the rest of them! I'm hoping that I get compliments for the next 65 years! That's right, I want to be married for at least 65 years!

If you haven't seen my ring, you can check it out at the end of this post.

May 07, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

One Year Ago Today in a gazebo in Negril, Jamaica, my husband and I exchanged these words:

I, Dan, take you, Kari, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health, if the Tigers win or lose and even on race day, to love and to cherish til death do us part I give you my word, my word is my bond, this is truly the best day of my life and you are absolutely the best thing to happen to me.

I, Kari, take you, Dan, to be my husband. I promise to love you and be your faithful partner, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, when the Tigers are winning and when they are losing, in sickness and in health, in Tiger-induced sickness.

I will be true to you as a drag racer's wife and a loyal fan when you win, continue to support you when you lose and encourage you to practice when you red light. I promise to learn to drive a stick shift and remain open minded about putting the bug to the quarter-mile test.

I will try to be understanding and share in your dreams and goals as we face life's challenges together.

But most importantly, I promise to make you the happiest man ever.

One down, 64 to go! 

 

April 21, 2009

Benefit Golf Outing

 

My husband and I are hosting and organizing a benefit golf outing for a friend's son, Jax, who has Cerebral Palsy and we need your help!

The event is Saturday, May 9, 2009 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Pinckney, Michigan. We're looking for teams of four to play in a golf scramble, hole sponsors and any monetary and prize donations. All monetary donations will go directly to Jax! 

Don't Golf? Join us for dinner! Just $25 per person.

We're excited about this event and hope you can help out! If you wish to download the registration form, you can do so here. If you would like to sponsor a hole or provide a donation, please leave a comment here with your email address and phone number. Don't worry, I have to approve all comments before they are published, so I won't allow your personal information to be listed. If you don't want to comment, you can email me: kstrohs@hotmail.com

You must register for golf and dinner prior to the event. The deadline is April 27, 2009. After that, contact me and we can probably work something out!

To read more about Jax, check out his website

April 09, 2009

Prescription = Honesty

I am sure you have heard the saying, "Honesty is the best policy." Why are we often afraid to be honest?

One example that comes to mind is any sort of "product" party a woman gets invited to: jewelry, food, kitchen items, candles. These are your standard parties in which an independent consultant of a product line is invited into a woman's home, the woman invites all of her friends and hosts a party to sell these products to her friends and in return gets "free products" based on sales. Often times I hear people gripe about these parties. It's as if they have already been to them but feel obligated to go because they were invited, and once they get there, they feel obligated to buy something. Why can't a guest just be honest? Say, "No" if you don't want to attend or say, "no" to purchasing something. (Wow is this sounding like an anti-drug campaign? "Say, NO!" and "Just be honest!")

I think women are so trained to "be nice" that we are not honest because we think we know how the other person will react. If a guest is honest (in the above situation) and tells the host, "I don't want to come to your party," the host will often think the guest doesn't like her, doesn't like the products she is selling, or doesn't like the people she invited to the party. I see and hear it all the time and I will admit, I am guilty of doing it.

My confession is from my bachelorette party. My girlfriends and I went to a comedy club and dancing afterwards. It was basically a great girls night out, except I had to wear a tee shirt, tiara/veil and a light up Miss America type sash that said "Outta Control Bachelorette." There were some friends of mine that I would consider "local" that didn't come. (By local, I mean about an hour away). Immediately I started to draw my own conclusions as to why they would not be in attendance. For a while I was somewhat upset, I thought they were good friends of mine and I was disappointed they didn't want to come to my party. But in the end, I've learned to say, it is their loss, not mine. They are the ones that missed out on a great time!

And I am guilty of lying because I didn't want to go to a party but felt I couldn't be honest and say, "I don't want to come." Instead I made up some sort of excuse, such as we had plans, and didn't commit to going.

Why can't we just be truthful? I think it is harder to be truthful because sometimes the truth does hurt. But in the end it is much easier to tell a person, "No, I don't want to" than to make up a story and have to remember it.

So the moral of the story, just be honest, and if a person cannot handle the truth, that's not your problem, it is theirs.

April 02, 2009

Please Pull Ahead

Recently I have been splurging on cappuccinos from the drive thru. This craving only happens on my way to work in the morning and only happens when I am running late. I think it is because I don't want to go to work so I do anything I can do delay getting there. I've been driving my 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 since December. Which means I take it through the drive thru. The first few times I got the truck, the drive thru person could hear me perfectly when I gave her my order through the speaker. (I don't go through the drive thru very often.) But lately, on my cappuccino binges, I have to turn off my truck for the attendant to hear me! The truck is a diesel, so it is loud, but it is so annoying when I have to do this! It's usually most annoying when I turn the truck off and then have to wait for the noodle to turn it back on, with anxious customers behind me! If you are confused about the "noodle" read all about it here.

On my second or third trip to the drive thru, I wondered, why can't I just talk to a person when I order? it would be the same as pulling ahead to pay, except I could order AND pay at the SAME window! Genius! That way, I wouldn't have to turn off my truck and restart it while going though the drive thru! I think I'll write all the companies with drive thru windows a letter...

March 31, 2009

Should It Stay or Should It Go?

