Wednesday, February 27, 2008

They're BUGGING me!

Hello blogworld. How are you? What's new? Anything exciting?

I've just been so busy this last week. Crazy busy. Working on some new music for church, making plans for the new house, going to various appointments, and just generally keeping the house running.

Speaking of keeping the house running, I've had to call the pest control people out twice and I STILL HAVE AN ANT PROBLEM. It's driving me crazy. We've been living here almost two years, and only in this last month have ants been a problem. If a crumb of food falls to the floor and stays there for a maximum of ten minutes, the ants have already found it. That just seems a little extreme. We're talking a single cheerio here, people. Lance drops one. I don't notice it, so we go play in the other room for awhile. The other room gets boring, so we go back to the living room where a veritable colony of ants have descended upon this single, lonesome, vulnerable, unprepared cheerio.

Or imagine for a moment that I have used a knife to slice up a block of cheddar cheese. Since Lance is hungry, I immediately go feed him and I leave the knife laying on the cutting board while he eats. In 15 minutes I return to the kitchen to clean up, and there are ants crawling all over this knife trying to get up the last bits of the residue clinging to the knife for its very life.

First, the pest control people squirted this goopy stuff in corners of the kitchen. Apparently it was food for the ants which they would take back to the nest, share it with the queen, and everyone would die.

They didn't.

Then they came again at the end of the week and sprayed some icky, smelly chemicals all over my house.

Those ants are still alive and kickin'. I swear, they have a conspiracy against me. They just won't die!!

I guess the only good thing to come out of this is that I have suddenly been forced to become a much better housekeeper. I'm using up an insane amount of Clorox disinfecting wipes, and I ensure that all leftovers get packed up or thrown away immediately. After Lance eats his meals, I lay down on the floor and wriggle on my belly like a snake, examining every square inch of floor to make sure that not a single stray crumb is allowed to draw the attention of The Ants. After I slice cheese, I immediately rinse off the knife and submerge the cutting board in hot, soapy water.

I declare war.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Aggravation. Grr.

edited to add:: *Warning: It's my blog, and I'll whine if I want to. Lest you think I'm a spoiled brat, please know that when I wrote this last night I was bone-tired and patience-less. I realize there are women whose husbands are serving overseas and they are totally alone with their kids. I completely admire and support these women, because after the 4 days described below, I know how difficult it is to be the only adult in the household trying to care for a young person. Also, please know that I am not angry with my husband. It is not his fault that the leaders of his group imposed three nights of rehearsal in a row.*

/end soapbox

I'm aggravated.

Aggravated, irritated, all-twisted-up-in-a-knot ticked off.

Hubby has joined another music group at our church. (Gasp! How horrible! Just kidding. That's not why I'm frustrated.) He's been a member of this second group for a number of months, and it's been great. He's had a wonderful time. This week, though, has just been tough.

This is the fourth night in a row he has been away at practice and has not returned before Lance goes to bed. The first night, Monday, was the rehearsal for the band that Hubby and I are both in, and for which we hire a babysitter. Tuesday and Wednesday he had extra practices for band #2 and tonight was their regular rehearsal. The Tuesday and Wednesday practices were supposed to be "just a run-through of one song." Both nights he was gone for over an hour. Tonight is the group's regular rehearsal which runs 2 1/2 hours.

I don't want to begrudge him his church involvement, but I've felt like a single parent all week. I was telling a friend about this and she started laughing at me. She works nights and was saying that she never sees her husband, and she was totally unsupportive. I know she wasn't trying to be mean, but my feelings were pretty hurt by this. She has chosen that lifestyle of working nights and not seeing her husband. But she is not alone with her one-year old for fourteen solid hours.

I'm okay if once in awhile Lance and I have a long day together. Maybe I'm spoiled. Hubby gets home at 6:30 each day, and just simply having another pair of eyes and set of arms makes a HUGE difference. Hubby often will do the bath and bedtime routine so I can get a bit of a break in the evenings. Lance usually goes to bed at 9:00, so it's only 2 1/2 hours of my day that are any different when Hubby has these long days, but let me tell you, those 2 1/2 hours certainly make a HUGE difference!

Now, though, after 4 days in a row of this, I'm beat. Purely worn out.

I want my mommy. Waaah.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Day at the Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears...who cares? The water fountain is *much* more exciting!

Although it sure was fun to feed the giraffe!!

Dude, look at that!

Yeah, I saw some of those in someone's yard once. Or twice.

But those didn't move.

Dude, you're right.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

...but there won't be two cats in the yard!! (maybe a dog, later on.)

