Friday, February 27, 2009

LB's sweater

One of the reasons I started a personal blog (as opposed to continuing to use the video blog as a platform for personal musings) was to show off some of my craft projects. I started this blog almost 2 months ago and have yet to post about some project, lol. But today I finally got my act together and even have a photo.

This is a little sweater I crocheted for LB last spring:

The blue yarn came from my grandmother's closet (it's like shopping for yarn, but it's all free!!!) There wasn't quite enough of it, so I had to use the white. I think I would have preferred to make the whole thing striped and give it a hood, rather than a collar. It's actually my first, real garment. Up to this point I'd only crocheted things like scarves, mittens, hats, etc. You can't see the seams, but they're terrible. I used white yarn and it shows something awful. Oh well. it's cute and soft.

graphic signature

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nothing works for me today

I have no Works for me Wednesday post today. It has nothing to do with WFMW having moved to a new host. I just don't feel like it.

I have a broken fridge in the kitchen that we have no money to repair.
I have a broken fridge in the garage that's supposed to work.
I have a realtor telling me how to arrange my furniture and although I'm trying to not let it get to me, I can't STAND people telling me what to do.
And I've had another unpleasant interaction with a family who always seem to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

So I'm just trying to bury myself in my work today and not think about these things. Especially the last one. That's probably the one that's bothering me the most. I'll get over it - I always do - but it'll take a few days.

Okay, let's end on a positive note: we're spending some of LB's gift money from Christmas on an armchair that's just his size. I'm excited about it :) There's a little foam one at his grandparents' house in CA:

But, obviously, we couldn't take it on the plane. I've been scouring ebay and craigslist. To buy a chair exactly like the one in the picture would cost $50!!! I never would have guessed that little thing would cost so much. But I found one on craigslist. DH is going to meet the seller tomorrow morning. They're asking $25, which we're willing to pay if it's in good condition and doesn't smell like smoke.

I'm excited because it's a real chair, not a foam one. Hopefully the cats won't think it's a scratching post for them! If so, I'll just cover it with an old sheet or something.

graphic signature

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cars aren't the only lemons

Our 3 year old fridge died yesterday. The freezer's actually been on the fritz for some time (I hesitate to give a time period for fear of exaggeration) - it will warm up and thaw everything, then freeze it all again, with no provocation. We can't keep much in there. Then the fridge started making a funny buzzing noise on Friday evening. We pulled it away from the wall and learned that it's switching itself on and off (on for a second, then off for a second, over and over). We realized it was only a matter of time before it quit completely. We started looking into the warranty information (the compressor's covered, but nothing else), assessing how much repair money we had in our budget ($0) and how much a used fridge off craigslist would cost ($200).

Since the house is on the market, it and everything in it (including appliances) is covered by a warranty. We called the realtor on Saturday for info on that and how to get the fridge fixed. The gal who answered the phone didn't understand the urgency of our request. She said the realtor herself would come out on Monday to explain everything. "Well," we thought, "it'll last one more day, right?"


We didn't realize it had died until Sunday morning while we were getting ready to go to church and we poured sour milk on our cereal. Yuck. The thing must have quit Saturday night for the milk to have spoiled. So, we hurriedly moved the most perishable items into the little dorm fridge in the garage where we normally keep a few sodas and some beer. When I say "little dorm fridge" I'm not exaggerating. It's exactly like the one in the picture, except now it has eggs, butter, cream cheese, 1/2&1/2 (for my coffee), homemade jam, etc. shoved in there. Absolutely crammed.

Once at church, in an effort to garner as much sympathy as possible, I told everyone who made eye contact with me that our fridge had died (now I AM exaggerating; I didn't do that. I did tell a couple people though.) One guy thinks it's the compressor, which is covered by the manufacturer's warranty, so maybe things aren't so bad. Until I remembered that regardless of WHO is going to pay for the repair, the real question is WHEN.