I just listed my wedding dress on Craig's List. I'm so torn on if I should keep it or not. It's been hanging in my laundry room, waiting to be washed (again) after or shin dig last October. I finally washed it over the weekend and it is so nice and clean! Yes, I washed my dress in the washing machine, twice, for details on how I did this, check out my wedding page here.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with my dress. I've heard of some women wearing their mom's wedding dress at their own wedding, but I think that was ages ago because I've actually never seen or heard of anyone doing this. I know there is no way I could have fit into my mom's wedding dress (she was 90 lbs. when she got married) and I recall the one time she "got it out" for my sister and I to see. It was neat to see, but it was very yellow and stained. 

I figured I better get rid of my dress now, before it starts to look old and out dated. I doubt I'll ever have it long enough to sell it as vintage dress, because by then I will have kept it for so long there is no way I would want to get rid of it!

I guess for now I will see if I get any takers on Craig's List and if not, I can think about preserving/saving it or donate it to Making Memories. At least that donation is tax deductible and it goes to a good cause.

March 12, 2009

Preparations

The other day I received a full body massage. It was a fabulous 60 minutes and every time I get a massage I tell myself, "I'm going to do this once a month." And I never do. But while I was laying with my head in the "cradle" on the table, all I could think about was this:

I was face down on the table, the masseuse was massaging my right leg. I thought to myself, "I wonder if she can feel that strip of hair I missed shaving on my calf." That morning I shaved my legs, and armpits in preparation for my massage. I noticed while I was putting lotion on my leg when I got out of the shower (another preparation for a massage) I missed an entire strip on hair on my left calf. I then began to realize (while my head was in the cradle) that going to get a massage is somewhat like going to the gynecologist.

I always shave before going to see my doctor, I often go over my legs twice, just to be sure I didn't miss anything. And I super shave my armpits, in every direction possible. After I shave and shower, I then make sure I apply lotion to my entire body, not just to add moisture but to add a light girly smell. At the doctor's office, the doctor will be inches away from my legs, and the deer shining spot light will for sure be "up in my business" so the least I can do is have nicely shaved and moisturized legs to go with the rest of my body!

As for the armpits, it's uncomfortable enough to have another person do a breast exam on you, but to lift your arm and realize you are sporting a forest of seedlings, as the doctor makes small talk about the weather, is even more embarrassing. The tiny hairs often look like giants in your peripheral vision.

I am sure these preparations for a massage and annual exam visit are often over anaiyzed by myself. Neither the doctor or masseuse probably notices if my skin is hair free or my legs are lacking moisture. Especially with the massage, the room is so dimly lit you can barely see which way is the wrong way to put your underwear on!

 

March 06, 2009

Lessons Learned

I have learned a lot of things in my 29.6 years on this planet. But there are two things I have learned in the last few years that will always stick with me.

When I was in college, I received a phone call around 5pm from my friend, Ann*. I remember the time vividly because my roommates and I were bundled up in our coats and on our way to eat dinner at the dining hall. Ann called to tell me my boyfriend (at the time) was at the bar the night before making out with another girl. Ann knew this was true because she witnessed him kissing another girl. I was furious, not because Ann called to tell me this, but because my two other college roommates, Mary* and Tina*, were at the bar with my boyfriend and his friends and they said nothing to me all day!

I remember taking the call, sitting on the couch and the feeling of all the blood running from my head to my toes. I felt my face get pale, and then almost immediately the tears began to well in my eyes. My conversation with Ann was short, she told me who the girl was, that she was sorry she had to be the one to tell me this, but if she were in my shoes, she would want to know. As we hung up, I felt the blood return to my head, and the anger began to fill my body. I asked Mary and Tina about the situation and they said they didn't see anything, but to this day, I am sure they "heard" about what happened because of the talk within the group of friends they were with. I sent my roommates to dinner without me and moved into my room to cry my eyes out.

After hearing this news, I honestly cannot recall what happened between my boyfriend and I. I think we were trying to "work things out" after we had an on again, off again relationship, and recently decided to get back together and date exclusively. I am sure I confronted him and he denied it.

But what is important is from that day on, I decided I would do exactly the same thing as my friend Ann. I would tell the truth to my friend, even if I knew it would cause great pain in their life. Even if I knew making that phone call would be extremely difficult. Because today I applaud Ann for being honest with me and not pretending nothing happened, or taking the "don't ask, don't tell" approach. I think highly of Ann and today we are still what I consider to be good friends.

Tim* is a high school classmate of my husband. Tim married Barb* several years ago. I obviously know Tim and Barb through my husband. Just recently Tim and Barb divorced. It was a shock to my husband and I and I found out when I emailed Barb to find out how things were going with her. Barb replied and told me her and Tim had separated and they were getting a divorce. Sadly it wasn't mutual. It was what Tim wanted.

I remember reading Barb's email at work. I didn't know what to do. I was so scatterbrained. I sent a text message my husband to see if he knew about the divorce, he was Tim's friend, maybe he forgot to tell me!?!? Both of us were in the dark on this one. I didn't know what to do, what to say, I was so in shock, I couldn't concentrate on anything. I immediately emailed Barb asking her what happened, how she was doing, if there was anything I could do, and anxiously waited for her reply. She replied and gave me the majority of the info via email and the next thing that crossed my mind was to meet with her. I suggested dinner an within a week or so we were sitting at the restaurant table together.

