Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things You Probably Aren't Concerned About

I know.  I've been a bad blogger recently, and I will blame it on the fact that one of my classes this term took up way more time than necessary.  Also, things are pretty boring around here.  We have a nice little routine, and the things on my mind haven't really been blog-worthy. 

Then I thought maybe if I write about all of my boring thoughts in one post, they will, collectively, make an interesting post.  Ready?

1.  We are fighting ants in our kitchen.  Specifically, they are around the high chair.  I've cleaned and sprayed ant-killer, and it has definitely helped, but I am still seeing the occasional ant and it is DRIVING ME NUTS!

2.  I want a new hairstyle but can't decide on a new look.  Any thoughts are welcome.

3.  In less than a week, I will be driving to Gulf Shores, AL, with an 18 month old.  Nervous.

4.  I have a new cat-nephew.  Brian and Sarah adopted a little stray who now makes his home in their garage.  Here he is in all of his pouncy-glory: 

5.  I probably should have posted this next picture before the cat, but here is the latest picture of my little nephew Caleb.  He wasn't too sure about having a camera in his face while he was swinging.

6.  We had a bird fly into our window well yesterday, and it was either dazed or injured because it wouldn't fly out.  Frank scooped it out; the bird chased him, but it still didn't fly. We weren't sure what to do with it and thought animal control probably wouldn't care much about a robin.  Frank set it by the neighbor's fence, and we gave it a pan of water.  Later, when we were outside, we saw that it had moved into the neighbors' yard, and then the next thing we knew, it was gone.  We're telling ourselves that it miraculously recovered and flew away. 

7.  The family room makeover is almost complete.  I use the word "almost" because I would still like to buy a few more pillows.  Mr. J, however, has put the kibosh on new pillows.  We are still negotiating. 

8.  Speaking of great transformations, I repainted the mailbox last week. 



Well, that did actually turn out to be an interesting post! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

THAT is a Fan

He was at the babysitter's the first time he rolled over.  And I was working a full time job while training part time for another when he started crawling, so I don't really remember that.  And I could only tell you that he started walking "sometime" around Labor Day.  Life was too busy, and we were just concentrating on surviving the day.

Yesterday, though, I heard his first sentence.  I was getting him dressed for the day, and he was on his changing table.  He pointed at his ceiling fan, and very proudly announced, "THAT [dramatic pause] is a fan!"  It was a very clear little sentence!

He hasn't said it since, but it makes me even more anxious for him to really begin to communicate!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Nice Picnic at the Park: Thanks for the Attempt

Since it is such a nice day today, I though the 3 of us should meet at the park for lunch.  I packed sandwiches for Frank and me, and put some spinach ravioli in a thermos for Jacob.  I had visions of us eating our lunch and happily playing for a while at the park. 

Jacob and I purposely arrived about 20-30 minutes before Frank, so we had some time to play.  Now, this park has a splash-ground which, in the 85 degree heat was definitely the place to be.  But Jacob didn't care about the water last time, so I didn't even put him in his trunks.  You know what my kid wants to do...

DRIVE!  Of course, anything with a steering wheel will get his attention. 

We also did a little swinging before Frank came for lunch.

This is where the pictures stop, though, because the rest of our outing was a downward spiral!  I'm not sure what set him off, but he did NOT want to behave.  He screamed and kicked and made a huge scene while we sat under the picnic shelter, and before our lunch was over, he had thrown my sandwich on the floor, spilled Frank's Sprite, kicked off his sandals... and refused to eat ANY food.  (well, except for a few bites of cookie that Frank stuffed in his mouth in an effort to keep him quiet for two seconds.)  Had we been in a restaurant, we would definitely have had to leave.  It was bad enough being in an open-air picnic shelter. 

