Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bugsy has a Birthday

It's official.  You are one.  We had the first celebration on Sunday.

We had dinner (lunch to those of you who don't live on a farm) for your birthday.  We were at the farm for the 100 year celebration.  Auntie W & Uncle J were there with Cousins C & Sarge.  (I'm protecting the name of the human cousin but I figure no one will stalk the dog cousin, right?)  Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Grandpa.  Great-Auntie A was there. 

Ham, mashed potatoes & broccoli were eaten with wild abandon.  You LOVE mashed potatoes... also, possibly we've discovered the secret to your smooth skin... potato facials. 

Here's a secret... the cake was actually leftover wedding cake from Auntie C & Uncle J's wedding.  So it was like they were there in spirit.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla ice cream.  We even had the big #1 candle.  Tuff helped you blow it out.  You loved it.  You do love a good carrot.  And you are a connoisseur of good frosting... just like your mother.

There were a few presents.... a beautiful new down hot pink coat from Grandma and some cute new summer clothes.  Mama got you Elmo in Grouchland.  Because baby.... I've seen that attitude and I think you might need it.  Sweet & Tuff got you a starry night turtle.  You like to bite his head and pat his hard plastic shell.  More gifts will follow.... since this is just the first of several small celebrations.  Mama and Daddy will put a little something in your college fund as is the family tradition for first birthdays.

I spent most of the afternoon thinking about where I was at that exact moment one year before.... your birth was by far the most relaxed of the three.  And you were just so perfect when you were born.  You still are.  You are a delight and a blessing and your mama loves you very much.

Things you know how to do:

Walk.  Like a maniac.  Or more like a zoombie.  All over the place.
Bob your head.  This is new.  I have no idea where it comes from.  It makes you look like a very agreeable small chicken. 
Big girl car seat.  You are still rear-facing (still only 20 pounds) but you are into the bigger car seat as of a few weeks ago.... you stayed in the bucket seat much longer than your siblings. 
Teeth.  You have 4 on top and 4 on bottom.  You are a very easy teether so far. 
Ice cream & spaghetti.  You love ice cream and spaghetti.  The best.
Water bottles.  You love to drink from a cup, a straw, a camelbak.  You love sharing water.
Talking.  You say eat, uh-oh & something that indicates Sweet & Tuff.... You also go "ew-oh" in this high pitched and questioning tone that really is a question.... it's the first steps towards please... I hope. 
Toys.  You love the remote and the telephone and the m&m puzzle.  You also like to take random articles of clothing and stroll around the house with them... often on your head.  You like to pet Gunnar and Mox and Chili.
Climbing.  You climb like a tiny monkey.  We've invested in eye bolts and zip ties to keep you from pulling everything over on yourself.  Up on the stool and onto daddy' recliner.  Up the stairs.  You just figured out you can squeeze through the side of the stairs and cicumvent the baby gate.... so we will be re-babyproofing that later this week.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Time Has Come

My husband informed me we need to start planning to get a storage unit for later this month.


The wet, wet spring and the dead, dead trees and the odd, odd weather.

He's predicting a wild fire season this year.

So I'm trying to do this the right way this time.  No cramming and stuffing of the minivan at the last minute.  We are going to do this the correct way.

We will make a list.

Lists are always appropriate.

What would you take out of your house and put in storage if a fire was a possibility?

The obvious:
Paperwork:  The birth certificates & marriage licenses.  Passports.  Insurance documentation.  Baby books.  Love letters from my husband.  I'm going to work to contain and limit the  paper memorabilia to a few plastic tubs and see where that gets me. 
The computer hard drive and the computer.  Screw the printer.
A box of glassware.... some random knick knacks and things that are sentimental. 
My envelope of $2 bills. 

Ok at this point I start to be at a loss.....  so I go room-by-room.

So I'm still not sure.  I've heard people who evacuate are always horrified when they come home and see things they didn't take.  So I guess I'll pack up and see what comes of it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Expense Report

Things I forgot to pack for the reunion/celebration/birthday weekend:
My camera
The anti-itch benadryl spray
Sweet's baseball cap

Things I had that were important:
sanitizer spray
wet wipes
boy bandaids
redneck stroller bug screen (a big chunk of tulle and some binder clips)
The #1 cake candle

Things we spent money on that were important but surprisingly expensive:
Bouncy house entrance fees ($10/kid)
Water.... lots of bottles of water
Homemade corn dogs
Meat on a stick
A new t-shirt ($15)
Dinosaur Museum donations

Friday, June 25, 2010

Me tossa

You would think, what with all the simplifying I talk about, I would have clean cupboards... right?  After finding a bottle of bactin that expired in 1999 last week I decided I better pay more attention.  (Not to be topped.... my dad gave me a bottle of cat wormer that expired in 1987.)