On a side note, Barb and I have never done anything together. The four of us, Tim, Barb and my husband and I have gone to various things together, but nothing that was "just the two of us."  We have never called each other up to chat or gone shopping or had a girls weekend. This didn't stop me from wanting to meet with Barb.

There I was, sitting at a table with Barb, listening to her tell me "the whole story." I don't think I asked Barb to tell me anything about her current situation, she just started talking. Four hours later we were leaving the restaurant and all I wanted to do was make her life easier. Later, I learned from Barb that I was the only one of her (now ex) husband's friends wives to come forward or offer support or call her. I was surprised since I thought she had a much closer relationship to some other women that knew her husband.

This one revelation by Barb made me realize, no matter how I know the person, whether I met him/her through my husband, I will offer my support and help in a similar situation. It may be a text message, a phone call, a card or email, but I will make the effort to let the person in crisis know I am there if they every need anything.

*Names have been changed. 

February 26, 2009

Thread

A thread can be a very useful item when sewing a button onto a shirt or hemming pants. It can be the action of putting a strand of fiber through the eye of a needle, or it can be my new favorite friend, an internet thread.

If you don't know what I am talking about, I will reference my dictionary again and let you know one definition of thread is computing a group of linked messages posted on the Internet that share a common subject or theme. That is the thread I have come to love.

The other morning I came to work and decided it was time to install my suggested software updates. I don't enjoy doing this task because it can be time consuming and I often am prompted to restart my computer right when I am in the middle of something.

After installing a necessary security update on my Mac, I restarted my computer and began working again. All of the sudden my computer would "flip out" of the current program window I was in, and enter into another program I had open. This was terribly annoying. I would be typing an email and all of the sudden (still typing) I was not on my desktop! It was annoying and at one point freaked me out. I began my usual attempt to fix the problem. Empty the trash, Delete 6000+ emails, get rid of proofs from November, clean up my desktop, organize my fonts and my last effort was to restart the computer.

Restart complete, I began working again and within a minute or so, boom, there was my computer flip flopping between applications. I really started to freak out. Had I ruined my work computer? There is nothing fun about telling your boss that "something happened" to your computer.  To no avail I began surfing the internet. But what on earth do I google? The list began as this:

Mac OSX 10.4.11 flip flops between applications and finder
Mac OSX flip flops windows
Mac OSX 10.4.11 issues

And then I found this: A forum, Mac OSX Finder Weirdness, with a nice short thread (5 entries) that explained exactly what my problem was. Two clicks later, Stuffit Deluxe Preference turned off and I was all set and so glad I didn't have to tell my boss "something happened" to my computer.

February 22, 2009

Million Dollar Woman

If I had all the money in the world, here is what I would do with it:

1- First of all, I wouldn't tell anyone. Well, I for sure would tell my husband and then immediately call my financial advisor. If I won in a lotto or public event, I would not show myself on TV.

2- I would barely share. The only people that would get anything are my parents, my in-laws, my sister's family and my brother-in-law's family. That's all. The amount would probably be substantial, assuming I had "double digit" millions (take home of at least $10,000,000).

3-I'd keep my job, but only work 3 or 4 days a week. At least for a while, then I'd probably quit all together and begin one of my many dream jobs. 

4-Dream Job #1. Donate and volunteer my time. Not only would I like to donate, but I would like to volunteer my time so I can experience the need of organizations hands on. I don't like how charity events require a large fancy ball, entertainment and food and a high ticket price. Because only a portion of that ticket price goes to the charity. The rest goes to the food, entertainment and venue for the night! I know one has to spend money to make money, but I think some charities go over the top!

5-Dream Job #2. Revive the David Horowitz Fight Back television show! As a child not having cable television, my family enjoyed tuning in every week to see which products stood up to their claim. If you recall there was the Levi Jeans Test, to see if two horses could pull apart a pair of pants as seen on their label. The Oreck Vacuum test, can it pick up the 8 pound bolwing ball? If I am unable to revive this televison show, I would create my own website and blog, that would test and report on consumer products. Of course it would include the latest fad items ShamWow! and the Snuggie. It would be very similar to consumer reports, but a much more extensive report but less technical. I would report on how easy or hard it is to purchase online or via phone. How much an item really costs (after installments, processing, postage, handling, tax, etc) and then talk about how fast it arrives, how it is packaged, how it looks, feels, smells, and lastly performs. And to top it off, I would try to return it or call customer service to see how hard it is to ask for missing parts, get a new product under warranty, etc. This all would most likely take place via blogging.

6-I'd hire some "employees" such as a chef, dietitian, personal trainer, cleaning company, gardener, and personal assistant. Of course these would be part time jobs, since I don't need a chef every day, but maybe he/she can plan our meals and I could cook a few of them. The cleaning person would only come once or twice a week (I have dogs and they have hair). The personal trainer I would want for a few hours a day and the gardener would be needed when my garden grows weeds! My personal assistant could work with me from 10am-2pm.

7-I'd buy/build a house. When I was a kid I always said I would have to build three houses before I got what I wanted. The first house would always have "kinks" in it. Or you would wish you did something different. The second house you would fix all those kinks but there would still be a few changes you would like to make, and the final house would be perfect. Of course this may not be my dream house, because I think it would be great to build/buy several houses all over the country. I'd have to travel to all of these places to be certain I would want to own a home there.

8-I'd build my husband his dream shop/garage. Maybe even three of them, because as I stated above, he will have some kinks that he will want to work out, too! 

