Sunday, August 30, 2009

Seasons change

Summer's over and I can honestly say that this summer was the first in a long line of summers that I have truly enjoyed without a shadow of sadness hanging over me. This is the first year in four years that I have felt just a little sad pulling my fall jacket out of the closet for my morning drive to work. The "experts" were right...it took four years to incorporate my grief into my life and find a way to happiness again.

Wow. I don't mind saying that it leaves me a bit bewildered/disoriented...to realize that all that crap happened...to US...and we survived and are quite happy with life right now.

Just...Wow.

And yet...it's September again. Due dates and unrealized dreams. Sounds like a bad B movie, doesn't it?

And so I busy myself with some online housekeeping...moving forward to maintain my grasp on that lovely summertime happiness.

I apologize to those whose blogs I can't read anymore. I have found that it is healthier for me to not subscribe to blogs about pregnancy and/or loss. I take a dip into those waters on the days I feel strong enough to handle it...but it has to be a purposeful decision. Having Google Reader give me "big news" of pregnancy or loss without proper warning is just too much of an invitation for the darkness to intrude again. So I hide. Please know it doesn't reflect how I feel about you...I wish only the best for you. I just need to function this way for now. (OK...so maybe I haven't incorporated it ALL as well as I'd like...but I'm working on it.)

I made a little survey of my blog archives and have found there are things I've posted that I wished I hadn't...and things I didn't that I wish I did. I'm particularly embarassed by all the "scheduled" things I wanted to post but never really did but one or two entries for each...Mutt Monday...Perfect Moment Monday...Whiskers on Wednesday...Thursday Challenge...Photo Friday...My 52 self-portraits. My 52 self-portrais is particularly disappointing, since another year will pass with only a handful of photos of me to pass on to my boys. Yes, I still think that way a lot. I can't help it...you just never know.

So anyway...I'm going to buck the trend and start up some regular items right now. Yes, I know it's the last day of August and these things traditionally start at the beginning of the year. But clearly I don't follow New Year's resolutions or I'd be a size 2, fluently speak several languages, have a clean house and all my crafty works-in-progress would actually be completed.

Take #563926...introducing the following regular items to appear here (with a little luck)...

~Perfect Moment Monday
~Whiskers on Wednesday
~Dogs on Thursday
~Photo Friday/PhotoHunt (depending on what mood strikes)
~Self-Portrait Saturday

Now that summer has passed us by, I have lots and lots of stuff to write about.

Sam luckily was assigned to the second grade teacher we were told is the "better" teacher for keeping kids focused. I think that means she's stricter...which is exactly what Sam needs. I'm already somewhat impressed because he came home from the first day of school with an entire folder of information for us to read. Though the first week passed without the promised behavior report, at least I'm not guessing about policies and procedures in her class. Sadly, Sam is already struggling with his work habits this year. He only finished his classwork on two of the four days last week. When asked about it, his immediate response was, "I wasn't talking." So...we're going to have to work on this some more I suppose. Thursday is the open house, so I hope to talk to the teacher about it at that time. Wish me luck.

This week brings Sam's first soccer practice for the season. He SAID he didn't want to play after last season because he "stinks" at soccer. But then the application came in the mail and we were pleasantly surprised when he decided he wanted to play after all. Soccer really isn't his sport...but it gets him out from in front of the TV and the video games (and gives me a couple hours each week for "me time") so I'm not going to complain.

Saturday is shopping day! I'm going to ditch the boys and spend the day with my mom doing some shopping for my brother's upcoming wedding in October. Kind of weird situation there...after doing my sister's wedding reception flowers and vowing never to do them again, mom and I are shopping for wedding reception flowers my soon-to-be-sister-in-law...who doesn't really even talk to me all that much. I have a basic color scheme to work with and that's about it. We invited her to join us but she declined. Should be interesting. Maybe I should warn her that we aren't really as trustworthy as maybe she thinks we are? lol!

In completely unrelated news...I never got my mom's costume done in time for this summer's medieval faire. She's asked me if I can get it done by September 12th for an event she's participating in. I foolishly said yes. Better find more time to sew this week. ack!

I think that's about it for now. Here's to more blogging!

Friday, August 28, 2009

#32 - #35 ways to change the world

So I've slacked off a lot during August and I didn't want you to miss anything good...so here are my August 2009 Ways to Change the World. In honor of our belated birthday trip to the zoo, I'm focusing on the monkeys/apes/orangutans.

#32 way to change the world

LUSH Cosmetics and WSPA working together for orangutans

With...a coupon!
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#33 way to change the world

Buy a gorilla carving.

Alternative solutions...I love this way of thinking. It's not easy...but it can be successful.
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#34 way to change the world

Get classroom kids involved and buy an egg.