I am pleased to announce that the Meadow family is getting a house!! On May 1st, we will be moving into this lovely 4-bedroom 2-bath house with a lovely backyard and swimming pool!! We will rent it for 2 years, and then we will be able to buy. A friend of ours owns the house, so we're getting a really fantastic deal. A portion of our monthly rent will go towards a down payment. Plus, we're locking in a purchase price now, which will most likely save us a ton of money, as the housing market is expected to go back up by the time we'd be able to buy. I'm SO PSYCHED!!!

(Those are our friends Ivy and her son Cole. She's going to help me plant a garden!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Where Have All the Naptimes Gone?

It's my own fault. I didn't appreciate it when I had it. How does the song go, "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..."

If only I had known, I wouldn't have stood over your crib, begging you to wake up...

It was too late that I learned my new philosophy. "Let sleeping babies lie!"

I think one of the naps is being phased out. I've been very spoiled by Lance. At 14 months, he still takes both a morning and an afternoon nap. Each nap is between an hour and a half and two hours. I'm one lucky mama.

Not so the last few days. He's still taken two naps, but each day they grow shorter and shorter. It seems like he is on the verge of phasing out a nap.

There are upsides to this. I have more freedom to do things during the day. My schedule does not revolve around naps as much as it used to. Also, on the days in which he has napped less, he has gone to bed earlier. Tonight he went down at 8:00, a full hour earlier than usual. He was so exhausted, I didn't dare keep him up just for the sake of enforcing a bedtime. (I just pray he doesn't wake up an hour earlier tomorrow morning!! I can wake up any time as long as the sun is already up. An hour earlier than his current wake-up time will still be dark, so that just won't work.) Along with growing out of naps, Lance is growing more and more independent, so I can do things that before I could only do while he slept. Thus, his lack of sleep is not as detrimental as it would have been.

But oh, how I shall miss those two long naptimes during the day!

Whenever baby #2 comes along, I will make sure to rejoice in every single minute of napping that occurs.

There are just so many things I would do differently if I had only known...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Blogging T-Shirt

Damselfly is hosting "I'm Sincere!" week over at her blog. In order to facilitate the communication of our admiration for fellow bloggers, we are asked to write a blog post in the style of a blogger we admire.

Since I admire Damselfly in so many, many, ways, I am writing a post in honor of her.

What I'd Wear Wednesday!

This shirt from In classic black and white, it sets the world on notice that anything that is seen, overheard, or eavesdropped upon is fair game for blog fodder.

How many times have you been at the park, in the mall, or someplace else equally public and seen something incredible, and your first thought was, "I've GOT to blog about this!" It's happened to me fairly regularly. With this shirt, everyone has fair warning.

If you'd also like to write a post in honor of a blogger you admire, go visit Damselfly and get your instructions. Also, if you write a post, you get to snag this button:

Buttons are fun. Also make sure to let the person you're sincerely imitating know that they are being sincerely imitated!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Birthday Surprise!!

Today is my husband's birthday. He'll be 36!! ;) I am very proud of myself because I have planned a lovely birthday surprise. Well, it's not a surprise anymore because a couple people let the cat out of the bag, but it'll still be nice!

I've arranged to take Lance to a friend's house this evening so Hubby and I can enjoy a nice meal together. I am going to prepare Chutney and Cheddar-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Smashed Potatoes.

I have never made this recipe before, but I watched it on Rachael Ray, and I think I can manage this one. It looks SO YUMMY, and Hubby loves anything with chutney in it. He's from South Africa, and they use chutney very frequently as a condiment or sauce. ANOTHER thing I'm proud of is that I found a very nice South African wine. Hubby always checks the wine aisle at the grocery store and even the liquor stores, but he has a hard time finding good ones. Well, I went to a small market called The Fresh Market (I don't know if this is a major chain or just something local to my area) and they had a display of South African wines. The particular kind I got was made in limited quantities and flown over specially for this market, so I hope I'll earn some brownie points with the wine!! (On a side note, Hubby works for a wine distribution company, and not many places import South African wines. I don't know why.)

Anyhoo. I am very excited. We haven't enjoyed a romantic evening together for quite some time. Please pray that I won't severely mess up our dinner!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My dear sweet boy,

You are 14 months old. It is amazing what you have learned in these last few months, how much you have grown. You understand so much of what we say to you! You can point to your nose, your head, and your tummy. When we tell you that it's bathtime, you eagerly run towards the bathroom, ready to squirt and splash! You love to play outside, and find endless fascination in things like leaves, fences, trees, sand, pine needles...

In the photo above, you learned how to go down the slide all by yourself!! You had a marvelous time and wanted to do it again and again.

You have an impish little grin that makes everyone who sees you fall in love with you. You're going to get away with all sorts of mischief when you get bigger! Especially when you and James get together. Your Aunt Holly and I are going to be on our toes!

