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Showing posts from July, 2008

if you like to talk to tomatoes....

Shaun always starts some kind of project with my pregnancies. This one was a big garden ( I think he is trying to escape the house!). Him and O dug and planted a few months ago and go and water most nights. They planted lots of things like corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, basil, mint, dill, peppers, carrots, and more. About half has survived. We have enjoyed some of the fruits of their labor. I used the basil, chewed on the mint, admired the flowers and sliced up the cucumbers. They have also produced some of the largest tomato plants I have ever seen. They have dwarfed O in height and look lusciously green and healthy. They are often covered in blossoms. However, no fruit. ( Yes, tomatoes are technically fruit).
Shaun was talking with a client over lunch about his garden and asking for tips on his vivacious tomatoes. The advice was surprising. Stop watering them. They are being over-watered. They are putting all their energy into growth and aren’t producing.
I can’t help but ma…

generic Jesus

Lately in some of my attempts to save money I have been buying alot more things generic. You know the plain store brand package rather than the brand names we have come to love.
Sometimes generic just doesn't cut it. For example, maccaroni and cheese needs to be Kraft. Dr. Thunder is no replacement for Dr. Pepper. For the most part however, the stuff is the same. I hear alot of it is even produced in teh same factory and tehy just slap on different labels. We are paying extra for the pretty labels and commercials and comfort of old friends like: Betty Crocker, the Green Giant and even the Keebler Elves. Somewhere along the way, all the commercials and ads seemed to convince us that these brands were better and well worth the extra change.

Jesus came in one of those plain labels.
Some people missed out because they expected a much more sparkly package. They wanted more hype than he was willing to give. They wanted a sales pitch.
Jesus wasn't really into selling himself. He d…

band-aid addict

Owen is addicted to Band-aids.
Diego and Spiderman are his favorites but he has been known to sport: Mickey, Big Bird, Camo and even Dora in a pinch.
He will even wear the "flesh" colored ones. ( Although I do wonder if anyone actually has flesh that color?). It isn't just the sticker or cartoon figure...but O seems to think they have magical powers. They can make almost any ow-ie better.
It can be a bug bite, a bruise or a scratch or an ow-ie that doesn't even leave a mark. Blood or no blood. I think he could break his arm and would still ask for a band-aid. Even if the wound doesn't hurt anymore or is a week old....he can still cry until the band-aid is firmly attached.
My son is also very feng shui and must have balance. If one knee has a band-aid, so must the other. He displays them proudly and will gladly show strangers his band-aids and tell them about what they are covering up ( if anything).

I wonder when we grow out of this? When did band-aids stop f…

the public pool

I grew up on a country club golf course. No I didn't have friends named Muffy. I didn't get a Benz when I turned 16. And my parents didn't spring for the name brand jeans ( Guess, Cavaricci, Gibeeaud or Calvin Klein...if that dates me). I never owned a white tennis skirt.....but I did play. I would run ( fearing for my life) across the driving range to play tennis or swim. I was never all that comfortable there. Once I took my friends ( that did not live on the golf course) and they jokingly started singing the 90210 theme song as I signed us in. Suddenly it donned on me that this was not how most of the world lived. My parents worried and argued enough about money that I never realized we had any.
When I say we, I mean them.

This summer I purchased pool passes for me and O. Public pool passes. I am not trying to make any kind of political statement ...although I might if I had the choice to make. The public pool was really the only thing in our price range.

