Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lance's First Disney Trip!

Sorry to disappear for a few days. We went to Disney World!! Lance had a great time. He especially loved Mickey Mouse! We took him on several rides, including the carousel, the Peter Pan ride, Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean. He wasn't afraid at all, even when it got completely dark and had a small drop.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Artistic Question

Artistic question. Which of these do you like better and why? (Scroll down to my previous post to see more pumpkin patch pictures.

Lance is sleeping and I actually have some time to play in Photoshop, which is one of my very FAVORITE things to do but I rarely have time for anymore. I like trying to create different emotions by altering the color and brightness of photos.

I'd certainly like everyone's opinion on these two! Thanks!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

I took Lance to the pumpkin patch yesterday evening! (And yes, it was a very sincere pumpkin patch, one which I am sure The Great Pumpkin would be happy to rise out of. lol!) Friend E accompanied me, as Hubby was unable to. He was very disappointed that he couldn't come, but he had some work obligations and then this evening we're heading out of town for a few days.

Since a picture paints a thousand words and I can be very long-winded, here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Award Ceremony

I have recently been given two very nice awards! The first is the "I'm Fabulous" award from Haley. Thanks so much, hon! I pass the award on to....

Damselfly at Growing a Life for being a fabulous real-life friend!

The second award I received is the "Sweet Treat" award from Susan.

How did she know that candy corn is my favorite candy??!! LOL! I'm hoping to meet up with Susan later this week as I'll be in her neck of the woods. I give this award to:

Beck at Frog and Toad Are Still Friends. She loves coming up with adjectives and is just generally fun to read. (Plus, she and I look alike and we both have an amazing pair of kickin' boots.)

Ladies, grab your awards, and if you feel like passing them on, go right ahead!

I have a new friend!!

I'm so excited. It's quite silly, really, but I have a new friend! I've known this girl for awhile, but just casually. She's the daughter of another friend of mine, although she is much closer in age to me, and is actually the same age as my little sister. She's about to go through a nasty divorce, (which is a good thing in her case. This guy is SUCH a creep!!! She found out he was going to strip clubs on his lunch breaks from work and lying to her about it. Ick.) Anyhoo. She has moved back in with her parents for now, who happened to host our small group bible study last night, and I spent much of the evening talking with her. See, there are very few people in our church who are the age of E and me. E's mom, (who is my friend J,) was telling me that E has been very depressed and doesn't really have any friends who are her age and married who can understand what she's going through. Everyone else her/my age are for the most part single and go out partying. That's so not what she needs right now.

So she's coming over tomorrow night just to hang out! I'm excited too, to have another friend close to my age. Among my circle of friends there are only two other gals close to my age (Mistletoe and Roo,) but the rest are the age of my parents. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I don't relate to them the same way I do to people of my age or who are in the same stage of life. I look up to them as mentors, as examples of Christian wives and mothers. E is a couple years younger than me, so now I get to have a turn at being the older, wiser, woman. She's going to come over and we're going to eat pizza and watch a chick flick and play with Lance while Hubby hides in the computer room! (Not really hiding. He's studying for an exam he has to take in order to obtain certification on some new computer system.)

I feel like a schoolgirl who's just invited her new friend to come over and play. lol!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mama's Got a Pair of Hot New Boots!

These are my new boots. *giggle*

I call them my "anti-frumpiness" boots.

I've been wanting a pair of boots like these for a LOOONG time. I finally took the plunge. My dear friend "Mistletoe" inspired me. Last week, she wore a pair of boots nearly identical to this. I decided to wait no more. I'm a grown woman. If I want a pair of boots, I can get a pair of boots!

So I took myself to a local retailer and purchased these hot boots. I never thought that footwear could make me feel sexy, but these do! I paired them with a denim skirt that hit just above my knee, revealing no more than four or five inches of skin.

Tee hee hee. I love my new boots. *grin*

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ruminations on Birthday Parties

I've been thinking about something a lot lately.