Last night I went on a little cleaning kicker in the kitchen.

Bag of barley for making soup mixes (from, um, 7 years ago?)  GONE
Whole wheat flour.  GONE (I've heard it doesn't last long and this was a "spare" bag lost in the bottom and back of the lazy susan.)
Spices.  GONE.
Old tea.  GONE.
Dried out marshmallows.  GONE.
Random small packaged foods in the snack bin.  EATEN.
Fancy cocoa mix.  EATEN.
Dry beans.  REORGANIZED.... I'm getting more this weekend.

Found:  THREE jars of celery salt.  Apparently EVERY TIME I make a bloody mary I buy a new jar?
Found:  Two boxes of really good tea I bought a few weeks ago.  Yum.
Found:  Silver cupcake cups I was looking for last month.
Found:  Toothpicks.  I thought we were out.
Found:  Babyfood grinder.... she's pretty much done with it now... do I hang on just in case for another month or two or do I put it in the "give to my brother" box??

Ok... I have to talk more about the spices.  I had them all out on my counter and my mil shows up.  She's a real cook and loves spices.  Every packet or jar I would hold up she'd say, "Oh, yeah-yeah... that's good.  Keep that one.  You just put a litte shake in....."  Like I’m ever going to make sugar cookies, pumpkin pie, stew, curry or saffron rice. We were dying laughing.

Also.... I have lots of tiny tabasco bottles... any crafty ideas?  Maybe I'll tie them on bags of beans for gifts or something..... they came with MRE's.

So far the only things I’m keeping are: celery salt for bloody caesar’s, garlic powder for noodles ala Daddy, garlic salt for toast, cinnamon for toast, cumin & white pepper for white bean chili, popcorn seasoning….. anything else I need?  I'll probably re-invest in some "fall" spices (allspice, ginger....) when pumpkin muffin season comes around.  But I prefer to buy in tiny quantities at the health food store.... way cheaper and fresher. 

I also kept some fresh saffron and herbes de provence (sp?) that I just got as gifts from some travelers.  Maybe I WILL make saffron rice. 

Some of the containers were from King Soopers..... so that makes them almost 20 years old.  I think I can let them go. 

What spices do you use on a regular basis?  What spices are lurking that are over a year old?  What about 10 years old?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So I posted my resolution update.

In it... I basically moan about my weight.  Now let me clarify for those of you new to the place.

I started out life as an itty bitty thing.  My mom threw a party when I was more-pounds-than-inches.  I come from lean and tall people.  (My mother, after 4 kids, stands almost 5'10" and weighs maybe 145 in boots.)  I was 5'8" and 120 pounds when I graduated high school.  I grew another inch in college and had a dunk-tank measured body mass of less than 14%.  I was competitive (I use that term loosely.... I competed... I wasn't terribly quick so I wasn't terribly good....) in martial arts in the 116 and under category in college and after.

By the time I moved back north I was carrying about 150 pounds which, for my height and built, is exactly right.  I don't look too heavy but I'm not waif thin either.  I like 150..... or the range between 145-155 depending on how much weight training I'm doing.

Then I had some kids.  I had thin but average pregnancies with weight gains around 25 pounds for the first two and about 15 pounds for the third.  But pretty normal stuff and, with the first two, an easy time dropping the weight after.  The third one I went into heavy so I didn't gain as much.  After the third I worked my way down to 165 without a lot of sacrifice.... eating a small bowl of ice cream instead of a rice bowl of ice cream and striding around with a baby strapped to my body.

Now, for some reason, I'm up to a whooping 175.  WTF?  Then I read something like this.  Let me give you an excerpt: 