Then some friends at church graciously offered us their old fridge that's been sitting in their garage. We were hesitant at first. I mean, our fridge should be repairable, right? We talked about it after the service a bit and decided that we need a working fridge, and if ours gets repaired then we can enjoy the extra storage in the garage, and if ours doesn't get repaired, we won't have to try to find one on craigslist. So we took them up on their offer. They were thrilled just to find someone who could use it.

With a rented uhaul trailer towing behind us, we headed over to their house to pick up the fridge. On the way there I told DH that I was just imagining an avocado green top/bottom fridge from the '70's. "Wouldn't that look nice with our decor?" I asked him. (I grew up with an orange top/bottom fridge). We arrived at their house, they ushered us into the garage, and what do you think was against the wall right next to the door? An avocado green top/bottom fridge from the '70's. I almost died.

But then they drew our attention to the fridge they were actually giving us: a nice-looking almond-colored side-by-side with automatic ice maker. Nice! Well, it LOOKED nice. It did not smell nice. Although it looked like a refrigerator on the outside, it was actually a bacteria incubator masquerading as a refrigerator. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the inside for you. You're probably not sorry though.

I'd like to make just two comments about the cleaning process:
1) I don't think you can scare me from any cleaning job. Between all the poop I play with and the fridge I just cleaned, nothing scares me. (I helped Mom clean up a maggot-infested possum carcass once. I think that just about covers everything nasty.)
2) I don't really want to be tested in that, however. As satisfying as it is to make CLEAN what was once DIRTY, I hope to NEVER, EVER have to clean out a fridge that's been sitting idle for months in someone's garage EVER AGAIN. EVER.

So it's now in our garage (yeah, it's never coming in the house...) Plugged in and COLD. The shelves and drawers are washed and dried and back inside. I've got a baking soda package in there to help deodorize, but it smells pretty good now that all the LIVING ORGANISMS are gone.

If you ever get a new fridge, and you're not just taking your old one to the dump, be sure to clean it out before you let it sit, empty and unplugged, in your garage. Whoever gets it after you will have no idea the favor you will be doing for them.

graphic signature

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Layout

My blog's makeover is all done! The sidebar widgets have been cleaned up, the new header is in place, and the background displays correctly. (Try resizing your browser window, watch what the flowers in the corners do. Cool, huh?)

I had to say goodbye to the pink, which made me sad. I liked the pink. But it didn't work with the new header. I actually put together a header that DID work with the pink, and I liked it very much. But this one is better. And I really like the yellow.

But, since I DID put so much work into this other one, I have to post it. Notice that the fairies break the borders of the header (click on the image for a bigger one if you can't see it.) Isn't that cool! Tricky. So, which layout do YOU like better?

I love the Flower Fairies. So I found other ways to incorporate them. Can you find them all?

graphic signature

It's time to WAKE UP

DH had a project due today. (by "project" I mean something having to do with his dissertation. Just because he had a deadline today in no way means that he is finished with something. It's a constantly ongoing process.) It took him all night to finish. I stayed up til 1 with him, fiddling with images and HTML. I decided the boring header needed to go. Yes, the boring header that's still there.

I started working on one header, but then rejected it. So I started working on a completely different header. I spent quite some time on it yesterday, but although I like it, it turns out I like the other one better. So I went back to that one and finished it. What's holding me up now is the background. I have one I like, but it's not displaying right. DH is helping me with it, but he couldn't spend too much time on it last night.

I finally called it quits at 1am and went to bed. I regained just enough consciousness at 7 this morning to say goodbye to DH as he left for work, then I went back to sleep. For TWO MORE HOURS!!

Okay, my sleeping in til 9 is nothing; I can do that easy. The thing is, LB does not sleep in. I'm LUCKY if he gives me until 7:30 before he's ready to get out of his crib. So I was amazed when I looked at the clock and realized that my sleep had been allowed to continue so long uninterrupted. My first thought, no my second thought, was that there was something wrong (I don't think moms ever "grow out" of the SIDS fear that is beat into us during pregnancy and the first few months after birth). I imagined he had strangled in his blanket or suffocated in his pillow, or wedged his head between the mattress and the rail, or tried to climb out and broken his neck. Of course, all these horrible thoughts didn't speed me up. I got up, made the bed, pet the cats, went to the bathroom, found my robe and slippers, and THEN I went to LB's room to check on him. I wasn't firing on all cylinders.