9-I would travel as much as I could. Fiji would be on the top of my list. Then maybe 6 months or so in Europe. A summer in Australia, some tropical islands. If money didn't matter, my possibilities are endless. I'd like to think I'd be humble and not require an over the top hotel, but a small, quaint place that offers cleanliness, good food and fun things to do!

10-I would collect something. Probably start with vintage VW Beetles and then move onward from there.

11-I would have my home professionally decorated for Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

12-I would continue my education. Maybe take a photography class, a "How to Make Your Blog Better" class (see number 5-Dream Job #2). Learn to sew (the right way), perfect my garden, gourmet cooking, French, Spanish.

13-I'd take action on the one item my husband wants to invent and the one item I want to invent! But I cannot elaborate because it's a secret! Otherwise, you would steal my invention! 

14-I would get a nose job, then lipo and possibly a breast reduction. But if my personal trainer does his/her job, I may not have to get lipo or the boob job.

15-I would get a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait from McDonalds every day. They are only a $1.00 and so delicious.

After typing all of this, I realized my list is similar to a child telling someone, "When I grow up I am going to..." Then you grow up and realize it isn't as easy to do everything you want and get everying you want just because you are an adult.


February 12, 2009

Back to Work

For those of you that do not know, my husband was notified of a temporary unemployment from January 23-April 27th. He was somewhat looking forward to having a three month vacation, or 93 days to work on race cars, honey do lists and relaxing.

After only three weeks, my husband got a call yesterday to return to work. It's great news for us financially, but I was just starting to get used to having all of my laundry done, my house cleaned, floors vacuumed, and kitchen straightened up by someone other than me! When I got home yesterday I realized why it was good he got called back to work. I turned on the tv and it was on the SOAP channel. I say no more.

February 09, 2009

25 Things

There is a chain letter floating through my friends on Facebook called 25 Random Things. The point is to create a new note and tell a person 25 things about yourself. I've done this once and my note is on my Facebook page, but for those who don't have Facebook, and for the gazillion other things I have thought of after posting the note, I'm creating a new one here.

In no particular order, here are 25 things about me. 

1- I use the dictionary on my computer every day. I use it to be sure I spell words correctly. I use it to show people nonprofit is one word, not two, and not with a hyphen (all acording to my Oxford American Dictionary). It not only gives me the dictionary definition, but also provides me with a thesaurus of the word following the definition. I use the thesaurus just about as much as I do the dictionary. In case you are wondering, the synonyms for thesaurus include: wordfinder, wordbook, synonym dictionary.

2- I own a KitchenAid Mixer. It is a very nice mixer, a solid product, it usually works well, but I don't think it is the best mixer on the market. Notice I said mixer. I can only compare this as a mixer, not as a pasta maker, meat grinder, or vegetable strainer, only a mixer. My biggest complaint is that I have to turn off the mixer, lift the beater and then I can add my ingredients. I have to do this for each ingredient I want to add (after mixing of course). My second complaint is the wisking tool seems to always leave some sort of unmixed egg white in the bottom of the bowl. It doesn't matter if I whip my egg whites as stiff as a board, there is unbeaten whites in the bottom of my bowl. I will never get rid of this mixer, especially since it was given to me as a gift from my mother-in-law, but I think if you are mixer shopping, there are better mixers on the market. My mom has her Sunbeam Mixer she probably got when she got married. It's gold in color and my sister broke the glass bowl when we were kids. My mom had to get a stainless steel bowl to replace it. I remember my mom being upset about the stainless steel bowl. She was upset because you could put the glass bowl in the microwave but not the new metal bowl. The KitchenAid doesn't even offer a glass bowl! Anyhow, the Sunbeam mixer is much better than the KitchenAid because the Sunbeam has a feature to slide the bowl to the side. This moves the beaters from the center of the bowl to one side, allowing you to pour things in while beating and scrape the sides while the mixer is running. Such a lovely feature I wish the KitchenAid would adopt.

3-I have a tremendous fear that my marriage will fail because of infidelity. So much that I think my husband and I need to "work on" our marriage while it is going well. I don't want to wait until things get sour for us to try to mend it. I read all sorts of successful marriage articles on the internet and most recently, I suggested we take part in Dr. Phil's 14 days of Loving with Honesty to make our relationship stronger.

4- I think one of the hardest things to buy for a person is a card. There are hundreds, probably thousands of cards to choose from and you had to pick just one to wish a person happy birthday, anniversary, congratulations, thank you, I'm sorry, hang in there, I'm thinking of you, etc. Sometimes I think buying a card is harder than buying a gift! Then after you have the card, you have to sign, seal and deliver it! I truly appreciate cards.

5-I don't like stickers on cars or price tags items. I never stick things to my cars and I always peel price tags off products I purchase. Recently my dad called me out on this obsession. I started to peel a price tag off of something and he said, "There you go, you have to take the sticker off of it. You've always done it ever since you were a kid." And it's true. I sometimes peel them off of the box of cereal, but I usually leave them on food items. I will peel them off the bottom of a candle, a candle I intend to burn, a sticker on the bottom that no one will see, but I still peel it off.

6- My family has incredible health (knock on wood). I have 2 grandmas, who are both in the 80s and live in their own home, drive their own cars and take care of themselves. I have a great aunt who is also in her 80s, lives in her own home, drives her own car and she clogs!

