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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last Nail in the Coffin

Hopefully this will be the last time I have to write about how much I hate RUSSWOOD CHRYSLER! We will never, ever go there again. That is, unless I decide to shoe polish the van---then I'll drive around the dealership all day!

The last time we left this saga, they had stepped up to the plate and offered to pay for $100 worth of work on the water pump (that was leaking when we purchased the vehicle). The appointment for the service was today. Carl took the van in and then the courtesy van took him to work. I got this email from Carl this morning:

So this morning they quoted me 400 - 100 = 300. I said wait a minute, our other van cost much less on the water pump, so then they said 300 - 100 = 200. I was like ok, that's more like it. Then I called a local shop to get a second opinion. They said right around 200. So I called Russwood and was like what's the deal here. So then they were like, ok it's gonna be around 230 after tax, minus 100 = 130. I was like thanks buster that's what I thought.
Excuse my grammar - just thought I'd give you the play-by-play.

Carl's not going to say anything more this afternoon when he goes to pick it up. I wish he would. But, we are going to report them to the Better Business Bureau. And, of course...I've got all my blog readers that now know never go to RUSSWOOD CHRYSLER for sales or service!

Book Meme

Taken from Melessa's blog.

Look at the list of books below.
The ones I’ve read are in bold.
The ones I want to read are in italics.
I've left alone the ones that I'm not interested in.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)—reading it right now!!
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Helen Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In the Skin of a Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)


This is a great list. I'd love to see what a lot of you have read and your opinions on some of the books I haven't read. Especially leave a comment if you are going to do this meme on your own blog.

Thanks, Melessa!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pillow Talk


Once upon a time when Carl was in Long Beach earlier this month, I got into the habit of using the whole bed to sleep. I would put my head on his pillow and angle the rest of my body over towards my own side of the bed. I grew very accustomed to using his pillow and soon preferred it over my own. Once Carl was home, I had to give him back his side of the bed and the pillow. I was devastated. I told him about how I liked his pillow and he asked if I wanted to trade with him. I felt bad about it and told him I would just go buy myself a pillow like the one he has. He suggested we trade for the night and see how it went.

It turns out that Carl likes my pillow better than the one he traded. We both got something we like better! It's been nothing but pleasant dreams ever since and we lived happily ever after.

The end.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Shopping List

I thought I'd document my shopping list and pantry organization for all of you. I know at least Gigi cares, so that's good enough for a blog post from me!

Basically, I started a few days ago by getting out a notebook and writing down all of the food I normally buy at the store. Then, I added staples that I don't buy too often but need to have around (baking soda, baking powder, spices, aluminum foil, etc...). My list was getting pretty long. I then thought about some of my favorite "go-to" meals. These are meals I make often because we like them and I usually have the ingredients on hand. If I didn't have any of the ingredients for those dishes on my list, I added them.

I went to Menus4moms to get an idea of someone else's pantry list. It turned out to be a fabulous resource and it is even helping me keep my house clean (ala Flylady---but without having to wear shoes or pants--ha ha-- and clean my sink everyday). I filled in whatever gaps I had left on my list and then typed it up. I printed it out and then went around the house clearing out all the shelves in my pantry, cleaning out the fridge and organizing the freezer. I marked on the list what we had on hand. It was interesting to see the things that I had way too much of (bread crumbs and jello). If you'd like a copy of my shopping list, I'll email it to you. Just send me an email and I'll reply with the file (sra_nelson AT yahoo DOT com).

I divided my list into the sections at my local grocery store. I change the items on the list to bold when I need them. Then, I print out the whole list and I'm good to go.

I have very little pantry space in the kitchen. I have a corner lazy susan cabinet and then another corner cabinet. I keep cereal and chips and stuff in a cabinet above the stove but I can hardly reach it so I don't keep essentials up there. Some of the things that I want to have on hand but not necessarily at my fingertips, I keep downstairs on our shelves in the basement. I keep extra cereal, paper towels, extra flour, sugar, corn starch, corn syrup, popcorn, etc... down there and just bring it up when I need it.