He was fine. He stirred when I opened the door, and stood up when he saw me. All the stuff (blanket, pillow, book) was still in the crib; he hadn't been awake long enough to drop them all out yet. I don't know why he slept in this morning. It's kindof amazing.

So he's happily playing while I sit here, drinking my coffee and try to wake up. (It takes time for the caffeine to percolate through my system.) I don't have too many chores today. Friday is "errands and misc." day for me. I've got things like grocery shopping, cleaning out the car, and pet care on my list ('course, I can't do some of those til DH comes home with the car). I got all my cleaning chores done yesterday (the hall bathroom positively SPARKLES), but I didn't get everything done on Wednesday (desk day). Can I blame that on DH? He stayed home on Wed. and for some reason I'm less productive when he's home. So I have some catchup to do today too. But not until I've finished my coffee. And read my comics.

graphic signature

(by the way, do you like my new signature?)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clean Sink = Clean Kitchen

The secret to a clean kitchen is a clean sink. "Clean" means there's nothing in it, not even water drops. When I keep my sink looking like this, my whole kitchen feels cleaner. And then I'm motivated to actually MAKE it cleaner.

Three tricks for a clean sink:
  1. Drop dirty dishes in dishwasher (or hand wash them) RIGHT AWAY
  2. Wipe down sink with clean cloth
  3. Keep supplies in a little basket under the sink
Dishes aren't allowed to sit in the sink or on the counter. They belong in the dishwasher, on a drying towel, or in the cupboard. Cleaning supplies live in the cupboard too. When I need them, I pull the whole basket out, use the stuff, then put it all back away.

When all the dishes are done, I use a clean cloth to wipe out the sink. That takes care of the water droplets and the sink looks stunning! I wipe it down EVERY TIME I use the sink. It's quick and easy and makes a huge difference. (I use the same cloth all day, and then get a new one for the next day.) After the dinner dishes, I use Simple Green (or any other cleaning product) so it's clean too, not just shiny.

I learned these tricks from FlyLady and am so glad I did! It certainly works for me!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

iPhone Apps

As you can imagine, I've been playing with my iPhone almost nonstop since it arrived Friday. I've just about got it the way I want it. I've been figuring out which applications I want through trial and error (I love how easy it is to install and delete apps!) and want to share what I've learned. I also spent some time figuring out how to organize all these little icons on the screens. The easiest way for ME to do that was using little pieces of paper and organizing them on the counter, then organizing them in the phone:

Okay, so here are the applications I'm using:

The four permanent icons across the bottom
  • Phone - self explanatory
  • Speed Dial #1 - just touch and it dials the phone number I set, which is DH, of course
  • Pandora - free internet radio. If only it would keep playing when I change apps.
  • Camera - self explanatory
Screen 1: Home Screen
  • Mail - email
  • Facebook - Pretty full featured for an iPhone app!
  • Bible - Free ASV version, also has daily readings for reading the Bible in one year.
  • Clock - standard app comes with phone. I use the timer feature to help get housework done (I can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes - Thanks FlyLady!)
  • Streaks Free - I like. Thinking of purchasing the full version. Each day I complete something, I mark an X on the calendar - once I have a streak going, I want to continue it! Free version has only one calendar; mine is "Chores". Other streaks I want to track: Bible reading, laundry, shiny sink at bedtime (Thanks FlyLady!)
  • mySticky Lite - Electronic sticky notes. I like too. So far I'm happy with the free version. My notes at the moment: Streaks (until I buy the full version), things to blog about, apps I want to find
  • Tasks Tick It Off - This is the app I use to organize my weekly chores. I have one list for each day of the week (Thanks FlyLady!)
  • iProcrastinate Mobile - This is the task app I use to organize to dos regarding our businesses and misc. household stuff
  • Outliner Lite - This outline app is perfect for organizing my monthly chores - each week I focus on detailed cleaning in a particular zone (5 zones in all) (Thanks FlyLady!)
  • - quick peek at how we're doing with our budget. Doesn't allow any editing though, gotta log in through the website for that.
  • WeatherBug - Detailed weather information, doesn't have many days out though. Good for checking in the morning or the day before to figure out what to wear
  • My Mom - free speed dial application: just touch the heart and it dials my mom! (The My Love app with a heart isn't free though, hence the Speed Dial #1)
  • App Store - easiest way to browse and download/install iPhone apps.
  • Settings - self-explanatory. Still on 1st screen until I'm done fiddling with everything
Screen 2: Less frequently used apps
  • Calendar - standard app comes with phone. Keeps track of holidays and appointments, sync with Outlook
  • Cycles - free women's calendar.
  • iPod - self-explanatory. This one keeps playing when I change apps.
  • Weather - standard app comes with phone. Good for checking cities where friends and families live. Shows several forecast but not detailed info.
  • WikiTap - Wikipedia at my fingertips! This is the Wikipedia app I liked best out of the ones I tried
  • Safari - standard app comes with phone - internet browser
  • Amazon Mobile - easier than using browser, and has "Amazon Remembers" - take a picture of something you like and it'll find the info for you.
  • Pixelpipe - uploads photos to any number of internet destinations, including blogger, facebook, and shutterfly
  • Photos - standard app comes with phone. Gallery.
  • ICanHasCheezburger - My daily hourly dose of lolcats
Screen 3: Rarely used apps/Games
  • AIM - instant messenger. Don't use it much.
  • iTunes - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • Maps - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • YouTube - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • Enjoy Sudoku Daily - free sudoku games. My entertainment at lunch
  • Cross Light - free crosswords. I alternate with the sudoku.
  • CTFrench Lite - French verb conjugations. Because I NEED to carry them with me and the little slip of paper that lives in my wallet is getting ragged.
  • Backgrounds - free background images
Screen 4: Utilities
  • Contacts - standard app comes with phone, syncs with Outlook
  • Notes - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • Stocks - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • Text - standard app comes with phone. Don't use it much.
  • Wi-Fi Finder - finds wi-fi hotspots near current location. Haven't used it much, but plan on using it in the future.
  • WhoCalled - uses Whitepages to look up phone numbers. I don't tend to answer if I don't recognize the phone number, and if they don't leave a message, I look 'em up
  • Calculator - standard app comes with phone.
  • qTip Lite - free tip calculator and the ONLY one I've found that takes tax into account! All the other tip calculator apps have you paying tip on the tax.
They're all free, by the way. I haven't purchased any yet.

Well, so far, this new fangled (sp?) gadget has done its job: I've been very productive today! According to my weekly task list, Tuesday is Zone Cleaning Day. So I popped open the Zone list and actually did ALL of them!

Zone 3 is Hall Bathroom and one extra room. The extra room for this week is LB's room. His room is so clean, it sparkles! I vacuumed, including the edges, baseboards, blinds, AND under the crib; I pulled the mattress pad and dust ruffle off and dropped them in the washer (they're in the dryer now); I sorted out-grown clothes and straightened drawers and shelves; I washed the window (it's possible that's never been done before...); and then I put everything back where it goes. Wow! Oh, and I did all that cleaning with LB awake! He didn't interfere too much. He loved playing with everything out of place, crawling through and under stuff, sitting on the rolled up rug. And now he's napping 'cause all that activity wore him out and since I was so productive, this LB-free time is ALL MINE!! Yes, I am VERY satisfied with my new toy.