7-I knock on wood. A lot. If wood is not available, I knock on plastic, or metal or glass. If I'm in my car and the wood is "fake" I knock on fake wood. If I think something, I knock on wood. If I say something, I knock on wood. I'm chicken when it comes to tempting fate.

8-I've always wanted to get married in Fiji. I didn't get married in Fiji, but my husband says we will go there for our 10th anniversary. I hope its a long trip, say 10-14 days. And maybe by then I'll learn to scuba dive so we can enjoy some of the beautiful reefs in the South Pacific. 

9-I didn't pass the reading part of my high school proficiency exam. I passed the math and science and writing, but not the reading. I don't like to read anything longer than a magazine article. I rarely get into any fiction books (non fiction is a bit easier) I just fall asleep while reading them. At one time I thought i should read more books and I began checking them out at the library. I'd return them after 2 weeks and I wouldn't even be half way through the book. On the flip side, I love children's books. I have a small collection that is rapidly growing thanks to the great selection at the dollar store.

10-I love having a garden. I am going to plant one again this year. I wish I had strawberry and raspberry plants, too, but I am very chicken about buying them. I think I will kill them and not be able to keep up on the weeding. 

11-I stole a bowing ball once. From a bowling alley. It wasn't a "house ball" but a person's ball they had donated to the bowling alley. It is dark pink with some white swirls. I call it Strawberry.

12-I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, steaks and red potatoes, mashed potatoes with butter, anything chocolate (white, dark and milk), and white milk. 

13- I like things done my way. If I need someone to do something for me, I show them how to do it, and I don't like it when they don't follow my way. I believe my husband will agree with me 100%.

14- I like to research items before I buy them. I surf the internet, email friends, or talk to professionals. For example, the Dyson vacuum. I will never own one because after talking to a vacuum store person (that sells Dyson) there are better vacuums on the market for the same price.

15- I love dogs. I have never had a dog as a child, but my sister and I always wanted one. Both of us have dogs. I cannot imagine my life without one. Any size will do, but I prefer those with short hair. I cannot understand why a person would buy a dog from a breeder. There are so many dogs "out there" the need homes. Many of them are purebred dogs and many of them are not. Some of the cutest dogs are those that are a mix of breeds.

16- I wish I could give more to charities. I wish I could donate monthly to Last Chance Rescue, Women's Resource Center, Salvation Army, United Way, and any other charity that comes my way and needs money. If I had all the money in the world, I would donate regularly to these organizations and help volunteer.

17- I make all sorts of lists and then I toss them in my purse, and re-write the lists. I believe I have a touch of OCD and a desire to organize. I make things messy so I can rearrange and reorganize the area. 

18-I like to eat my spaghetti o's at room temperature. 

19- I've never had a broken bone, but I cut my flexor tendon on my right pinkie finger. I waited a week or two to go to the doctor. I realized I had a problem when I typed. I was unable to get my pinkie finger to the top rows of keys. The tip of my finger wouldn't bend! I had to have surgery and four months of physical therapy. If you are wondering how it happened, it was a kitchen accident, I was cooking and trying to pry apapart frozen spare ribs with a table knife. My hand slid down and cut the tendon. I now have a pretty sweet zig zag scar.

20- One in a while, I get the urge to write a paper. I have this desire to go to the library and scour over the internet for hours searching for information on random topics. I don't act upon this craving.

21- I am extremely critical of my own work. I always think I can do better. It doesn't matter if it is a personal project or if it is a work project.

22- For a long time, I thought I would only get married if I found the right guy and he gave me a ring, with one diamond that was 2.5 carats. My current husband voiced his thought on getting married and I would repeatedly tell him one diamond needed to be 2.5 carats. Then I agreed to settle for 2 carats. I didn't get one "that big" but I think the one I got is pretty sweet and the guy is even sweeter.

23- I am hoping this summer I learn to drive my VW Bug by myself. I'm just so iffy on the stick shift driving. 

24-  When I was younger I decided I wanted to be a plastic surgeon. Not because I wanted to be a doctor, but because I knew that is where the growth was going. Some days I wish I would have done something in the medical field.

25- I want to be a man for a week, and for one week be myself with what I consider my ideal body, taller, smaller bust, darker hair (and eyebrows!), plumper lips, and of course, "lighter".

February 04, 2009

The Hierarchy of Sistas

Last night I witnessed a terrible situation. My gym instructor, Jane*, twisted her ankle at the gym, requiring her to cancel class and go to the emergency room.

It happened so quickly. One minute we were grapevining to the right and all of the sudden Jane was on the floor.  Everyone stopped, and stood in their place. A few of us walked over to her. We could see she was in pain, and there was little we could do. I stood back, and watched a Hierarchy of Sistas begin...

Doris* took on the motherly role and knelt down beside Jane and began talking to her. I couldn't hear the conversation but I imagine Doris asked Jane if she was okay, and if she heard it pop, or thought it was broken. 

Karen* is the ever-so-calm-and-cool one. She got a step set up for Jane to rest her ankle on. Later she began talking to Jane, telling her she would get her where she needs to go, call the people that need to be called and kept the situation at ease.

Dawn* the go-getter turned down the music and went to get ice and a towel.