This is not really different from how I had it before---but the difference now is that I know exactly what I have (documented) and a list of exactly what I use on a regular basis. Going to the store this weekend was so stress-free. I also know I won't need to go to the store for things other than basics (like milk) for a while.

Here is our menu for the week:

MONDAY: Shake n' Bake Pork Chops, herbed potatoes, corn on the cob
TUESDAY: Mexican Tacos (chicken w/ onion and cilantro on corn tortillas--squeeze of lime--YUM!)
WEDNESDAY: Meatloaf, salad
THURSDAY: Leftovers
FRIDAY: Turkey burgers, salad, fries
SATURDAY: Soup
SUNDAY: Breakfast for dinner

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lace

Remember how I started off the month with big Knitting Olympic-esque plans to knit a lace shawl in February?

I think I have to refine that goal now and make it: pick a pattern for the lace shawl in February!

I've chosen the Mountain Peaks Shawl by Miriam.

I didn't get my act together this month but now that I have my pattern my only goal is to have this started and finished before the county fair. Once it wins some ribbons (and it better!), I'll give the shawl to a blog reader.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Village Pantry

I've spent the last few days getting my pantry organized. It's gotten a little out of control and I have been having problems finding food that I know I bought. I made a master shopping list and rearranged the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. I'm good to go.

Yesterday I took a mini-shopping trip to Super Saver. This is the grocery store I shop at most often. It is not as inexpensive as Wal-Mart but they are closer and don't have all that other stuff that I want to buy (which makes it a more expensive trip in the end). I listed the order of ingredients on my list by my preferred route through the store. I know have an excellent list of all the foods we ever buy so I can just mark the ones we need when we're close to out.

Back to Super Saver...Wendy blogged about seeing a mouse there last year and every time I go I try not to think about it. I'm sure there are mice at a lot of places I go and I'm okay. Well, yesterday I saw one with my own eyes. It ran right in front of me. I'm trying hard to reconcile the fact that I need and want to shop there but there are mice running around. Surely there are mice at other supermarkets, right? Or, do I just need to rearrange my list to fit another grocery store?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Top Design


This week on Top Design, Felicia had some problems. Big Problems. She put a granny square crocheted afghan on the bed. I don't personally have problems with granny squares or crocheted items but this show is all about good design and I don't see where it could have possibly fit in to any room on that show.

There is a really funny mockumentary on Youtube about how knitters look down on crochet. I saw it on Amy's blog. I started out with crochet and I'm slowly but surely turning into a knit snob. I'm going to have to break out the hook sometime soon though if I want to get some entries for the fair this year.

It's just hard to get excited about crochet when there are so many great knit patterns out there! If only Felicia had found one of these beauties...

This first afghan pattern is found here. It is free if you register at Bernat.
This second pattern is found at Knitty. It's called Lizard Ridge. If you used the actual yarn it calls for to make it, it would cost approximately $180. Until I can think of a better yarn substitute, I'll just be admiring the picture.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Step Away From the Shoe Polish

Russwood stepped up and is actually treating us like valuable customers now. This is saving me from shoe polishing my car and stalking the dealership trying to drive away business.

They are going to give us $100 to fix the water pump and paying for half of a spare key.

I'm appeased.

Ask Design Mom

My mom, Darla, wrote in a question to Design Mom a week or so ago and her answer is up on the blog!

Since I have nothing else to blog about today, I'm grateful the answer was posted today. Go and check it out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Secret

At book group (aka cheap therapy) tonight we were discussing The Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. We talked about the book (I recommend it) for about 5 minutes and the rest of the time we talked about what's going on in our lives. The conversation turned to The Secret. I am a little out of the loop--especially considering I used to watch Oprah all the time and have even been to her show in person SEVEN times. Yep, I'm bragging a little about that. Anyway, The Secret. Deb and Wendy gave an overview and I decided to look it up and see what the heck all the buzz is about.

In my short 10 minute introduction to this concept, I can see that a lot of it is just common sense and some of it I just think is silly. Here are some quotes from the Oprah show about the book and DVD.

The law of attraction means that everything that happens to you—good or bad—you attract to yourself.