(I'll do the bathroom on Thursday because that's when I take care of the cat box. )

Monday, February 16, 2009

Even SAHM's have bad Mondays

I am having the hardest time with videos this morning! I have DH's baptism to needs to be up today, along with at least three others that are closing in on being two weeks old. I finally got the editing software working, and if you've visited the video blog this weekend you'll find some new videos, but this morning things are just not going well!!I've got the baptism uploading, though it's taking FOREVER. But every time I try to watch one of the others (to decide if it needs to be edited, deleted, or uploaded as is), the thing stalls out. I haven't been able to get through a single video this morning.

It can't be that the files are corrupted or anything like that, it's just my computer. Every time it starts up, it tries to run scandisk (you know, it says there's a problem with my disk and it needs to check it). The scanning process is lengthy, but even if I let it run, the computer is still sluggish. There's something gumming up the works.

I think I'll just have to settle for the baptism video today and see if DH can figure out what's going on with the computer when he gets home, if he has time. He's continuing work on his dissertation project and didn't do very much over the weekend, so he may have to work on that stuff this evening.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My new toy

My iPhone arrived today!! This morning. And I have done very little since but play with it :D We got the wi-fi working right off the bat, followed shortly by turning off the Edge network. Easy! I've updated the operating system and installed a dozen apps already. Addicting little thing! The ebay listing was exactly right: the case has some minor nicks and scratches, but the screen is absolutely flawless. Yay! I need to get a screen protector for it. It came with a hard case, so that's good.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the headphone jack. I plugged some headphones in and the volume kept changing and there was a lot of static coming through. It seemed like the iPhone casing wouldn't let the headphone plug push all the way in. Kinda weird. Most of the accessories bundles I've been considering (on eBay of course) include compatible headphones (with a microphone too), so hopefully that'll take care of the problem. I'll let you know how it goes.

Of course LB has been insisting on playing with it, but I don't think little boys should play with iPhones. He got to play with my other phone, and he plays with DH's phone, but this is different, because of the touch screen. Little boys aren't particularly gentle, you know. The trick is to never let him play with it, then there won't be any confusion. I'll let you know how that goes too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jumping on the iPhone bandwagon

I'm getting an iPhone!!!!!! I am SO excited. My sis-in-law has one that got me drooling. I knew we could never afford such an expensive toy, so I tried not to think about it much. Then Christmas and my birthday came around. My family was so generous, I felt positively RICH! Okay, I was rich before: I've tried to count my blessings and lost track, but that's not what this post is about. When one's family is living on a grad student stipend that was only ever intended to support a single person, having a little bit to spend on oneself is a total luxury. So with an inflated gift money account burning a hole in my pocket, I started dreaming about all the prohibitively expensive THINGS I could buy. (It's all about the stuff you know.)

One of the things I can't wait to use, by the way, is a Comparative Study Bible. It's one Bible with 4 different translations: NIV, KJV, NASB, and Amplified (good price here). I could go on, but that's not what this post is about.

Yes, I need one
An iPhone. DH and I spent a couple days discussing it to determine if I really "needed" one (it's a moot point really, but it made me feel better about spending most of my gift money on one thing.) We decided that 1) it would help me be better organized (because of all the third party apps, I can download whatever tools I need to help me) and 2) it would reduce the amount of time I spend on the computer. I am absolutely addicted to facebook, blogger, and my email. So being able to access those things from anywhere in the house will free me up to (hopefully) get more work done.

It's an iPod too
Another thing I'm excited about is the iPod feature. After reading this tip, I've downloaded some podcasts that I'm looking forward to. I know I don't need an Apple device to use iTunes, but since I wanted to get an iPhone anyway, it's like icing on the cake. (Wait, is that circular reasoning? "I need an iPhone because of the iPod feature." "Any MP3 device will work with iTunes, but since I'm getting an iPhone anyway...." yep, that makes a circle. Don't tell anyone I realized that, okay?)

iPhone vs. iTouch
One debate was whether an iPod Touch would be better. This article helped with that decision. The iPod Touch doesn't have the phone or the camera. If it had a camera, I'd be willing to carry two devices: the iTouch and a small phone. But it doesn't have either one, so that did it for me. I did find this chart in that article helpful as well. It was tempting to get a NEW iTouch with 16gb for less money than purchasing an iPhone, but I decided trading 8gb and paying a little more for the phone and camera was worth it. For my needs anyway.