Birthday parties. Particularly 1st birthday parties. We recently attended the first birthday party of little Cole, who is my friend Bridget's son. (Cole and Lance are pretty close in age.) As Lance draws near to his first birthday at the end of next month, I am starting to feel The Pressure.

It seems that throwing a birthday party is a rite of passage for all mothers. I can recall laughing at another friend who emailed me in a frenzy wanting to know which font she should use on her 1-year old's birthday party invitations. She was completely freaking out about it, and I just didn't get it. I told her that the kiddo was not going to have ANY memories of this party, and if she was so stressed about it, why didn't she just cancel the whole thing?

Now I have a child. I Understand.

A First Birthday Party is so totally not for the kid. It's absolutely 100% for the parents. (This was the fact I failed to grasp when my previously-mentioned friend was stressing about her party.)

Because Lance's birthday is so close to Christmas and our family has a LOT of Christmastime birthdays, we have decided that when he gets older, we'll celebrate his half-birthdays instead, so his party will be in the summer, far far away from any other gift-giving occasion and at a time when a get-together will be WELCOMED by everyone in general because there's nothing else going on. At first, I didn't like that idea, but now as I am realizing just how much many birthday and Christmas gifts we purchase for people in our family every year, and how many holiday parties and get-togethers there are, I'm seeing that people are getting gypped in the gift department and instead of happy party guests, you have grumbly, exhausted guests who don't really want to be there. What fun is that? Another festivity between October and January will not generally be welcomed, but will be yet one more thing people add to their calendars and feel obligated to purchase a gift.

However, this is important. His First Birthday. I somehow know that I will be judged for the quality of party I give my son. Of course no one will admit to judging me in that way, but I know it's going to happen. (Except Bridget. I know she won't!!) In our group of friends, there is a Particular Party Thrower. Every year she puts on 3 or 4 large-scale parties and is known to say, "It's not a party if there isn't something to DO. You can't just serve people food." So I know she will be expecting way more than I am generally prepared to do. There will be one, maybe two other children at this party, and they're also babies. They won't want to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey or whatever it is kids play at birthday parties anymore. I don't want to make my adult friends feel stupid. I've never thrown a party for adults before, being that I'm relatively new to adulthood myself. I've had a few friends come over for dinner, but that is the extent of my entertaining expertise.

(Do you KNOW how much money stupid paper plates and table decorations cost?? Gracious!!! I had no idea that you could break the bank by going as simple as possible with the decorations. The money I spent on teddy bear plates and cups, the tablecloth and a banner for the living room will literally be thrown away after the party. Plus food for everyone? And party favors? The weekend after Thanksgiving? In my tiny apartment that can only comfortably hold 7, maybe 8 people?? What was I thinking???!!!!!!!)

Having a bit of a meltdown here. Gah!!!

*taking a deep breath*

I'm sure it'll be fine. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Things That Lance Does Which Annoy Me Now But I Will Miss Later

I know that I only have a short amount of time with my baby before he turns into a "big boy" and then later, a man. So I try not to be annoyed at certain things, because while right now they may aggravate me to no end, I am sure that I will one day miss them. Here is the list of annoying things that I will *hopefully* miss.

1. Lance loves to take off his socks and then proceed to chew on them.

2. He finds it hilarious to try and roll over while I change his diaper.

3. When I lift him out of his crib after naps and in the morning, he pounds my chest with both of his hands (and he's strong! It hurts!), but then looks at me and smiles so sweetly so I have to forgive him.

4. He will not, and I mean will not sit still in the bathtub while I try to wash him.

Here is a list of things which he does now that I do not find annoying and will most certainly miss as he gets older.

1. The way he claps his hands when we cheer for him as he walks.

2. His long conversations with his stuffed Elmo and the way he talks to the characters on TV. He just babbles, babbles away in what sounds like Japanese.

3. How he imitates funny faces.

4. The way he buries his face in my shoulder when I pick him up out of his playpen after I take my shower and am wearing my snuggly soft bathrobe.