And then there was me. Standing back, turning off the fan, then later holding the bag of ice (when Karen went to get the car ready), watching as concerned women came together and took a serious and not so pleasant situation and made it work, with little panic, and all the help we could possibly provide. Oh yeah, and I threw a few jokes in there as well. Something about how Jane really needed to shave her legs, how she may be able to get Workers' Comp and how old age must be attributing to her bad ankle!

I've heard from Karen that Jane has a severe sprain, an air cast, crutches and will be off work for 2 weeks. Thankfully there were no broken bones or torn tendons or ligaments.

Update: 2-5-09
Jane has informed me she has 2 fractures in her foot and is on her way to see another doctor!

*names have been changed

January 27, 2009

Brainwashed

For some reason I always grew up liking Ford vehicles. I suppose it was because my dad always owned a Ford truck or two, and we were taught at a young age they were good trucks. I don't necessarily disagree with this thought, but I'm a girl, so I'm more into the aesthetics of a vehicle rather than the brand, motor, transmission or number of cylinders. Obviously this is true since I've wanted a Volkswagen Beetle since the 4th grade.

Since I've met my husband, I have been informed of the greatness of the Chrysler family of cars. I suppose this is because his dad (my father-in-law) worked for the American Motors corporation and then Chrysler for the majority of his career. Just as I was, my husband was taught at a young age how wonderful the AMC family is and later the Chrysler family.

I have never really argued either way. As I stated above, I'm partial to the beauty and appearance of the car. My bug is very minimal when it comes to options on the inside, and the Dodge truck I drive is fully loaded with every button you could possibly imagine (minus the heated seats). But more importantly, my Dodge truck has "Driver Adjustable Pedals". This wonderful feature was discovered by accident when my husband was looking into changing a fuse. He noticed a button on the left side of the dash, he moved it and voila, the pedals moved forward and back.

As a petite person, this is a fabulous feature. I no longer have to hug the steering wheel or move the seat all the way up so I can reach the pedals! This one feature may move me closer to being a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep girl.

 


 

January 21, 2009

Response to "So Long Old Friend"

This is in response to my husband's blog So Long Old Friend. If you haven't read it yet, you need to grab a beverage, maybe even a snack, sit back and relax, because he never has "short" stories. But to his credit, all of his stories are good.

Yes, the Pig is gone. Gone from our driveway. Gone from my bedroom window view. No longer piled up with snow from the snow blower. No longer a collection of tree sap and needles from the pine trees. No longer our carbon footprint.

I do feel sad for him, because I felt the same way when I got rid of my 1986 Buick Park Avenue known as The Grandma Cruiser a few years ago. I did love that car, it glided like a magic rug across the expressway. It had the most leg room of any mid-size car, the seats were a burgundy "velvet like" material and you could comfortably seat six. Lots of parts had been replaced, I kept a detailed log book of all of the improvements I had paid for, new tires, brakes, steering column, etc.

I remember the process of selling my car. Dan washed it, cleaned the inside and took photos for me. He listed it in Auto Trader and got LOTS of phone calls. A couple came over to look at the car. I was inside telling Dan to take no less than $600 (It was listed at $850) and sent him out the door to negotiate. Dan's favorite part of selling a car is negotiating. He loves to negotiate. When it was all said and done, the buyers paid the ASKING price of $850, so he didn't even get a chance to barter with the couple.

I watched my car drive away on a nice spring evening. The couple was from the area, so a few years after I sold my car, I kept looking for it when I was out and about. I never did see it. And as much as I missed my old car, I was beginning to like my new one and replacing the old with the new felt a lot better.

January 17, 2009

Frozen Nose Hairs

Today's weather is below freezing. The temperatures are in the NEGATIVE degrees! And they have been that way for a few days. Just yesterday I experienced my first frozen nose hairs of 2009.

The first time I experienced frozen nose hairs was when I was in Sault Ste. Marie, walking from my dorm room to class one evening. I remember thinking something was in my nose, then running from my nose, then freaking out because I wasn't sure what was going on with my nose, then realizing my nose hairs were freezing. At the time, I hadn't experienced anything like that.

After the frozen nose hairs in the U.P., I was fortunate enough to have frozen eye lashes. I think what happens is the condensation from breathing into my scarf while walking, travelled up my face, adding condensation to my eye lashes, and because the temperatures were so cold, the condensation froze. Causing frozen eye lashes. The neat thing about frozen eyelashes is when they thaw. It happens almost instantly when you enter a warm building, and then you can see the condensation on your lashes for a minute or two and then it disappears. 

The frozen nose hairs, eyelashes, cold toes and fingers and horrible cold wind became the norm while attending college at LSSU. It made me really miss living in the  thumb area, because it seemed like paradise in the winter. In my 5 year academic career, I recall one day that school was called off, the day I didn't have any classes to attend! And that was because of the snow, not the cold. What's with all of these schools being closed because of the cold? Are we all growing up to be wimps? We are from Michigan, we should know how to bundle up, dress in layers, take an extra pair of gloves and socks with us and be sure to pre-heat the car! I say it isn't cold until your car won't start because the temperatures are too far into the negative (which only happened to me once whie in the Sault).

January 16, 2009

Giving to Others & Yourself

I cannot believe how much “free money” is out there. Thanks to the internet, schools, nonprofit organizations and normal people like you and I can make money for other people or ourselves. 