But I …

The anti-napper

I am convinced my son is the anti-napper.
He must be like Oprah and not need much sleep. Most nights I am asleep before him. Currently, let's blame this on the homestretch of pregnancy. During the school year I will blame it on a 5:45 am alarm setting...but I have always needed at least 8 hours. I think toddlers are supposed to need like 12, but O is out to prove them wrong.
I do wake up before him, but only because I tend to wake up when Shaun leaves. Kicking begins, I have to pee and am famished. So I get up and squeeze in 15-20 minutes or reading, blogging or unanimated TV before O rolls out of his bed ( usually still before 8 am) requesting strawberry cow milk and a poptart ( or something equally un-healthy which I will glady give him for another 15-20 minutes of reading, blogging, or brushing my teeth in peace).
Then I spend the next 5+ hours trying to exhaust him so I can get a nap in. I think I can nap while he naps, wake up an hour before he does and get something produ…

a few quick thoughts on integirty and accountability

initially they stink.
1. integrity is expensive. I have a 3 year old that is tiny. He wears 18 month shorts and they still sag. My point is when I go to the zoo, or movies or fly on a plane ....3 is no longer free. But 2 is. I pay for him, but I am alwyas tempted to not. To make it even worse, at the zoo the other day they even tried to stop me and I had to say, no he is 3. Just small. They still charged me the 8$ for O's ticket.

2. accountability is cheaper but that is exactly what makes it unfun. We are trying to ammend our seriously wasteful spending habits. This means being accountable for all of our expenses. Like thinking twice before going out to eat, getting coffee or buying a new book. I haven't been inside a Target in over a month. I have eaten leftovers for the last 3 days in a row. This morning I wanted to go to breakfast....but ate cereal instead. I don't like accountability either.

lend me some sugar, i am your neighbor

this is a post I put up on my writer's group site a week or so ago.

When Jesus was asked to clear up the whole “who is your neighbor” question. He answered in true Jesus fashion. With a story. The Good Samaratian. A tale of an expected enemy caring for an injured man. I have heard lots of takes and sermon on this parable but all of them are about loving not just the person across the street, or your friends, or the people the same color as you, or the people that believe what you believe but love that is bigger and broader than any of the labels we like to put on people. Love that doesn’t always come naturally.

Lately, I have been reading a few books that are fleshing out some of the conflicts going on across the globe. Last week it was, A Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier by Ishmael Beah. It is a firsthand account of an orphaned boy struggling for survival amidst the recent conflicts in Sierre Leone. Although the civil conflict has been officially declared over, th…

pool parties

This last weekend we went to 2 pool parties which has given me time to reflect on my body image. Normally I am a girl who is confident in her skin. As long as you can't see too much of it. I am ok enough with my body to not stress over an extra 5 or 10 pounds that sneaks on. To not ever pass up dessert. To not be religous about my trips to the gym. Ok to leave the house without make up or ironing ( well maybe that makes me lazy, not confident). But swimming pool season is too much for me.
I hate buying suits. I cringe when they put them out on display ...which seems to be getting earlier every year. I swear this year it was February. Trying them on is never ever fun. Although I do appreciate the trend over the last few years to sell tops and bottoms seperately. Because my top and bottom are opposite sizes. People say that a pear is the most healthy shape, but I think it is the version of "healthy" they use when referring to a chunky kid of baby.
This body that…

beach pics

grocery shopping

So with our recent expendatures, IRS screw up and soon to be new addition ( read an extra 800$ in month in childcare alone)......Shaun and I have "adjusted" our spending habits.

First things to go, non essentials like voice mail, caller id, the gym and (hold your breath) my every other week cleaning service. Our dish network is magically immune to these cuts due to an impossible to get out of service contract.

Next to go is food. Not all food. Just the good kind. Like grocery shopping at Target which inevitably means buying a coffee or a popcorn ( for O) on the way in, purusing the dollar spot ( which is now mainly the 2.50$ spot), checking out the clothes, for me, O, and now the pink section. Maybe a quick stop in accessories, or books or home decor before finally hitting my shopping list. Target is soothing. Wondering up and down the nice wide aisles always puts a smile on my face. They have spent goood money on aesthitics and I am more than willing to pay slightly m…

online scrapbook take 2: O's birthday

online scrapbooking take 1

unstimulated

We have yet to recieve our stimulus check from the IRS.
According to the posted schedule it was supposed to be mailed on June 13. Trust me I have been keeping an eye on my mailbox for that little brown envelope. I hear that they are behind and don't worry about it. I even ask my dad the cpa who says the same thing.
It has kind of been ok, that it hasn't shown up yet because...........that means I haven't been tempted to spend it. Well, as much at least.
I have been a little stressed about finances once Tess gets here. My maternity leave absolutely sucks and my paycheck will be very short for several months + infant childcare is crazy expensive. We seem to be spending what we have now, but we are going to have to come up with an extra 700-800$ a month for her ( and that doesn't count diapers and formula and onsies). My stimulus check was supposed to help purchase a few baby things and add to a little cushion for those months where we run out of money.