As I cleaned up our mess, Frank took Jacob back over to the park, and this time, Jacob decided he wanted to play in the water!  There is actually a little structure in the splash area that looks like a steering wheel, and I think that caught his eye.  Anyway, one of the other little kids shifted a sprinkler, and guess who got drenched?  Being the nice parents we are, Frank and I just stood there laughing at him... you reap what you sow, even if you're only 18 months old!  It really didn't even bother Jacob, though; he was still thinking about the steering wheel!

As we left, I think Frank summed up the whole experience best when he said, "Thanks for the attempt.  Now, I'm going back to my office for some peace and quiet!" 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And So I Bought It

On Saturday evening, a door-to-door salesman came to our house.  Normally, I shut them down right away-- IF I even open the door.  There was something about this guy that I liked, though, and he was selling cleaning products.  If someone's ever going to sucker me out of my money, it would be a man selling cleaning products. 

Anyway, his pitch was great.  He had me totally entertained as he cleaned the windows, the door flashing, the concrete, my ring, and Frank's tire rims to demonstrate his "wonderful" product.  We have a rust spot on our garage floor, and when I saw him zap the spot with his solution and the rust disappear, I was sold! 

I'm not going to link to the product's website because I don't want to advertise for them, but my ridiculously expensive cleaning solution is supposed to last for 3 years.  I was a little skeptical about that, but our next-door-neighbor also bought some products, and as we were standing outside discussing this company, she said that she had purchased solution from this company 4 years ago, that it worked great, and she still had some left, and she bought more on Saturday. 

As the salesman left, he told me to look him up on YouTube. (Seriously, he had been at our house over half an hour by that point.  We were buddies.)  Anyway, let me introduce you to Rodney...

It was an expensive but entertaining evening!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The One About Food

I've never been one of those people who makes a menu based on the day of the week. (i.e. Monday is chicken, Tuesday is tacos, etc.).  I think I would get bored cooking that way, and I like to keep Frank on his toes.  I make my menus on Wednesday and go to the store on Thursday (at 8am, sharp, when it is the least crowded). 

Even though I don't always succeed every week, I also like to try to make something new or fun at least once a week, and I have unintentionally designated days of the weeks for certain types of meals.  For example, Monday is usually something quick and easy; Friday is usually my "fun" day; and Sunday is usually some type of comfort food or something that takes a little longer to prepare.  Like I said, totally unintentional, but it's a pattern that has developed and reflects how I feel about those days.  Friday!  Fun!  Let's eat pizza!  Sunday.  Boo.  Let's have chicken pot pie.  (Frank is gagging over this one.) 

We also had a "Welcome Summer" theme happening last week.  Each day had some type of food associated with summer: grilled brats, watermelon, pasta salad, etc.  Yes, I probably need to get out of the house more.  :)

Since today is Friday, you may be wondering what's on the menu tonight.  We're having barbeque beef, baked beans, and mac n' cheese (it's Kraft, lest you think I made my own!).  So apparently, my definition of a "fun" meal = lots of calories! 

Now that I've made myself hungry, I'm off to eat some lunch!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Oh my gosh, I saw this on a blog and don't have a credit for the picture, but look--- a kiddie carwash! 

I could think of lots of litle boys (Jacob, Brett, Ethan, Caleb T., Sawyer, Mason)-and some little girls too- who would love this!   If I was handy with PVC pipes, I would recreate this in a hearbeat!

Memorial Day Fun- Part II

Mucho apologies that it has taken me a week to post Part II.  My classes had research papers due last week, so every free minute has been spent grading them... and then answering all of the emails and phone calls from students discussing why they deserved the grade that they got.  I feel like I am very lenient compared to my professors, and yet people still complain that the grading is too harsh.  Know what?  I don't remember the professors that taught the classes I skated through.  I do remember the ones that taught me something.  It's a double-edged sword for me because the students' evaluations play a role in getting a class for the next session, so if they give me negative evaluations, I'm less likely to pick up another class.  But I can't in all good conscience give good grades to people who don't earn them.  As a society, we have been so conditioned to think we are "entitled" to things, but education is not a democracy.  There are winners and losers, and you earn your place.  My students may not understand it now (or ever), but that is my philosophy.  It's not likely to change. 