I recently pulled a page from my Real Simple magazine. The title Give a Little (or a lot) (Real Simple January 20009 page 83) suggests the following:


1-”Surf Selflessly. With every online search, goodsearch.com donates a penny to a charity of your choosing.”
I logged onto www.goodsearch.com, picked my charity (Last Chance Rescue, of course) and then I began searching! For every search I preform, Last Chance Rescue gets one penny. It may not be much but do you know how many times I do a google search during the day? Lets just say if I don’t know something I “google it” and I have everyone at the office “googling it”, as well. 


The trick, how am I going to remember to always visit goodsearch.com before I need to look up something, well, my genius idea was to create a toolbar in my web browser (Firefox) that always showed goodsearch. Have I lost you? Well, most browsers have some sort of default search bar, such as google, yahoo, etc. This enables you to quickly search for something without first going to the search engine website. You can always change the search engine, so I did just that. Now when I go into the handy dandy toolbar, I don’t search google as I did before, but goodsearch! In the three hours since I started using goodsearch, I think I’ve earned Last Chance Rescue about 7 cents!

2-”Find an heir for Jane Eyre. At ILoveSchools.com, teachers create wish lists; donors can use the site to make a match.”

I brought up this website and began searching schools in my area and to my dismay, I found one school! I set out to find my hometown school and there is one teacher taking part in this donation program. He was my high school pre-calc teacher and is in need of calculators. Graphing calculators are most desirable, but any type will work. I know I have one of those calculators some where, I just need to find it. And when I do, I'm donating it to Mr. Rubringer!

After I was unable to find any local schools on the site, I sent an email to friends who are teachers and I'm hoping they can use this valuable tool. I think it would be great for relatives and especially grand parents who always want to help out their grand children. Grandma or pa can always make a donation to little Joey's school classroom needs, especially those that live out of the area!

3- Ebates was not listed in the Real Simple Magazine article, but I am so fascinated with their website that I have to continue to share it with friends! Here are the basics:
1-go to ebates.com web page
2-search the store you want to purchase something at (for example target)
3-you’ll be directed to target’s store where you begin shopping. When you make a purchase, a percentage of the sale is given back to you!

Here's what I love about ebates (see image below). It tells you all of the coupon/specials/discounts the store your shopping at is having!

 

What's even better, eBay will give you 3% of your purchase back! Whenever I bid on and win something on eBay, I log into ebates and pay for my winning items!

4-Free food for Animals!
 I was turned onto this animal rescue site while visiting Last Chance Rescue. All you do is visit once a day, click on the tab to give food to rescue animals! You can bookmark this page and try to remember to click daily, just like you remember to put on deodorant, check your emails and update your facebook status! You can even share the site with friends!

 5-Care2.org is having a contest right now! You can vote for your favorite animal shelter. Click here to vote for Last Chance Rescue. If you visit their home page, you can also send the ecard of the day. For each card you send a donation will be made to a specific cause.

 

What’s your favorite cause? Share it with me by leaving a comment.

December 23, 2008

Addictions...Facebook in Particular

I caved. I officially have a Facebook page. But over the weekend I've been wondering why is Facebook so addicting? You create an account, add friends, ask to be someone's friend, send messages, upload photos and chat. I think right now I'm always checking my account because it's new and something fun to check out. I like to see if I've found new people that I haven't seen or heard from in quite some time.

Of course I think when someone becomes my friend, I do what everyone does....scour their info to see where they are living, what they like, what they are doing and where they are working, then dive into their photos to see what they look like now, or what their lives are like, vacations, work, school. Stalk them. That's the correct term.

Sometimes I'm embarassed to be almost 30 and have a facebook page! But at the same time, I realize it is a great networking tool, great way to see photos and what friends are up to now a days, and once you are their friend on Facebook, you can almost always stay in touch with them no matter where they go.

December 18, 2008

Postal Victims Again!

As most of you know, I had my Christmas cards ready early, therefore I mailed them at the beginning of December. Well, the other day I received a very official letter from the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

In a nutshell, the letter stated the following:

1-The mail I sent on or about November 24th was rifled through and was discovered by the Bay Port Post Office. The envelope and its contents was investigated and then sent to the addressee on or about November 24th. There was a photocopy of the envelope included in the letter from the post office, therefore I know who received the Christmas card.

2-The individual responsible for rifling my mail has been identified and "no longer has access to U.S. Mail within the United States Postal Service."

3-Complete the Mail Loss/Rifling Report to ensure the post office can document any lost cash or item that was within the envelope. 

This letter was F A S C I N A T I N G to me because I mailed the letter on December 2nd, as the postmark states, not on November 24th. And, when I emailed my friend to see if she got it (as the letter from the post office stated) she had not received anything. 

Therefore, I emailed the person who sent me the letter and she answered most of my questions. Sadly, the letter sent wasn't completely accurate. 

1-There were multiple victims, and the mail was opened between November 24th and December 3rd. I say, "Fix the form letter!"

2-The letter was not sent to the addressee but is in the hands of the Office of Inspector General until the case has been adjudicated. Again, I say, "Fix the form letter!"

3-The letter can be returned to me, which I have requested because I want to see what is missing and how long it takes the government to handle this situation!

This is just one of the reasons why I don't want the government taking control of my health care!

 

December 17, 2008

Those Kids!