5. How he likes to "help" me turn out the lights as I leave rooms and guide the spoon into his mouth at feedings.

6. The way he gives "kisses" by throwing his arms around my face and pressing his mouth into my cheek.

7. The look of pure wonder on his face when he sees something new or exciting.

I could go on and on. I just wanted to get these down so that thirteen years down the road when I'm dealing with an angst-ridden adolescent I can remember these moments of unadulterated ecstasy and delight in my child.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Private Tutoring

If you're here from Tales From the Scales, please scroll down a little for my weigh-in post.

I was given a wonderful idea the other day. It was so wonderful, I wondered why I hadn't thought of it myself! In a passing conversation, someone mentioned that in my region, private tutors receive between $25-40 an hour for their services.

HELLO!!! My background is in education. I have one semester left to finish my bachelor's degree in elementary education. I've already passed the state certification tests, so I'm just as qualified as any classroom teacher. I looked up ads for private tutors in this area, and discovered that high school students are making $25/hour to tutor. High School Students!!! Surely I could reasonably charge $30/hour! If I had only 3 or 4 students at that rate, we could eliminate a bill or two and be able to actually, I don't know, save up for a vacation or something!

If I do it in evenings after Hubby gets home, I wouldn't have to pay for a babysitter (which would take a huge chunk of that hourly rate! Babysitters around here get between $7-10/hour. I think that's crazy!)

So I'm going to take the plunge. I'm going to have some business cards and fliers printed up and take them to local schools. This is something I KNOW I could do, and with very little investment. I have TONS of teaching materials that I own, plus access to a wealth of information through my university.

This is so exciting!!!!

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Tales From the Scales Weight Loss Challenge

It was another rough week. Once again I yo-yo'd up and down! I have a net gain from last week, but I have to say I am proud of some good choices I made when temptation was staring me in the face.

This was one of those weeks that for some reason, we either went out to eat or stopped at fast food places WAY more than usual.

So instead of dwelling on the fact that I gained weight from last week, I shall share with you my successes.

-We went out to eat at a local sandwich/deli eatery. I caved in and ordered a brownie for dessert, but I only ate a few bites of it that night, saving the rest for the next day rather than gobbling it up all at once.

- Last night our local pizza place offered two for the price of one, so we ordered two large pizzas. BIG mistake considering there are only two of us. An entire large pizza for each of us? No way. I controlled myself by eating only two slices. Yay!! (Normally I would eat four or five. Yikes!)

-I have been very good at going outside for walks this week. The weather is finally beginning to cool down enough so that I can enjoy being outside. Some days I even took TWO walks. (I haven't taken a walk today because the garage door broke last night and I cannot get in there to fetch the stroller. Must call maintenace to fix it!)

Hopefully I'll do better this week. I will plan to cook more meals at home, eliminating the need to go out so much. That'll help a lot.

I hope everyone else has a fantastic week!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hey everyone. Go say hey to my new friend Brent. (He's one of Hubby's three co-workers that I mentioned in my previous post.) He's just as much of, if not more so, a computer geek than my husband. (Which is probably why we get along just fine. LOL! Hi Brent!) Prior to the bowling excursion that I so thoroughly enjoyed *snicker snicker* he showed me the ins and outs of Mac ownership. (Very few outs.) He has made a convert out of me! So in a few months when we actually get our new Mac, I'll finally be able to post those videos of Hubby and Lance that I mentioned before. (And everyone will go, "Awww!")

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For your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of Lance enjoying his new Elmo toy that I obtained for free at a recent Swap Shop held at my church. You can get so much great stuff at swaps. Free stuff is great ANY TIME. And since items like kid's clothing and shoes are only worn for such a short time, things stay in good condition, even through 3 or 4 kids! lol! (That t-shirt he is wearing also came from the swap. And that purple lawn mower which is halfway behind him. Also a toy dump truck and a few other t-shirts, also a pair of sandals.) Lest you think I'm a greedy mommy, I contributed two bags of Lance's stuff for other moms to snatch up, including a bouncy chair and an unused baby photo album. Good stuff.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Note To Self

If I ever indicate that it might be fun to go watch 96 strangers (plus my husband and his three coworkers that I know) go bowling while I chase a 10-month old who has just learned how to walk around a filthy bowling alley while experiencing significant back pain, will someone please smack me??