Anyway.....  I think I left off after church.  I was not feeling like Supermom at this point.  Jacob had not behaved well all morning, and I was nervous about what he would do at our family party at noon.  The party was a joint birthday party for Frank and his dad Gary (but mostly it was for Gary, who was turning 6-0!!), and it was such a nice opportunity to see both sides of the family.  We had a private room, which was great, so Jacob happily ran around the tables with Jenna and Brett.  He paused long enough for a family picture.

and one with just the three of us.

Other than that, I did a terrible job of taking pictures.  I did get a good one of Grandma and Grandma M, who we would love to have as houseguests soon (hint-hint!).

After the party we went home, and Jacob played in the baby pool.  Grandma and Grandpa brought him cute new swim trunks, swim hat, (barely pictured) and a shirt (not pictured) from Caesar's in Vegas. 

 I seriously love clothes with sharks on this boy.  Maybe he was breastfed too long.

He had a blast playing in the pool, and who knew measuring cups could be so entertaining?  What a fun, relaxing afternoon!

I slacked on Monday and didn't get any pictures, although we went to such a nice cookout and Garett and Rachael's, complete with strawberry pie and baby kittens! 

I say it at least every day--- I'm so thankful for the family I was born into and the family I was blessed into. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Fun - Part I

We had a nice long weekend this past weekend!  Frank had court in Effingham on Friday, and then he took 1/2 a day off, so Jacob and I met him at the Firefly Grill for lunch and then we headed south to Frank's parents' house.  (Check out the Firefly Grill if you're in Effingham.  It looks like a tin shack from the outside, but inside it is very eclectic and contemporary.  The food is a little pricey, but it was cheaper at lunch.)

When we got to Gary and Anna's we were so excited to find out that Jenna and Brett were waiting for us! Friday was their last day of school, and they came over to play with Jacob!  Jacob was a little slow to warm up at first, but he quickly decided that playing with his cousins was lots of fun.  He followed them everywhere!  At one point, I looked over at Brett, who was sitting in a chair that used to be Jenna's, and of course, who was right beside him?

(He stuck his tongue out in a lot of the pictures we took this weekend... no idea why.)

It was so nice to have some extra time on Friday to hang out, even though Friday was chilly, as you can see by the boys' clothes in the picture.

On Saturday, we did some visiting, and then on Saturday afternoon, we went to the park in DuQuoin.  Jacob thought the best part of the park was a steering wheel on one of the play structures!

He was also a big fan of the slide, although he likes to crawl up the slide instead of sliding down.

He liked the merry-go-round as well, but again, he would rather push grandma than ride.

On Saturday evening, Jenna and Brett were playing baseball games on adjoining diamonds.  Even though I didn't get to see much of either game because a certain Little Mr. Crazypants decided he would rather run around like a wildman, I did see Jenna make an awesome catch on first base and Brett hit one (of 4!) homeruns that night.

How cute are they?!

Sunday morning... oh Sunday morning... this is when I wished for Supernanny's help.  We decided to surprise Frank's grandma and show up at her church.  She was surprised, and (I think) happy that we came.  I didn't expect that Jacob would sit through the service.  I knew we would be up and down with him.  But I thought he would be quiet and sit still for longer than 35 seconds!  Let me set the scene for you:  the church was doing a Memorial Day service and it was very quiet and somber... except for my kid who was fussing and bucking against me.  Out of the sanctuary we go, and he's STILL not happy.  It's a small church, and we ended up outside on the sidewalk just so people weren't bothered by his noise.  I tried going back inside a few times, but he just didn't want to be there, and he let me know it.  Loudly.  Eventually, we raced back in to the sanctuary to get Frank, and we left for good.  I hope the nice people of Light the Way Christian Fellowship are praying for Jacob's momma...

... to be continued...