 

The other night when I came home, I went to get the mail as usual. And as usual it was dark outside. When I arrived to the mailbox, dimly lit by our Christmas Lights from the lampposts, I noticed our mail box door was missing and the "back door" of the mail box was also open. There was mail in the box, and mail all over the ditch behind the box. It had rained and then snowed so the mail was nice and frozen. I thought I could break it apart like a saltine cracker. I brought it inside to dry and thaw. 

I then went back outside, armed with my headlamp to investigate the situation. I located the mailbox door, it was in the road, completely torn off of the mailbox. The door in the back was fine and I closed it. I found one more piece of mail in the ditch and then discovered our mailbox had been vandalized! I'm thinking it was a baseball bat that made the big crack on the side! I will admit the box held up pretty well, the door can be reattached, but must be carefully opened. The flag is completely missing but we don't use it too often and It gets frozen to the side in the winter.

My internet search lead me to what the US Postal Service suggests, and I think I'm going to take them up on that offer today!  I have a few things to mail at the post office, so I am going to start with getting the form!

Those kids today! I have never taken part in a mailbox smashing, and I don't think my husband has either. I know his family was victim of mailbox vandalism because now they have a mailbox made out of diamond plate and galvanized steel and it has held up through the years!

I know how much a new plastic mailbox costs because I have not purchased one, but 2 for my mom! I just bought her one a year or so ago for Christmas. She's always "dreamed" of having a plastic mailbox and I got her one. Since she's moving, she asked for another one, which I had sent directly to her house! Maybe I'll ask for it back when I visit at Christmastime!

December 14, 2008

Store Greeters

I've realized when I go to the store I want to be "waited on" at the check out lanes. I don't want to scan my cart load of groceries myself, I don't want to put my coupons in the little slot, I don't want to wait for a person to check my ID so I can buy a bottle of Admiral Nelson's and I don't want to bag my own groceries. But at the big box store I frequent, there are less cashier lanes open and more self serve so I end of giving into their scheme. I get over it when I realize I can get paper bags and put things the way I want them in my bags.

Lately I've been very crabby about the store greeters. Sure, they are nice, or appear to be nice, since their job is to smile at people and welcome them to the store. I know the attempt is to discourage shoplifters, but even when the store alarms go off by the door, you don't see them running to check your shopping bag for pilfered merchandise. They casually walk up to you, and as embarassing and annoying as it is for an alarm to go off when you are leaving with your purchased goods, you usually open the bag a bit, pull out your receipt and they wave for you to continue out the door. I don't think everyone should be strip searched when the buzzer sounds, but at least check the items in the bag match the receipt!

And what happened to the greeters keeping the cart area organized, keeping the carts clean and getting you a cart? Now they just stand there and watch me struggle trying to get two mis-shapen carts apart, remove the garbage in the cart and go on my merry way. Why can't they pull the carts out of the bin for me and get them "lined up" so I can easily and quickly begin my shopping experience? They used to do that, carts seemed to be a serious part of their job: 1-smile, make eye contact, 2-welcome the customer 3-give them a cart if they need one! 

December 12, 2008

A Diamond isn't Forever

Everyone has heard the saying "A Diamond is Forever" on countless radio and television ads for Jewelry stores. Recently I got hitched and came up with my own Diamond System: For each diamond you have on your wedding ring and band, equals one year of marriage. I recently started telling people this, which leads to the woman counting each diamond on her band then you hear, seven, eight, twelve, twenty and so on. That is part 1 of my Diamond System.

Part 2: If you have a right hand ring, you have to count those diamonds, too. This is when my sister realized her marriage will last a lot longer than she thought!

Part 3: Any other diamond jewelry your husband buys for you counts. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, etc.

The plan: you convince your husband this is the "rule" of a lasting marriage, thererfore, he purchases you more bling bling for birthdays and holidays and adds to the length of your marriage. I cannot guarantee this is going to make your marriage happy, but you may have a temporary beaming smile when you get to wear and show off your new rock(s). 

This "rule" is somewhat similar to the tradition of buying your soon-to-be husband or wife a present and giving it to him or her just before the two of you marry. You know what I'm talking about and most people ask the bride what she got from her now husband. There is no stated law that says the guy must buy the gal a present before they marry, but guys think they have to do this because this is just what you do. This is what I am trying to establish.

How long will my marriage last? 29 years. Yes, I have 29 diamonds on my wedding band. One in the middle and 14 on each side. The first 14 are from my wedding band, the other 14 are from a band I recently purchased as a memory of my grandpa who passed away this August. Technically he helped pay for the second set of 14 diamonds, so if you follow my Diamond System, my marriage will last 15 years. I'll be sure to convince my husband of this so he remembers he has 15 years to figure out what he can buy me next.

 

After reading this it may seem like I am a snotty wife who wants bling bling for every birthday, holday and anniversary. Well, this is not the case at all. I only wanted one, 2.5 carat diamond on my ring when I got married. One diamond, 2.5 carats. I seriously thought it was the least my husband could do when he propsed because I have never once asked him to purchase jewelry for me, not once. Then I started to look at the price of a 2.5 carat diamond, let me just say that today, Costco.com has a 2.01 carat round loose diamond for $28,999.99. And that's a half carat shy of my "requirement". That was a reality check for me. Besides, the 5.5 carat diamond ring the jewelry store let me try on felt very cheap, eventhough it was over $60,000!

On top of all of this, I received the email below today! Husbands (and anyone else) can always shop our store or the marketplace and use the coupon below.