Okay folks....I hate to break this to you BUT I get tired of hearing "I just can't loose weight." You may be excluded if you have some kind of health condition/thyroid issue. I'm guilty as charged, time and time again I have been known to say "I don't know why I can't loose weight".
It's a simple science....if you want to loose weight, burn more then you consume. If you want to stay the what you burn in a day. And if you want to gain more then you burn in a day.
You will be shocked to see how what a small amount of calories our bodies need to run in a day. I did a little research and this is what I found.....
First of all.... the word is lose, not loose.  It ain't The Biggest Looser.  (I know.... I eat a bowl of ice cream while watching it every Tuesday night....)
For the record, my BMR is 1520 and I carefully cut and monitored calories (scales and measures and everything) and didn't drop a pound.  I also cut out all sugar (for 6 weeks) and didn't shed pound one.
It's actually not simple science.  It's simple physics... the idea of calories in vs calories expended but for the love of guacamole.... do some better research than cut-n-paste from the first google article you find.  And don't tell me you are "practically an expert" on the subject of diet and nutrition when you make absolutely no mention of all the other factors that are known to influence weight.... factors beyond thyroid.  Weight loss is a complex subject.  That's why there are people out there making millions on it.
Hmmm..... let's see if we can name five factors in the next 5 seconds.  Cortisol, sleep, medications, depression, stress, digestive disorders... and I haven't googled once.   I should cut her some slack because she does talk about "medical conditions" and she admits to being guilty as charged but this fires me up. 
This is everything "competimommy" that makes me crazed and hurts my feelings.  I can "loose" weight so everyone should be able to do it and you aren't a good mom if you can't.  Humph.  This is why I refuse to have friends.  I bet she spends a ton of money on decorating and is secretly so insecure she considers cutting herself.  
But wait... enough about this condescending blog post.. maybe she didn't mean it the way it sounded... we're all guilty of that...... let's talk about me some more.  So back to the weight creep... want to know what my doc said?  It's probably a "threshhold" thing.  A combination of any or all of the following:
Cortisol and lack of sleep.  New research shows.... go ahead... google it.
Depo birth control shots.
Not moving enough.
Misjudging portion sizes (so typically American, right?) OR WORSE... starving yourself and slowing your metabolism. 
Some other things he said that I can't remember now.
The thing that worries me is I seem to have reverse-body-dysmorphic-disorder.  I'll be striding along, pushing the stroller, head high, breathe deep and get rid of those rounded computer-user shoulders, cruising from Macy's to Target and somewhere around the Hallmark store I'll glance over and see my reflection in the glass and think, "Dude... she's hefty."  So sad.  So disappointing.  Also.... so mourning the loss of my cheekbones... where did they go??
Anyone else with me on the sensitive subject of weight???

They might be dorks but they are MY dorks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Resolution Update

Elle is posting resolution updates.  I originally posted this on Thursday, January 07, 2010
I'm following her format here.

A. Healthy Diet. We are eating our way through the Christmas gift candy. In the great kitchen overhaul project I tossed several giant bags of, um, is it Halloween candy?? I don't know and it doesn't matter because it is gone now. I'm focusing on eating a little healthier every month without denying myself. I gave up freakin' sugar for 6 weeks in 2009 (not shedding a single pound I might remind you) and if I can do that, well, just call me Wonder Woman. So my healthy diet goal is: Eat until you are full, not until you are tired.
Eh.  Why is this always everyone's first resolution?  Stupid.  I've been eating very carefully for the last six months and.... I've gained five pounds.  WTF?  Maybe I need to re-think this and just resolve to move more to drop the pounds? 

B. Getting rid of the stock up stuff. I figure if I moved it into this house from the old house it is now 5 years old... toss it. That's my current standard. Also ditching interesting items dumped on me by various family members.... (Mom, don't think I didn't notice the stuff you slipped in my take-home box last week....) And I purged a giant box of kitchen stuff... who knew my tiny kitchen could even HOLD a giant box of kitchen stuff? How many sippy cups do you really need anyway?  Can we talk about spices?  I have a spice container that says "King Soopers" on it... do you know what that means?  I probably bought the spice in college 20 years ago.  I think it can go... although I may toss the spice and refill the canister... just for the memory.....  Also... 1999 expired bactine.  Random shout wipes, alcohol swabs and antibacterial wipes (long since expired) that are in the glove box.  Gone.  An unfortunate intestinal incident led to the depletion of our soon-to-expire immodium stash... so that's all fresh and updated.  I've also changed my buying habits for certain things.  Buy the 20-tab size with a dollar off coupon at CVS instead of the 200 tab two-pack at Costco.  Cheaper and less chance of expiration....  As I toss a bottle of advil that expired many years ago AND for some reason tastes vaguely of soap. 

C. Purge negativity. Uh-huh. Actually, I'm feeling pretty negativity free in people in my life. I should count that as a blessing.  Or is it a lack of people in my life in general?  Who cares?  It works.

D. Seeing a doctor? I just saw my doctor... he was at Costco shopping with his son. Although I do promise to consider getting a colonoscopy sooner rather than later based on family history.  I saw a doctor... several times.... for a stubborn sinus infection.  And I'm set to get a health screening (the free one) in July... but I added on some tests for extra money....  just in case there is something wrong with my thyroid and it isn't just that I'm a lazy fat hog.  Also... I was going to go to the doc and get my vit D levels tested... but I'll just take a supplement instead.