I'm not totally in agreement with this statement. However, I do believe that no matter how the good or bad is attracted to ourselves we do have the ability to determine how we respond. I think it is unhealthy to be upbeat all the time. Do I think this just because I'm not always cheerful no matter what? Who knows.

in order to attract the things you want into your life—to place the right order—you have to do what he calls going "three for three." "Your thoughts, your feelings and your actions all have to be firing simultaneously in the same direction," he says. Visualizing your future life can help to hone your thoughts and feelings toward the things you want.

I guess this is assuming that you can visualize your future life being something positive. Okay, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Things aren't all gloom and doom around here no matter how bad it was today.
everyone…can release themselves from being a victim and begin to take control of their life's destiny.
Sure. This I believe is true.

In chronic situations with no end in sight, Michael says you should ask yourself another important question: "If this were to last forever, what quality would I have to grow to have peace of mind? Now, as my attention goes to the quality I have to grow, that quality starts to emerge."
Patience. Humilty. Self control. Not the easiest qualities to aquire.

You can start living the The Secret today by following three simple steps: Ask. Believe. Receive.
I guess I didn't really need Oprah after all. I just needed my scriptures.

Matt 21:22; 1 Nephi 15:11 (from the Book of Mormon)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ebony and Ivory


Caleb has his first piano lesson today. Last night he was entertaining the missionaries with a medley of Old MacDonald, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and The Itsy-Bitsy Spider. Once they left he broke out the Georges Bizet and Beethoven. I'm not kidding. His talent for playing by ear far surpasses my own (okay, not too difficult as I have very little talent at all for playing by ear). I'm excited to see what kind of progress he'll make with lessons.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feeding the Masses

I'm feeding the sister missionaries tonight and I have a somewhat bare pantry. There is no school today so I can't even venture to the store without taking both Caleb and Eva. While this is not impossible to do, it is not recommended. I may have to suck it up anyway because I don't want to feed them canned soup and stale bread. Thanks to Total Body Makeover I do have a plethora of clementines, whole wheat pasta, and frozen veggies. Somehow I think the combination of those foods leaves something to be desired.

I think maybe I need to get organized and join in with Melessa on Meal Plan Monday.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I just need to go to the store. I'm taking both the kids to the Y today anyway. Plus, It's highly likely that one of the missionaries is getting transferred this week and I'd hate for her last meal with our family to be gross.

Commenters--you have 3-4 hours to leave your most awesome missionary meal ideas.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Skimping


I am starting a list of things that I'm not willing to skimp on.

1. Q-tips. Generic cotton swabs just don't cut it for me.
2. Toilet paper. Why did I use that last coupon that I had? Not worth saving $1.50 if I have to use that stuff. I'll shell out the extra dough for Quilted Northern or Charmin from now on.
3. Kleenex. Okay, it doesn't have to be Kleenex brand. But it definitely needs to be Kleenex or Puffs (w/ lotion preferably).
4. Ketchup. Heinz. is. the. only. one. for. me.
5. Oreos. If I'm going to splurge and have cookies...they shouldn't have to be the generic Oreos. Icky.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oh Baby, Baby

First Pedro shaves his head. Now Britney.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pop! Goes My Heart

So, we saw the movie Music & Lyrics tonight. It was exactly what we were expecting---a great date movie. It was predictable, funny, and sweet. The music was fun and the 80's music video was the best! They show it at the very beginning of the movie and also at the end. I'm going to try and embed it here but you can see at Drew-Barrymore.org and also at YouTube.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Crazy Time- Updated!

This post has taken me all day to write. I come up to the computer and about 2 minutes later, the kids come screaming for something. Or, I hear a ruckus downstairs and know I need to be a referree. Basically, I don't feel like I've gotten any kind of break since Carl came home on Saturday. He's been at the house for about 10 hours total (when the kids are awake) since then. The housework is suffering (more than usual), I'm tired and I'm cranky (more than usual). Tonight he could have come home but he decided to go on some factory tour with some of the young men from church. This normally wouldn't have been a big deal to me because I don't mind if he goes out and does stuff. Heck, I sure do when I get the chance. It's just that for the past 10 days I've had very little down time.