Thursday, October 11, 2007

He's Walking!!

October 9, 2007

Lance took not one, but multiple steps. All by himself. Without hanging on to anything.

He is now a walker. At 10 1/2 months old, my baby has disappeared and a toddler has arrived in his place.

Very bittersweet.

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Tales from the Scales: Look Great in 2008! Weight Loss Challenge

I'm a day late in posting, but I guess that's all right.

This week was OK. Not great, but OK. I went up and down like crazy. A couple days I was a little under the weather, so I didn't get ANY exercise. (I've been weighing myself daily. Even just a 20-minute walk each day makes a big difference in the number on the scale!)

Starting weight: 149.8
Last week: 148.0
Today: 146.4
Total lost: 3.4 pounds

Total lost since May 2007: 10.6 pounds

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why My Husband Is a Good Father

I am married to the most darling man.

I came out of our bedroom last evening to find that he had paused his television show to play peek-a-boo with Lance. Not just normal peekaboo. He had a fleece blanket that he put over his and Lance's head. Lance was giggling and giggling!! (Peekaboo with a blanket over the head is his favorite game. He figured out how to do it himself!! We were watching TV while he was playing on the floor, and we heard him laugh, so we looked and there he was, lifting up a little blanket, putting it over his own head, yanking it off, and laughing! I wish I could have gotten it on video!)

I *did* get some video of the two of them playing, but I have yet to learn how to get video off of my camera and onto the computer. Tonight, we're going to get us a Mac-- so hopefully things like uploading photos and videos will get easier. So I hear from Mac users, anyway!

Anyway, it was so sweet to watch Hubby on the floor playing with our little baby. It made me tear up a little bit!

Sigh. Moments like that are so precious!

I'm Sleepy. Very, Very Sleepy.

*Warning: This is a very grumbly, rantish, tirade of a post. Do not read if you are expecting a warm fuzzy or a happy life lesson, because you won't get it.*

Hm. It would seem that many of you around the blogosphere did not sleep well last night.

Well, at least we were all in good company. Lance and I didn't get much sleep, either. He decided that he would revert to being a newborn and wake up every two hours. I don't know what's gotten into him. I'm very glad that I went to bed early last night. As soon as we put Lance down to sleep, I announced to my husband that I was going to bed, too. (I must have known, somehow.) I went to bed at 9:30 and fell asleep immediately. At 1:30, Lance woke up screaming. I tried several things, but nothing worked until I fed him. (I know he wasn't hungry because he's been sleeping all the way through the night for months now, but I guess he needed the soothing.) Half an hour later he fell back to sleep. I went back to bed to a snoring husband and could not fall back asleep. I laid there for an hour. Finally, around 3:15 I could feel myself drifting off to sleep. Then there was screaming AGAIN. I almost woke Hubby up and told him it was his turn, but I figured I was already awake. If I woke him up, then we'd both be awake and that just wouldn't make any sense. So I got up again. Gave him some tylenol for his teeth, changed his diaper, put him back to bed. He fell back to sleep quickly, but then I still had to deal with a snoring husband. Out of desperation, I stomped into the living room and crashed on the couch at 4:30 am where I was finally able to fall back asleep. (This after being up for 3 hours.)

At 6:30, he once again woke up. Screaming his little head off. Nothing was working. Snoring Husband heard it, got out of bed, came and got Lance so I could go back to sleep. (Darling man! But then he would have been getting up not too long after that, anyway.) I was able to sleep until 8.

So all in all, I got four hours of sleep from 9:30-1:30, two more hours from 4:30-6:30, and another hour from 7-8. So that's seven hours of sleep which is not too bad, but it was a very DISTURBED seven hours of sleep.