Sans data plan
We also had to research whether I could use an iPhone without having to purchase the data plan from AT&T. This article answered those questions. I also visited a number of discussion threads, but compared with the helpfulness of the article, they were relatively useless. It also helps to have a (very) technologically saavy husband who assures me that he'll get the thing working just the way I want it.

2G vs. 3G
The last two decisions were regarding age and size. I chose the 2G over the 3G because the 3G phones are more expensive and all I'm missing out on is the GPS, which I don't need because we have a TomTom. Also, since I won't have the data plan, I don't need the faster connection speed that the 3G's have to offer.

8gb vs. 4gb
Finally, although the 4gb phones are less costly, the 8gb ones aren't that much more expensive, and I'm planning on putting some of my CDs on it as well as any audiobooks and podcasts I download, not to mention third party apps. (This is why I was tempted by the 16gb iTouch.)

Mischief Managed
So, after doing our due diligence, we jumped on ebay and started scoping out the listings. I'm not sure we had decided WHEN the purchase was going to be made, but we found one that looked like a great deal within the pre-determined price range and decided to go for it! Before we went to bed that night, we had purchased an iPhone!! The deed is done! It is now certain that I am getting one!!!

This is the one!
It's a 2nd generation 8gb iPhone that is unlocked to work on any carrier. Which means I can just pop the sim card out of my current phone and drop it in the iPhone. Of course, it's used, and has some nicks on the case, but the auction listing assures us that the screen is in perfect condition and the phone works like new. I can't wait for it to arrive! Let's see, we bought it late Tuesday night and the auction listing states that it'll ship within 24 hours of receiving payment, so it should ship Wednesday via USPS Priority, so it should arrive Friday or Saturday. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Make-up Remover

For a gentle eye make-up remover that doesn't cost a fortune, use baby shampoo! If it's gentle enough for that brand-new baby skin, it's gentle enough for our eyes (just don't rub them too hard), and (BONUS!) it won't hurt if it gets your eye! Works for me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The radio is so mean

LB loves VeggieTales. He would watch them all day long if he could. His favorite DVD is the Silly Songs Collection.

This morning, Mike Nawrocki, one of the creators of VeggieTales, is on the Doug & Kim Morning Show. So, naturally, they played the VeggieTales intro song. As soon as it started, LB looked at the TV, and before the song had ended, he had turned the TV on and dragged me over so I could get everything working. I tried explaining that it's not on the TV and I kept pointing at the radio, but he dissolved into tears anyway. <feigned indignation> What a mean trick! He can hear the intro song, but there's nothing to watch! They're messing with my baby's world model. </feigned indignation>

Speaking of messing with LB's world model, DH got a little grumpy at me last week for doing just that. I was trying to watch American Idol, and since it's music, I thought LB would enjoy watching it with me, rather than putting him to bed before it starts. He watched some of it at the beginning, but I guess because I was muting the commercials he had a hard time staying focused. So, since HE wasn't interested in watching, NOBODY could watch: he kept turning the TV off. I dug the TV remote out of the drawer so I could keep my behind firmly planted on the couch.

Poor baby! He would turn the TV off, and it would turn itself back on! He couldn't figure it out!! He'd turn it off, it'd turn right back on. Then he'd turn it off, and it would stay off for a little while, so he'd turn it on, and then it would turn off, and then back on! And this continued for quite some time!! Over and over... (It was during commercials). I was laughing so hard. I realized I was teasing him, but the confusion was so cute. I could just see his little brain working, trying to figure it out. He didn't realize he was missing a piece of the puzzle - he had never seen the TV remote before, we don't usually pull it out (the volume is controlled by a different device).

When I told DH about it later he didn't seem to find it as funny as I did. Guess you had to be there...