Tomorrow he is taking me on a date. But, I have to get the kids ready and to the babysitter's house by myself, drive downtown to pick him up, go do dinner and a movie, drop him back off at work and then go get the kids from the sitter and meet him back at home. Hopefully the movie will be good (Music and Lyrics) and he won't complain about the price of the movie tickets (we're seeing a matinee--which is why I have to meet him downtown) or how much dinner will cost.

Crying kids again. I better post this while I can.

UPDATED TO ADD: Carl came home about an hour after I put the kids to bed. I went to bed not long after that because I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and when the alarm went off this morning I asked Carl if he would get Caleb ready for school by himself because I was still feeing a bit groggy. I got to sleep a while longer so now after a good 10 hours of sleep, I'm ready for the day. That was enough of a break to keep me going...especially since we are having a date tonight!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!


Carl got me a sweet present today. I got a Lantern Moon black sheep tape measure (okay, I bought that myself and told him to give it to me for my birthday---I was surprised to get it today). He also gave me a box that used to hold chocolate (he ate them because I have to win TBM) and it was full of the top ten reasons that he loves me. I asked if I could post them and he agreed. So without further ado, here's the list.

1. You're both crafty and conservative.
2. You don't ever want to own a dog or a horse.
3. You can tell better stories than I can.
4. You're funny.
5. Everyone else loves you too, so it makes me popular.
6. You can cook like Rachael Ray, but you don't use annoying abbreviations like EVOO.
7. It takes 2 slices of parent to make a Caleb sandwich.
8. You're a great mom.
9. You can fix Eva's hair.
10. You don't have a problem saying what you think.

I love him, too and I think he likes his coupon book.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

O

I had my annual exam yesterday. Nothing like a pap smear to start the week off right! The majority of the exam time was spent talking about my PCOS. I have about every symptom you can have (except baldness and diabetes) so we come up with ways to treat the symptoms. The only symptom I don't mind at the moment is infertility. Unfortunately, that doesn't get me off the hook from taking some sort of birth control. Apparently, it regulates the hormones enough for me that some of my symptoms are lessened.

The nurse practitioner (I don't think I've ever seen a doctor in that office--no need--the NP knows everything anyway) gave me a few options: the pill (I have had horrible side effects with many of the pills that have been prescribed to me in the past), an IUD, or the NuvaRing. I went with the NuvaRing because she had a sample for me to take. I still have a little time before I have to try it. But, I'm curious. Do any of you have experience with the ring you'd like to share? Is this all too much information?

Some other things that we discussed were my high blood pressure and cholesterol. Just since last August I've lowered my bad cholesterol 50 points and raised my good cholesterol 10. I'm still not in the greatest place but I'm improving.

In other news, my workouts at the Y are going well. I also had an appointment with the nutritionist last night as part of my Total Body Makeover (TBM) package. I was surprised at how my eating habits have improved over the past few months and how I'm actually doing quite a few things right. When I'm eating because I'm hungry, I do really well. When I'm eating because I'm stressed, I have problems. Solution: lower my stress and better recognize when I'm doing it before it's too late. ha ha--lower my stress.

My TBM trainer, Doug, said I have a good chance to win this thing. I think he's right. I'm competitive. I know what I need to do. I want a free spa day. I asked them if he told everyone that and he said he didn't....we'll see!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Love is in the Air


I did a fair amount of Valentine making over the weekend. I needed 16 for Caleb's classmates and teachers and I made a few extra for his Primary teachers. I think they turned out really nicely. Caleb helped me with the inside. As you can see, he is working on writing his name. If you look closely you can see most of the letters...just not placed in the right spot. His b's look like p's and his e's are just a little curve. But, he's getting it. Plus, he is consumed with tracing his hand. These cards were too small but he did manage to get some fingers on there. He traced my hand with the magnadoodle the other day and then wrote MOM above it. So cute!