I love you so very much, my precious baby. You bring joy and delight to every day. I am so very, very blessed to have you for a son. As you grow up, I pray that you and I will be able to keep this very special relationship that we have. Don't stray away from me, small one. You will always be my Punkin-Boo-Bear!

love love love


Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm getting sleepy. Very, very, sleepy.

For heaven's sake. No matter how much sleep I get lately, it just isn't enough. After a good night's sleep AND an afternoon nap, all I want to do is crash.

So I'm going to. Lance is napping. I shall follow his lead.

The laundry can wait.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

For the Love of Diapers

(Hey, I just noticed that I passed the "200 post" mark. I missed my 200th post!! This is the 202nd!! Go me!)

Back to our regularly scheduled posting...

Lance has decided that diapers are evil. He will not, can not, stay still for a diaper change. I beg. I plead. I offer distractions of toys that light up and sing. I sing. I jump around and make silly noises. I cajole. I bribe.

Doesn't work. He insists on rolling over the instant he hits the changing table. Or the bed. Or the floor. Or the couch. I have learned that a change of location is futile. The little guy is suprisingly strong, too! I used to be able to hold him down. (Gently, of course!) Now, I feel like I am exerting a tremendous amount of force in order to keep him still, and I am afraid that I may be hurting him. He screams and screams as though he's being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

I've learned to put a diaper on him while he's sitting up. It's not as neat and tidy, but at least it's on.

Has anyone else experienced this? Please tell me that it is just a phase. Perhaps he's ready to start potty training??? (Totally wishful thinking, here. He's only 14 months old.)


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Let's Play a Game

Take a look.

Take a good look.

How much did all this cost me?


Yes, you read that correctly. I have begun playing the "CVS Game" as Crystal from Money Saving Mom likes to call it. (Thanks Jessica, for posting your CVS savings-- I found Crystal from one of your posts! My husband thanks you too, he just doesn't know it!) I signed up for the CVS ExtraCare Rewards program. This was my second shopping trip on this program, and only my first using ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) I earned previously. How did I do it?

$5/$30 CVS coupon
2 different $4/$20 CVS coupons
$6.30 in manufacturer's coupons
$6.00 of ECBS

for a grand total out of pocket of: $1.78

Oh, plus I earned an extra $15 of ECBs for next time!!

This rocks. This is so fun.

(I did want to note that my ORIGINAL transaction also included a Maybelline eyeshadow, which was advertised in the CVS flier as $5.49 with an equal amount of ECBs earned). When I saw my receipt, it rang up at a higher total and gave me no ECBs. When I asked the cashier about it, he said, "sorry, there's nothing I can do. It's all in the computer." So I just returned the Maybelline.

This is really a fantastic way to save money. As you earn ECBs, you use them to purchase items which will earn you more ECBs. Additionally, you can use this as a ministry. Considering I spent less than $2 on all of that stuff, I am going to donate one of the toothpastes and one box of Excedrin to our local homeless shelter.

I still can't believe that I got all of that stuff for less than what the Starbucks Frappucino alone would have cost me.

This is awesome.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Description of the Cuteness of My Child

I have the cutest baby in the world. He's been doing some really cute things lately, so I want to write them down so I won't forget them!

His new favorite game is "Boo!" We'll chase each other around the house, I'll duck behind the couch or hide around a corner, and when he "finds" me, I say, "Boo!" Then he giggles and giggles, and runs the other way. I follow him, then he'll turn around, look at me, and then he'll say "boo!"

He also has a version of hide-and-seek. He has figured out how to open up his closet, get inside, and close the door again. He'll go in there, shut himself in, and stay there until I open the door and find him. If I wait too long, he'll open the door slowly and peek his head out to see if I'm still there.

He is learning to feed himself using his spoon. Now that he has somewhat figured this out, he does not want to be spoon-fed by us anymore! I gave up trying to "help" him use the spoon. Now, I just put a bowl of something on his high chair tray, give him the spoon, and let him have at it. He usually does pretty well for the first few bites, but then he wants to start experimenting. "What will happen if I wave the spoon around in the air?" "Maybe if I just bang my spoon on the food, it'll work." "I think I'll smear a spoonful of oatmeal in my hair." After awhile I will get tired of this, so I take the bowl away and give him some finger food. I realized I just had to pick my battles. Each time he manages to get one or two more bites into his mouth, so I guess we're making progress!

Lance just loves his Daddy! When Hubby leaves for work each morning, Lance will hold out his arms to him until Daddy picks him up. Then Hubby hands him back to me and we have a "family hug." Hubby kisses me goodbye. As he pulls away, Lance will reach up to Hubby's face and draw it back to mine until we kiss again. SO SWEET!

That's it for now. Lance is asleep, Hubby is out of town for the weekend, and I have the house to myself.

I'm going to go have a glass of wine and watch one of my chick flicks.

Have a lovely night.