Three dollars...this one is so easy you just can't NOT do it.
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#35 way to change the world

Jane Goodall Institute of Canada...

Become a chimp guardian.

Make a tribute or memorial gift.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Great Trade-In Event

Trade in your used car seat, stroller, travel system, crib, high chair, playard or bassinet and receive 20% off your purchase of any of these items new.

From Friday, August 28 through Sunday, September 20, Babies"R"Us and Toys"R"Us stores nationwide are holding the "Great Trade-In" event, providing our customers the opportunity to trade-in any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, playards or high chairs in exchange for a 20% savings on the purchase of any new baby item, in any of these product categories, from select manufacturers.

The "Great Trade-In" event places an emphasis on specific baby products, such as cribs and car seats that, due to safety concerns, may not be the best candidates to be handed down or resold. Beyond recalls, certain older and used baby items can be potentially unsafe for a variety of reasons, including damage or lack of compliance with recent advances in product safety standards.

Visit your local Babies"R"Us or Toys"R"Us store to trade-in your used crib or baby product. Day care centers or other organizations who wish to exchange items in bulk are encouraged to contact their local Babies"R"Us or Toys"R"Us store prior to returning their used items to ensure adequate availability of new merchandise.

For more information or to find a store near you, please visit www.toysrus.com.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Zoo day thoughts

At the risk of repeating myself...here are a few of the major themes from today's trip to the zoo...

The big kid lost his first tooth on Thursday, so I will forever remember that his "birthday trip to the zoo" wasn't actually ON (or even NEAR) his birthday.

"Stop it."

Crappy $10 sunglasses purchased at the zoo can POSSIBLY cause you so smack someone in the zoo gift shop when you try to return them because the screw fell out leaving your seven-year-old crying in the sunshine at the bottom of a very large hill because "...my glasses broke and I can't seeeeeeeee..." and the gift shop lady accuses you of dropping them and trying to return "broken merchandise."

"Stop it."

In the beginning, every animal is "Loo" to a 21-month old at the zoo for the first time. "Loo" being Luna, one of our horses. At the end of the day, all big birds (ostriches, flamingos, eagles, etc) are all "moo." "Moo" being EMU...seen at the Australian exhibit.

"Stop it."

I understand if you're on a date to the zoo and you think the world revolves around you and your love. But please, do not stand in front of my children at the monkey exhibit...or I just might give them permission to bite the back of your kneecaps.

"Stop it."

No matter how exciting the monkeys may be playing in their cages, the big rubber balls they have as toys are way more exciting. "BALL! BALL! BAAAALLLLL!!!"

"Stop it."

The older child has lost weight over the last year because he's grown taller. So if he wants two or three push pops and complains of STILL being hungry, feed him. Everyone will be happier...I promise.

"Stop it."

Socks and shoes on.
Socks and shoes off.
Socks and shoes on.
Socks and shoes off.
Socks and shoes on.
Socks and shoes off.
Lather.
Rinse.
Repeat.

"Stop it."

No matter how well I think I know my children, they still surprise me sometimes. I was CERTAIN Myles wouldn't like the Dinosaur exhibit. He LOVED it!

"Stop it."

"Be careful mommy, that dinosaur spits water at you." I'm not sure whether that was actually said in warning or more in anticipation of the hilarity that would be mommy getting squirted with water by a dinosaur.

"Stop it."

If the older kid sighs and rolls his eyes at me one more time, I might have to kill him.

"Stop it."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What do you think?

I think Zip is fitting in just fine around here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 8th

Almost forgot...and I need to write this down so I don't forget...

Took Myles to Toys R Us for the very first time on August 8th. He was so excited it was really quite fun. Of all the expensive toys available, a $1.50 rubber ball was the highlight of the trip.

Sam was wuite a bit more expensive....with a $14.99 nerf blaster and a $19.99 Halloween costume (Bumblebee the Transformer).

huh?

Me: Sam, take this bag of school supplies upstairs and put it away.

Sam: Do I have to do it now?

Me: Yes.

Sam: Can't I just set it on the stairs for later when I go up there.

Me: Sure.

One minute later...I see the bag on the stairs and the lights on upstairs.

Me: Sam?

Sam: Yeah?

Me: Sam...are you upstairs?

Sam: Yeah.

Me: You mean you went upstairs and left this bag of stuff here ON the stairs?