Shhh. Don't tell Carl. Here is his Valentine. I really, really like how it turned out. It is a coupon book. This is the outside. And, here is the inside. There are 4 coupons inside and they have a perforated edge so you can tear one out at a time. I'm not totally sure what all of the coupons are going to be yet but I'm sure he'll like them and he'll be happy that I spent no money (if you don't count the insane amount of money I spend on paper/stamps/ribbon/etc...).

Got big plans for Valentine's Day? I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Thousand Words


I think I've posted this picture before but it really conveys how I feel. I'm tired. I still haven't had much of a break since Carl's been home because he was at meetings from 10am-7pm (including church).

Tomorrow is a busy day, too. I'm going to the dr. in the morning (thanks, Audra for watching Eva!), the Y in the afternoon for my workout, and back to the Y in the evening (w/o kids) for a nutrition consultation (and maybe a soak in the jacuzzi!).

It's only 8:30pm here but I think I'm ready to call it a night and go to bed.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Little Humor

I'm tired of thinking about the car and I'm counting down until Carl gets home (3 hours) so I'm going to post something funny.

Caleb is starting to get a real kick out of sounding out words. He usually walks around the house and finds things to talk about. He says, "Table starts with the letter sound, tuh, tuh-able."

The other day he came up to me and said...

"Knit starts with the letter sound, nih, nih-t."

That's my boy.

And So it Continues...

I called this morning so I don't make a wasted (ha ha) trip out to RUSSWOOD CHRYSLER (*makes me super mad*). Anyway, I asked for the people that they told me to ask for. I waited on the phone for 10 minutes. Nate picked up the phone. He said that the service department isn't open on Saturdays (duh) but that there were a couple of guys there already working on some customers' cars so I would have to wait until Monday. I reminded him that I was also a CUSTOMER whose car SHOULD have been finished YESTERDAY and I asked him to come up with some way that I could take it in TODAY so they could FINISH the job they started. It probably really would be easier for me to take it in on Monday, but now I just want to inconvenience them a little bit. He went to ask the other service guys if one of them would do it. As soon as I load up the car, we're heading over there.

Don't mess with me today.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Broken

My car is back home. I'm very tempted to get some shoe polish and write negative things about the car dealership (Russwood Chrysler) all over the van. I'm also not quite finished reminding Carl about how we got this van for its reliability.

I went to pick up the van this afternoon. It was the fuel pump. I was charged $400. Fine. Whatever. We did buy the van "as-is". I get that. Then they are telling me there are leaks in the power steering fluid and the water pump. That's what I'm complaining about. They talk about their "certified" used cars and how they have a guy on staff that his only job is to check out the used cars and make sure they are good to go. I spoke with the sales people today and told them that those are things they should have checked and if they didn't, they should fix them for me. The sales guy has to ask some other guy but he won't be able to until Monday. Fine. Whatever. I'm not backing down on this. He gave me some kind of spiel on how if they fixed everything on every used car that came through there, they wouldn't be able to sell them because of the money that they have to put into them. Uh, okay. RUSSWOOD CHRYSLER in Lincoln, Nebraska doesn't fix their used vehicles. Apparently, customer satisfaction is only important if you buy an expensive new car. I wish Carl were here.

Okay, so I leave with them knowing that I'm upset. I was on empty so I went to a gas station. It was totally expensive and cold so I only got 6 gallons (I only go through about 1 tank of gas a month these days--in fact, it was only the 2nd time I've had to put gas in it since we bought it). I got into the car and the gas gauge didn't move. I drove it back to the dealership and tried to find someone to help me. They had closed about 10 minutes before. I knocked on the door and one of the sales managers came out. I told him what had happened and that I didn't want to get stranded with kids in the car and nobody to fix the car on the weekend. He said it should be fine that it was probably just that they didn't connect something back up to the sensor. Fine. Whatever. He said I should call tomorrow because they might have a guy in the service department there that can hook it up for me. "Make sure you call because I'd hate for you to have a wasted trip out here," he said. EVEN IF THEY FIX IT, IT WILL BE A WASTED TRIP BECAUSE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE PROPERLY IN THE FIRST PLACE! Fine. Whatever.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Puttering Around