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm so behind

I haven't posted a video to the video blog since Jan. 30, and those were missing videos I'd finally found, so there hasn't been a new video posted since the 26th. That's two weeks today! I feel so remiss. What makes it worse is that I HAVE videos to post! At least three. Really cute ones too. I can't wait to share them! The problem is that they need to be edited: a couple need to be combined into one, bits need to be chopped out, and I think one needs to be shortened. I have some software installed, but I'm totally unfamiliar with it and kinda want DH to walk me through it. Oh and there's the nagging problem of not having the right codec for the software to be able to spit out high quality video. So even if I figure out how to use the software without DH's help, I still won't have anything to upload to wjcolion. Ugh!

On a positive note, I got the Pandora widget to work in my sidebar! Finally, I have a widget that makes the sidebar worthwhile!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I get to see the sunrise!

I'm wide awake at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning. The Saturday after my birthday. The one day this year (so far) that DH was WILLINGLY going to get up with LB and let me sleep in. WHY OH WHY am I wide awake before the sunrise? It's Outlook's fault.

Let me explain. Outlook's default is to put alarms on appointments. If the "appointment" is an all day thing, the alarm default is 18 hours before. "But, Jennifer, your computer is off at night." Yes, but my phone is always on, and I sync my phone with my computer on a regular basis, ensuring that all those appointments with the pointless alarms are also in my phone. I've turned them all off in Outlook now, but not in my phone. So at 6am my phone alarm went off, and I, being in constant fear every morning that LB will wake up too early, RAN downstairs and found my phone. I came back up to bed, but I couldn't get back to sleep. I decided it would be nice, actually, to spend some time completely by myself, since I so rarely have the opportunity in the morning.

<pause as realization sets in...>

When I finally got a hold of my phone, I pushed a button. I was hoping it was the "stop" button, but when the screen finally stopped flashing and I could actually read it, I could see that I had pushed the "snooze" button. Which means it was going to go off again. So I took it upstairs and put it under my pillow so I'd hear it and could turn it off right away without having to run downstairs again.

When I came downstairs because I couldn't sleep, I forgot about the phone. It's still up there. Under my pillow. Next to my poor, unsuspecting, blissfully sleeping husband. Hmm.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I had this embedded in the post all day for my birthday, but now that it's past, I don't want it turning on automatically, because that annoys the heck out of me on other people's pages.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

25 Random Things

There's a chain note going around Facebook called "25 Random Things". If someone tags you in their note, you're supposed to write your own note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself and tag 25 people. I was tagged and decided to play along. It seemed like a good blog post too, so here is my note:
  1. I’m a computer geek.
  2. I wrote this note in Word so it would be numbered automatically. (Although for Blogger I had to manually fix the HTML)
  3. I hate meal planning.
  4. I enjoy making the kitchen sparkle.
  5. I sometimes dream in French.
  6. I wish I had more opportunities to speak in French with others.
  7. I love crafting. My favorite craft, currently, is crochet.
  8. I’m in love with my husband. Immeasurably.
  9. I am fulfilling my dream of being a mommy. I love my son more than words can say.
  10. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and am learning, everyday, to surrender to God’s will.
  11. I sometimes worry that I’m not teaching my son enough about who God is.
  12. I love music – it’s always playing in the house or car.
  13. More than listening to it, I love making music. I am overjoyed to be a part of the worship team at church.
  14. My default behavior is to listen and observe. I’m working on remembering to initiate small talk and participate with those around me.
  15. I worry too much about what others think of me. (It made writing this note needlessly difficult.)
  16. I’ve learned that I need time with others (other adults, that is…) as much as I need “me” time.
  17. I hate being cold, but I can’t sleep if it’s too hot.
  18. I have only ever been consistently, comfortably, warm when I was pregnant.
  19. I find my attitude to be too much tied to the weather – I struggle with gloominess when the sun’s not out.
  20. I love cats. We have two, and I love them almost as much as I love my son and husband.
  21. I like other people’s dogs.
  22. I love being outdoors (unless it’s too cold out…), especially when it’s sunny.
  23. I think car camping is wimpy. If you’re going to go camping, the campsite should inaccessible to cars (and farther away from the parking lot than just a few hundred yards).
  24. My favorite color is yellow. Most of my wardrobe, however, is pink.
  25. I have a purse addiction. I can’t just walk past the purse department, and am still searching for the perfect purse. (My idea of “the perfect purse” changes every few months.)
If you write your own note, come back here and leave a comment with a link to your post!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dryer Balls