Sam: I'm sorry...you SAID I could do it later.

oy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yesterday I cried

And today there is no coffee in the office, so this post is going to suck. I've tried to come up with creative ways to tie subjects in my head together into a neat little post for the internet...but I just can't do it. So here's the raw, un-pretty version of completely unrelated events that have recently happened. And no, Rach, I'm NOT pregnant...but thank you for scaring me into counting the days for my own sanity sake. I was just tired from a weekend of volunteering and travelling and picnic-ing in the summer heat. I cried for the reasons I'll explain now...
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The staff was all gathered in the lobby, so I new something was up immediately. Closing time at the animal shelter can lead to these kinds of group talks, but not often. Most days, the staff have worked so hard all day that they are ready to leave as soon as the clock strikes quittin' time. But today was different. Today, three dogs would die at their hands...the hands of strangers. Now I'm not going to debate euthanasia here, because in these particular cases euthanasia was the right thing to do. But it still made me immeasurably sad...and I cried because I had seen him...the day they brought him in after escaping a Sheriff's deputy bullet...the husky who, according to his owner who relinquished him to us, was left to sit in a pen for five days at a time until he went crazy and broke out and killed a dozen of the neighbors chickens...now so aggressive it took a dozen tranquilizers to get him calm enough to handle...for the end of his life.

They couldn't even pay him one last visit...because it "would be too much." They did this to him. And he dies in the arms of strangers because they are to cowardly to face what they have done to him. And I cried...but not until the gathering in the lobby had dispersed. Even though I know they cried too.
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And then my baby came home and showed me his smile with a gap where a tooth had once been. His first tooth to fall out. The tooth fairy brought him a dollar coin...one of the new ones with the face of a dead president on them. He wants to keep the tooth and I think maybe we're both having a little trouble with this growing up thing...with letting go of the baby-hood.
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I actually said to someone..."Sometimes it's not about the amount of money you spend or the amount of money you can win...sometimes it's just about doing the right thing." As soon as the words were out of my mouth I couldn't believe I had said them. I'm no optimist and I'm certainly not naive like I used to be. So where the hell did that come from? I miss that girl and it's kind of nice to know at least some small part of her still lurks inside of me somewhere.
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Tired of my stream of consciousness yet? I am.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Miscellaneous thoughts

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I was trying to convince a photographer friend of mine to participate in NIMLDTS when I realized I should put my money where my mouth is. So...I've become a digital retouch artist for NILMDTS. Keep your fingers crossed that I can do it. It's not done without paying an emotional toll...no matter how "well adjusted" I may be.
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I've been working on sewing projects with my beautiful new serger. Here's a shirt I made to wear in the 90 degree 90% humidity.
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If you read only one blog post this week...make it this one.
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It wasn't the gluten after all. Though I've never felt better and plan to still eat gluten free (for the most part), the skin rash on my hand was a plain old allergic reaction. I won't tell you what it was...because it's embarassing. No...it was not THAT...get your minds out of the gutter!

This exercise has proven, once again, that Dr. Google can be a curse and a blessing. But it has also proven that I CAN stick to a diet...so no more excuses.
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Last year, my husband's company offered free school supplies. The pickings were slim, but we were grateful for every little bit of help. This year, Sam got a bag of school supplies that should last him through the entire year. 36 ink pens...I don't think he's even allowed to use ink pens in second grade.
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My amazing husband got a promotion! He is now an old guy with "Senior" in his job title. I'm so proud of him. At least one of us is going places in our career.
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Speaking of my career...I've got some complaining to do about mine...mainly about the feeling that, when it really comes down to brass tacks, my boss won't be there to back me up. I wonder why I bother doing what I do if it's not worth the effort to him. It seems like a waste of my time and his. Maybe it's time to seriously look elsewhere. (insert whine about how much I hate the job search thing)
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No diamonds for my anniversary. *sigh* But I guess since I've got an amazing husband and two beautiful kids I'll ignore the oversight...this time. lol!
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Furloughed

What a nice word. Furlough.

While the public rants and raves about how much they spend in taxes...and my clients rant and rave because I don't have enough time to get to all their problems...I get an unpaid day off.

Five, actually.

I'm glad they're unhappy. Serves them all right.

And while my paycheck will be a little lighter, so will my daycare bill.

And...I get to sew today.

See ya later!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Politics

Does anyone else find this photo funny? Look closely.
I mean really...flowers on the rug? That just makes me giggle.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

#31 way to change the world

Pets Alive is an amazing rescue that has helped my APL tremendously this past month. They have taken several of our animals and found them foster and forever homes so that we did not have to euthanize any animals.

One Meaning is a very cool company designing jewelry with one meaning...“I love you”...8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning

This month (August) the two join forces. One Meaning has chosen Pets Alive as their charity of the month. And in keeping with the One Meaning message, 8.13% of the sales of their adorable pet tags will go to Pets Alive.

Tags are stainless steel with embedded black enamel design and they come in small (1 1/4”) for cats and small / medium dogs or large (2”) for big dogs. $10 Large / $8 Small (Collars not included)