And then we sp…

Starbucks Stalker

I was meeting a friend at a Starbucks near her house. O was in crazy mode and she hadn't quite made it......so I instead of jumping in line I told the man who walked in behind me to go ahead.
That I was waiting on someone.
Just so you can imagine the scenerio better he is mid-40s. 200ish pounds. dressed business casual...like wearing real shoes. The kind Shaun only wears to weddings.
My friend Julie pops in seconds later and I get behind him to order.
I order my obnoxious coffee ( a tall nonfat half-caf misto w/ 1 pump of hazlenut) and a milk for O.
The man who had been ahead of me, turns and asks if this ( and gestures to my friend Julie) is who I am meeting. I just assume they know each other b/c Julie seems to know everyone and this is HER starbucks.
I nod and expect them to start chatting, but he kind of stuns me and says,
"Oh, I assumed it would be a guy".
Slightly awkard. I chuckle avoid eye contact and joke to my friend Julie that this is where I have all my hookups …

fish update

I eventually decided to tackle the strange smell in O's room. First, I tentatively pulled back to covers more than half expecting to see a shriveled orange fish tucked in next to his stuffed animals. No Rhonda. Next step, let in the dog. Surely Maz would sniff out the fish and swallow it in one disgusting gulp. O might be scarred for life, but his room would still be habitable. No luck.So then I take apart the top of the aquarium and take out the filter. I'm not really expecting to find anything because the fish is way too big and the hole for the filter way too small. I unhook it, pry the darn suction cup off the back and dump out the charcoal bag. I empty the container out and still see nothing.............until a small silvery fish floating right on top of the water next to me. Orange fish is completely scale-free and floating belly up in the aquarium. Apparently allowing itself to be sucked up by the filter seemed a much more promising demise than sleeping with…

A fish story: the one that didn't get away.

Two of my friends got Owen an aquarium for his birthday. We have been out of town for most of the month......so my friend Wendy just brought the fish over yesterday. O was enraptured with his new pets and sat staring at them and talking to them like he had never seen anything so cool.

Fish are a great little kid pet....and we have a very small aquarium...meaning minimal maintenance. Fish do not need housetraining. They do not get fleas. They don't eat much. They are quiet and easily replaced (and disposed of).

We headed into the living room to chat, mainly becuase I couldn't handle hearing "mommy look at my fish" one more time. We griped and caught up and laughed until we noticed the eerie silence. I was hoping that O was still just enraptured by his fish (but did find it odd that I no longer heard him talking to them). Wendy, the much more pessimistic and experienced mom reminded me that silence means trouble. We go into Owen's room to find the lid off th…

What I did on my summer vacation

I am 2 days back from the annual Wallis family vacation. There are 15 of us which can be overwhelming not only to us but to any poor wait staff trying to serve us food. We are not exactly a big warm lovey family. We are loud, drink too much, and there is usually screaming.

That being said me and O had a great time (and I couldn't even drink). I won't speak for Shaun........because I think they are all a little too much for him. O adores his older cousins and asked for them each day as soon as he woke up. Although, he never seemed exhausted from running in the waves, digging in the sand or floating in the pool ........me and baby #2 did.

Back to family. Going home used to make me physically ill. My stomach started to hurt and the thinner skin I donned in college had to thicken up pretty quick to deal. Within hours of getting home I usually had done one of three things 1) drink 2) escape to a friend's house or 3) cry (and sometimes all three). My family did not look like I tho…