Lance has gone down for his morning nap. I'm going back to bed.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Chef's Block

Need to go to the grocery store.

The pantry is getting bare.

What do I have?

I have chicken. I have noodles. I have tomato soup. That's about it. Is there a good way of combining the three aforementioned ingredients into a delectable, mouth-watering, yumm-a-licious dinner?? I suppose I could make some kind of casserole.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Things God Does/Weekly Weigh-In

*If you're here from Tales From the Scales, scroll down for my weigh-in post. Thanks!*

Did you know that God does oil changes?

He does. This weekend, we had to take my car in to the dealership for a repair. The door handle on the passenger-side rear door was not working, and as such, I could not get to Lance's car seat. For a few days, we moved his car seat to the other side (behind me,) but that didn't work well as I had to scoot my seat so far forward to accommodate the car seat. Anyhoo.

The dealership had my car for two days. It was nearly $250.00 to fix a door handle. Grr. So we went to pick it up. The service people had all left for the day, so we had to go to a different office to pay and pick up the key. As I got into my car and gingerly turned the key eagerly expecting it to roar to life, instead I heard...nothing. My car was dead. Dead dead dead. Apparently the technician left the interior light on, running the battery down. Of course, without the service people there, we couldn't let them know, so we left the car overnight.

This morning, we went back to the dealership to inform them of the problem. They were just going to get some jumper cables and send me on my merry way, when an angel appeared. :)

Our friend Doug poked his head in the room. He's a mechanic there. We didn't know he worked there, or we would have asked for him in the first place! When he found out our problem, he took the car back to the garage (ahead of everyone else, hehe...) and got it all fixed up. In addition to replacing my battery, he also changed the oil and rotated the tires. All of this for no charge!!! (No one knew he did that extra stuff-- he told me since there wasn't a formal service order put in, that no one would know what he was doing.) Isn't that sweet of him? I don't want him to get in trouble, so I am not identifying which dealership this was.

So God watches over us, sometimes in ways we wouldn't expect!

I had to laugh at Hubby, though. After Doug took my car back, he looked at me with a disappointed, pitiful expression and said, "I was really looking forward to fighting with someone." As though he was a little kid who didn't get to go for ice cream after school. LOL!

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Look GREAT in 2008 weight loss challenge: Week 2!

This week I was a bit of a yo-yo, going up and down by the day. (My cycle started during the week. I'm going to blame that.) While I am only down .2 pounds from last week, if I base my weight loss on the difference between my highest weight of the week and today's, I can say I lost 1.8 pounds. That sounds more fun, so that's what I'll say.

I lost 1.8 pounds this week. tee hee.

Starting weight: 149.8
Last week: 148.2
Today: 148.0

Good luck to all participants on the coming week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bless You!

Lance has the cutest little sneeze you ever heard. He also has a "word" that he says. I don't know what it means, he has employed it for multiple uses. The word is "digga." Last night after his bath, I was putting a clean diaper on him and getting him into his sleepers for the night. He let out two little sneezes.

I said, "Bless you!"

He let out a sigh of relief, as we often do when a sneeze finally escapes, looked up at me and said very particularly and purposefully, "Digga."

It was so cute. It seemed just like he was saying "thank you."

Melt my heart!

Monday, October 1, 2007

I Will Not Be A Frumpy Mom

I giggled a lot while writing this. I hope you enjoy!

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I'll not go out with face so bare,
I'll not be seen with messy hair.
Spit-up shall not be my jewels,
Cutesy diaper bag? I'll be ridiculed.

Sneakers aren't my only shoes,
"Mom-jeans" make me feel so blue.
Shapeless t-shirts I won't don,

Little black dress and dainty heels
Aren't just for gals who have yet to feel
The pains of childbirth! We mothers, too,
Deserve to look GREAT and be sexy, too!

I will not, will not, become a mess.
I can not, can not, choose to dress
So fashionless and sloppily.
Instead, I must be fabulous me!
Shapeless t-shirts I won't don;
I WILL NOT be a frumpy mom!!