I like using dryer sheets because they can't be beat for preventing static cling. There are some loads, however, that I can't use dryer sheets in (towels, diapers, etc.) (Did you know that dryer sheets reduce the absorbency of such things as towels and diapers? I suppose less absorbent towels wouldn't be the end of the world, but woe to he who messes with the absorbency of my cloth diapers!)

So in such loads, I use tennis balls! They do everything that dryer balls are supposed to do, at 1/4 the price!

I know some people use dryer balls exclusively, but for those of us who prefer dryer sheets and don't want to spend close to $10 for a pair of dryer balls that we'll only use once in a while, tennis balls are a much less expensive alternative. (Just be sure to use clean ones!)

This post has been inspired by Works For Me Wednesday, hosted by Rocks In My Dryer. Check out this week's list for more great tips and tricks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's a love-hate thing

Spiders are such amazing creatures. Scary as all get out, but amazing. Especially when they're big. Big spiders are so amazing, in fact, that they deserve to be photographed and shared with all the world. Here's a black widow that was living in our garden hose last summer.

Cool, huh? (It died, tragically, shortly after these pictures were taken. Who'd have thought its last moments would be so immortalized?....)

So when there was the carcass of a largish spider on our carpet this morning, the first thing I did was grab my camera. I spent several minutes trying to get a decent picture of it in focus.

I thought maybe the pictures were too dark, so I took one with a flash:

Then, if that wasn't enough to freak me out, as I was adjusting the camera to get the spider in focus, what do you think it did? IT MOVED.

I jumped up so quickly that the cats were freaked out for the next 10 minutes.

What happened to the spider? Oh, it died, tragically.

Super Bowl XLIII

We went to a Super Bowl party at the church last night. DH and I have watched the Super Bowl every year since college, but this was the first time we went to a "real" party. ("Parties" in the past consisted of watching the game in DH's on-campus apartment with 2-3 of his roommates.)

We didn't manage to get there until after kickoff. The room was all dark, the game was up on a big screen, and most of the food was gone. Oops. There was still enough pizza and meatballs and little sausage thingies for us to stuff our faces though. For the first 1/2 hour, LB just sat on our laps, absolutely mesmerized by the big screen. He was so captivated, he wasn't eating!! (This is saying a LOT).

After that, however, the screen couldn't hold his attention for more than a couple moments. The only time he watched it intently again was during the coke commercial where the insects steal the guy's drink. He liked it because of the music. And that was about the only thing I got to see as well.

DH and I tried to switch off who was responsible for keeping LB from disturbing everyone else, but I think I missed more of the game than he did. I did insist on seeing the last 4 minutes of the game, which turned out to be very exciting.

DH and I aren't big sports fans; we weren't rooting for one team over the other. Most of the others in the room, however, were Cardinals fans. Except for the two girls who, not being sports fans either, chose the Steelers just to be ornery. They were sure to be very loud about it too, lol.

I'll tell you though, watching an exciting game with a roomful of people who are passionate about it makes for a very enjoyable experience!

I also got a chance to chat with the only other mom currently in the church right now (it's a pretty small congregation.) She has three little ones: 5, 3, & <1. LB enjoys playing with the 3 year old and I enjoy taking about "mom stuff" with her. She's the college pastor's wife and actually DH has a meeting with him today to talk about his baptism (yes, DH is getting baptized!).

We weren't sure we were going to stay for the whole game, because of LB's bedtime. But we did. LB was exhausted (and soaking wet) by the time we left, but it was a lot of fun.

I think next time, if DH and I want to BOTH watch the game, we'll need someone who's not interested in the game to watch LB!