Dec 21, 2008

This is so pretty...

I love Anthropologie, but everything is so expensive - even their sale items! I'm a pretty darn good crocheter (did I just make up that word?). Anyway, I'm going to try to find a similar pattern and make one instead.

Dec 18, 2008

What up, freak?

I answered the phone this morning and this is how my sister greeted me.

Dec 16, 2008

Hot damn!

I went into our supply cabinet at work to get myself a new pen, and to my surprise, I found an entire box of my favorite pens... and the box had my name on it! A whole box of pens just for little 'ol me.

Feeding frenzy

Griffin started baby cereal last weekend. Here's how it all went down...

Dec 15, 2008

Another one...

I started a new blog. I'm still using this one for everyday things, but the new one is more specific.

Dec 10, 2008

How you swoon me like no other

This has got to be one of the most beautiful lyrics ever written. It also reminds me of how long it has been since I've swooned...or made someone else swoon, for that matter.


Dec 8, 2008

It happens every year...

Christmas music either makes me want to strangle someone or it makes me cry. Rarely is there an in between. The other day Patrick was listening to it on one of those radio stations that plays it 24-hours-a-day from even before Thanksgiving. I wanted to scream, kick in the stereo, and then squeeze the life out of someone. If I hear Jingle Bell Rock one more time...

The problem is that I like Christmas. It has never been my favorite holiday (OK, maybe it was when I was a kid and all I wanted was Atari and a puppy). It's stressful and expensive. It brings out the worst in a lot of people. There's too much competition. I like getting together with my family and I like baking cookies. I like decorating the tree and even wrapping gifts. The music, though. It can really get to me.

Today, however, I'm having the other reaction. I hear the music and I want to cry (the only reason I'm not is that I'm at work and I don't feel like explaining myself to any of my coworkers). Certain songs make me cry more than others - Silent Night makes me think of the year my parents bought me an inexpensive keyboard for Christmas. I desperately wanted to learn how to play the piano and they got me this before they invested in lessons. It was cheap, but a wonderful gift. Silent Night was the first song I learned how to play...and I played it all day underneath our Christmas tree. Little Drummer Boy makes me miss my mom. We spent every Christmas Eve with my aunt and uncle just about a mile from my parents' house. One year on the drive home, I was so sleepy that my mom put me in the front seat with her and my head on her lap. Through sleepy eyes, I stared at the green lights coming from the stereo and listened to this song as my mom rubbed my head. O Holy Night makes me cry and I'm not sure why. I end up thinking about family members I've lost...especially my aunt, who hosted Christmas Eve every year, even after she lost her house in a fire, and after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was her holiday, and her home was the only place we wanted to be.

I hate that everything has changed so much. The year after the fire, we celebrated in her tiny apartment and tried to ignore the fact that my uncle was gone. After her diagnosis, we celebrated in her rebuilt home, trying to ignore how different she looked and how the chemo affected her stamina and strength. After she passed away, we didn't have Christmas at her home anymore. My sister started hosting it. It was fun, but different. Too different and I didn't like it at all.

We're trying something new this year - a new way of celebrating that I hope will make me less sad (and less angry at all the holiday music). I just need to find that happy medium. I know it exists in me...somewhere.


Griffin had his 4-month check-up this morning. He's actually well over 4 months right now, but we had to reschedule his appointment because his doctor was sick last week.

Griffin now weighs 15 lbs 4oz and I think he's 25 inches (I'll have to double check later). Everything looked good - he's meeting all the important developmental markers and we got the green light to start baby cereal when we feel ready. I remember bringing him home from the hospital and he was only eating 1 and 1/2 ounces at each feeding. Now he scarfs down 6oz at each feeding and the other day I swear he tried to snatch a crab rangoon from my hand!

Dec 4, 2008

Won't you be my neighbor?

Last night after picking up Griffin and running an errand, I pulled into our driveway and saw that Patrick had shoveled the snow while I was gone. Ahh! What a wonderful feeling to drive into the garage without crunching over the snow and packing it down so that it's still there in March. We never have a completely clean driveway, so this made my day.

Once inside, Patrick and I are milling around the kitchen trying to stay out of each other's way while he makes coffee and I take some more cold medicine. He turned to me and said, "Thanks so much for shoveling the driveway." When I told him that I thought he had shoveled, we both looked at each other and began to wonder who actual shoveled it for us. We don't really know many of our neighbors. I know it's not the people across the street because they have three young boys and while the dad is really nice and friendly, he's got his own set of problems, including the fact that in the four years we've lived in this house, we've only ever seen his wife outside twice - she literally pulls into the garage and the door closes before she gets out. It's seriously like the Batmobile. I've spent many early mornings ironing in the spare bedroom just trying to catch a glimpse of her. But I digress. Our next door neighbors are nice, but we don't really chat. They've got a bunch of grandkids and I just don't see them as the "shovelers." The only other people we speak to are sort of our next door neighbors (on the other side). The husband is super OCD about his yard and anything related to landscaping, decorations, etc. The only problem is that he would have had to make a HUGE effort to walk over to shovel (they're not really next door to us - their backyard faces the right side of our house). I could see them doing it because they're so nice to us, but were they the ones? We'll never know.

It was a really nice surprise for me and Patrick, and a very kind gesture by one of our neighbors - kind of renews my faith that the world is filled with good people. Now we just need to find a way to do our own random act of kindness.

Dec 3, 2008

He's like a drunk on a bus

This is a phrase my mom likes to use. When she was a young girl living on the west side of Chicago, she would take a series of buses (city, not school buses) to get to school. Sometimes people would ride the bus early in the morning who were still drunk from the night before. Occasionally they would lean up against whoever was unfortunate enough to sit next to them. After a few of these encounters, my mom tried to avoid them if at all possible.

So, here's Griffin doing his best impersonation of a drunk on a bus (OK, he's really just sleeping, but try to use your imagination)...

It would have been nice if you'd left us a note

The City of Bettendorf's garbage truck ran into our mailbox and completely pulled it out of the ground. They didn't leave a note, but propped the mailbox (still attached to the post) against our garbage can.

Oh yeah...I'm calling the City later today.

Dec 2, 2008

Something Different

This has been a crappy week. We had a death in our family on Sunday morning (how does a 64-year old die from Alzheimer's? Doesn't that seem too young?). I'm sick again (although that pales in comparison to the death), and we're in a shitload of money problems (I'm not even sure I want to talk about that one). So, I found this great idea from one of my favorite blogs:

The Things I've Done (the ones I've done are bolded):

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does the Eisenhower Junior High School Band count?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (been to Disneyworld)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (but I’ve been on TV...twice!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day.