My car died. This is bad on a multitude of levels.
  1. It happened on my way to pick up the kids from the babysitter and I was about 2 blocks away from my house. This was actually the good news because the tow truck driver just dropped me off at the house.
  2. Carl wanted this stupid van because it would be reliable. I'm going to try not to bring up the fact that I wanted to buy the Rendezvous instead of this van when I talk with him tonight.
  3. Carl's out of town until Saturday night.
  4. We have another car but it is in Omaha parked by the airport.
  5. They might not have the van fixed until Monday.
  6. I feel trapped in the house.
  7. The kids won't stop pooping. This is annoying me very much. Mainly this is annoying because they seem to have the uncanny ability to get poop all over the floor. The good news: the majority of their pooping today happened at the babysitter's house. She's so worth the money.
  8. I was going to pick up Little Caesar's cheap pizza on the way home with the kids. Now we're spending twice as much for delivery. This isn't necessarily bad news for me, but it will be for Carl.
  9. My visiting teacher came over today (they forgot to call me to tell me today was the day). This is normally a very good thing and I love visiting--but it ate up a good chunk of my babysitting time. I did have her help me pick up the family room so I could vacuum. That was good.
  10. It's going to cost at least $80 to even figure out what is wrong with the van and I'm mad because we JUST BOUGHT IT FROM THIS STUPID PLACE 45 DAYS AGO!

Time Out for Mommy


Yesterday didn't go as smoothly as the days before it. I'm at the halfway point and I'm taking a time out for mommy day. The kids are going to the sitter's house for 3 hours. Enough said.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Little Things


These images were stamped by Christy Nelson and are copyrighted by Stampin' Up.


Carl has been out of town for two days now. Only four more to go. So far, things have been pretty good. The good (Caleb having only one meltdown) has far outweighed any bad (e.g, Eva coloring on the walls and dumping out a bottle of buttons). Here are some of the highlights from the past two days.
  • I moved bedtime up 30 minutes. The kids haven't noticed and it hasn't changed their wake up time.
  • I did a load of dishes without gagging. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't fed the kids anything that would be gross in the sink. If you've known me for any amount of time you would know that doing this one simple chore without gagging or throwing up is a BIG THING.
  • Instead of spending my evenings hanging out with my husband, I've been stamping. A lot. I've been updating my other website with some of the things I've made. I have an order coming in from Stampin' Up sometime this week that has my supplies for Valentine's Day. I need to have Valentines for Caleb's class ready for next Monday.
  • Instead of lashing out at me all of the time, Caleb is starting to use his words to let me know when he is sad. He makes the cutest sad face. It is really hard not to laugh. That turns his sad face to mad and I don't think that one is cute at all! He's also starting to show genuine remorse for some of his actions. I'm really proud of the progress he is making.
  • I put together the desk that Eva got for Christmas. It's really cool and I'm going to put all of Eva's color wonder markers down there and her color wonder paper so she'll stop finding my markers and drawing on the wall. This is one of the things that Caleb never did when he was her age.
  • Eva is showing real interest in potty training. I bought her pull-ups and as soon as we are done with the package of diapers I have, we'll start. That should be sometime AFTER Carl gets home. It's entirely possible that Eva will be fully trained before Caleb.
  • It's a short school week so today is the last day I have my mornings to "myself" (Eva doesn't wake up until 8:30am or so, and Caleb leaves at 6:50am). I think I'm going to set up some babysitting time for tomorrow so I can do some organizing around here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Joy Totalus

Alison of The Blue Blog has come up with my first absolutely must-have knitting book. I haven't seen what is inside yet, but I have seen some of her Harry Potter designs over the past couple of years on her blog and I know this book will be fantastic. I've already pre-ordered book 7 that will arrive in July. Now I have this book that will arrive on my doorstep in May.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bored

Yep, I'm bored.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Toasty


We haven't had a fire in our wood burning stove since we moved in because I was scared of the kids touching it while it was hot. They have made it a habit of running around the stove while playing downstairs so I had Carl desing the stove crib. We're going to stain it to match the rest of the woodwork in the house. It's not pretty, but it serves its purpose.