E. Knitting. I wish I was better at knitting. I also wish I knew how to digital scrapbook. Maybe that will be my next goal.... learning to digital scrapbook.  Heh, heha... yeah.  No progress.  I am still plodding along trying to sort and label digital photos.  And I'd really like to scan some old photos and trash the photo albums but I'm not that brave just yet.  I also discovered I somehow trashed all of my 2003-2004 emails that I'd saved to use to make Sweet's baby book.  So if anyone has email from me from that time period... please send it to me.
F. I will see my family several times this year. And I will go to a 100 year celebration for the town I graduated high school.  The celebration is next weekend.  I'm trying to figure out ways to get out of going.

G. Grow my garden? How about I resolve to pull the grass in my flower beds. And I resolve to brush my dog's teeth because he is old and deserves some extra love.  I dug the grass up.  It looks fantastic and loved.  I also reduced the number of pots of flowers.  So pleased.  Dog teeth... check.

H. Money. I make money resolutions weekly, don't I? I resolve to determine, once and for all, if we can afford to remodel and add on. And I resolve to put double money in the kid college funds this year. And continue our goal to have the house paid off in 8 years. And continue putting $75 per month into a special secret account to be spent on the unglamorous items in life... like a new dishwasher and new carpet. And I refuse to freak out about the new higher price of daycare.  Check.  You've all been on this wild remodel ride with me.  And the rest is going pretty much according to plan.

I. Finding a position that lights my fire? My goal for 2010 is to just maintain. I just want to maintain this level of serenity and organization. I'll look for fire next year. Next week I start back with 5 days a week in the office. Total dread. Complete and total dread.  Working full time in an office sucks.  I know my perfect world and I'm not quite in it. 

J. I will love my childen even if two-thirds of them sleep in my bed every night.  Tuff just informed me she will stop sneaking into our bed when she is 16.  She wants to get her ears pierced.... there should be a bargaining chip in there somewhere, shouldn't there?
K. I will baby proof the house for Bugsy. And I will not put those goofy baby girl headbands on her head.  Success.  Although her hair is getting long in front and she does sometimes sport a Pebbles-style pony on top.  And I baby proofed with zip ties, outlet plugs, plugged-in thing covers, a few eye-rings, and a lot of de-cluttering.
L. I will play loud music and dance with Tuff. Oh, and I will teach her to do a headstand.  Also... I will get her started in dance or gymnastics classes.
M. I will play legos with Sweet. And I will honor his wish to only wear Wrangler jeans.  Check.... Also I will gut it up and play Stratego with him.... even if I don't EVER win.

N. I will try not to nag Hot. And I will support his attempts to drop weight.... even if it means I don't get to eat pasta for the next 365 days which might kill me.  He lost a lot of weight... too bad I found it.

O. I will continue to add little bits of working out into my days.  And I will continue to be frustrated when it doesn't pay off in big blobs of fat dropping off on the side of the road.

N. I plan to do one fun family thing every month. January: rodeo on the 17th and dinner somewhere fun after. February: Um, I'm already out of ideas.   Score.  We've had some really good times... including kayaking yesterday.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Surviving the Weekend

Exhausted.  Wow. 

Let's just make a list about the last week, shall we?

Tuesday:  Panel meeting for work.  Very busy.  Very stressful.
Wednesday:  Last day of school.  Noon release.
Also Wednesday:  Leave for Miles City.  Take mom (or "The Governess" or "The Nanny") to care for Bugsy.
Thursday:  More panel meetings.  More busy.  More stress.  Hot drives over with the two big kids.
Friday:  Council meeting.  More busy.  More stress.  Long, long days.
Saturday:  Travel to Glendive EARLY.  Go fishing.  Dork around.  Take a well-deserved nap.  Get kids gorgous to be flower girl and ring bear.  Rawr.  Survive lovely wedding.
Sunday:  Drive home.  Making strategic stop at Wally-world in MC to purchase new dvd player, more Scooby Do dvds & an ipod charger.  Get home and start doing laundry like a maniac.
Monday:  Work.

At this point I figure I just have to make it to the weekend so I can rest.  Me and a giant coffee drink will be fine for work, right?  So.  Much.  To.  Do.

But I'm so happy we aren't preparing to hit our house with a trackhoe tomorrow.  Gads.  What was I thinking?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Arrow Head Displays

So, now that we are, once again, NOT destroying half of our house or remodeling.  It has been decided by the powers-that-be (me) to do some minor house fixes.  So.  Project One.  Hot has these really cool arrowheads.  But the display.  The display is an old gold document frame with some spongy stuff in it.  Lovely.

And it sits propped on the corner of the bookshelf.  We need some serious help here.  One.  What's a cool way to display this stuff?  Think modern vintage now.  (Keeping in mind it must also be semi-portable... this is one of the things I would grab if the woods were on fire.)  And, Two.  Where to display it?

AND 3, before you ask... it is the button of a shed elk antler.  (the thing next to the frame)