The fire makes such a difference downstairs. I sat by it all evening while watching the Super Bowl. Yep, I watched it. I'm not usually a big fan of pro football (I much prefer college) but after living in Indiana, I feel sort of obliged to root for the Colts. However, being a kid in the 80's, I feel sort of obliged to root for Da Bears. It looks like the Colts are going to do it. As I write this there is 1:56 left in the 4th.

How about that halftime show? I absolutely LOVE Prince. Even Carl has converted over to being a fan. It was the best halftime show I've seen in a long time (sure beats the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake fiasco).

The commercials? The Career Builder commercials have been the highlight in my opinion. They were standouts last year as well. Last year they had the chimps. This year they are doing a Lord of the Flies/Suvivor theme. Good stuff.

Good thing I'm watching the commercials because otherwise I wouldn't know that Survivor is starting this week and that The Amazing Race All-Star edition is starting in two weeks.

I also kept knitting on my blue cardigan. I have the left front finished and I'm almost done with the back. That leaves the right front and two sleeves to go. I might have it finished in time for fall. It's kind of slow going and I've been getting distracted with other projects.

The kids were really good today and they were really cuddly. It must have been the effects of the fire. Toasty.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bookish


Most of you know I love to read. I try to read about 2-5 books a month. Some of these books are audiobooks so I can combine a couple of hobbies---knitting and reading!

My super talented friend, Catherine, has come up with a great blog called Book Club President. She writes excellent reviews of books she has read and includes discussion questions for book groups.

Check it out. Pass it on. Request a book to be reviewed. Enjoy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Doctor, Doctor

I think I've mentioned on here that I switched pediatricians. I never had a problem with their previous doctor, I just found a better one. I didn't know how much of a better one until our first appointment on the 1st.

This doctor has a son that is autistic and holds behavioral clinics for the kids he sees that fall on the spectrum. This first appointment was Caleb's 4 yr. old physical. He's the picture of health. His herniated belly button is fully closed, he's 47 lbs. (oh my!) and 43 inches.

We talked a lot about Caleb's behavioral issues (still a major deal--but I think I'm starting to get a better handle on things) and how preschool has helped him develop some really great communication skills (he can form some basic sentences on his own now and is really good at letting us know what he wants). I'm still concerned with how he acts with just me. The doctor suggested that I'm going to have to get my house super organized with a good schedule and a strategy for handling changes in that schedule (which are inevitable).

This is the part where he makes me cry. He looked right at me and said, "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you need therapy.". I teared up and told him he was right. I do. It was like a huge relief for him to say that. It kind of validated what I've been thinking and gave me some extra support when I asked Carl if it was okay if I found a therapist. I have an appointment with my own doctor in a week and I'll ask for a referral then. I'm sure after my week of single parenting next week I'll be totally ready. I'd like a massage, too, but I have a feeling I'm not going to get one of those unless I win Total Body Makeover (starts MONDAY!).

I wrote this post with the intent of using it on Saturday but both of the kids are asleep (OH HAPPY DAY!) so I figure I can put it up now and if I don't get around to posting tomorrw, it'll be okay.

Feeling Better

I'm feeling a little better today. I'm counting my blessings that I didn't get the full-on flu that's been going around here. Some schools around here are closed and most elementary schools have 10% of the kids out with sickness.* Caleb and Eva have had diarrhea for the past couple of days (I also had one more incident of poo painting, but you didn't want to hear about that, right?) but they haven't had any other symptoms of influenza A. Thanks, flu shots.

Today I'm going to take it easy by going to the Y and making 2 dinners. One dinner is for us and another is for a family at church that needs one. We're going to have a Rachael Ray meal (#143, I think) and I have no idea what I'll make for the other family. I do know that it will be something I can put in a disposable container because I've lost more tupperware in this ward than in any other.

I'll probably feel up to knitting again, today. That's when I know I'm really sick. I couldn't even knit! I know, the horror!

*According to the fabulous local paper that I get delivered on my doorstep each morning.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Name That Virus

I haven't been feeling so well since yesterday afternoon.

I have to leave the house today to take Caleb to the Dr. for his 4 yr. appointment.

Hopefully, that's all I really need to accomplish today.