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Monday, March 31, 2008

Remote Blogging

I have spent all day at the Cornhusker Marriott at the 2008 Nebraska Autism Conference. I've been to lots of sessions and now we're waiting for dinner and a keynote speaker. I'm gathering all sorts of information and reconnecting with friends. Autism Awareness month will start in full force tomorrow. Check back for information on the giveaways and how you can help by donating money to sponsor our family on the Autism Walk.

Until tomorrow!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Project 365

03/24/08

03/25/08
03/26/08
03/27/08
03/28/08

03/29/08
03/30/08

Saturday, March 29, 2008

SMART Habit Saturday

I have seriously made some progress in my craft room for my March habit. I try to work on it a little bit each day. I hope to finish soon but it looks like I won't be done by the time April hits. But, here is some major proof that I've been working in there.



The sewing machine. Not just uncovered...but being used. I decided to welcome back the sewing machine by making something cute. I made some headbands out of scrap material and ribbon. I made two of them. They took me a little less than one hour. One is a little wider than the other because I decided I wanted a thinner one after I made the first. But, the ribbon is the same. I'll probably give one away next month during my Autism Awareness extravaganza.

Do you notice the curtains hanging in the background? I didn't make them but I picked them out to go in my bathroom. They replaced the closet doors to my washer and dryer and I love them. A lot.

If you want to read about other people's SMART habits, check them out here.






Friday, March 28, 2008

Classic Kids

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Favorite Shows

It is time for another list. Here are my favorite shows at the moment (in no particular order):

1. Ugly Betty
2. Eli Stone
3. American Idol
4. Survivor Fans vs. Favorites
5. The Biggest Loser: Couples
6. Dancing With the Stars
7. Top Chef


This is all I can think of right now. I stopped watching All My Children...at least for now. It was just getting too stupid (even for a soap!) and I couldn't bear using up my precious DVR space for that. So, I took it off my list of shows. As you can tell---I'm not a fan of any CSI, NCIS, L&O, ER, etc... It's just so not my thing.

Apologies to anyone expecting a better post than this one. I'm not feeling that great today and Eva's being crazy. Caleb is actually on his best behavior. Otherwise, things could be really bad.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Zoo Pals

Our trip to the Omaha Zoo was so much fun! It is definitely one of the best zoos in the nation. We love it so much that we renewed our membership while we were there.

Taking the kids there by myself is no longer an option. I can't strap them in the stroller anymore (and even if I could, I wouldn't be able to push it--they're huge!) and they need to hold hands with someone or they will just run away. Yesterday I went with Mary and the kids she watches. The youngest, that is usually in the pictures with Eva, was sick. So, Julie (age 13) got to come with us since we had an extra seat. Here they are in the Lied Jungle. I can't get over how good my kids were. It was like a dream day for me. They behaved. They ate their lunch. They didn't flop out or run away. They were totally manageable and made me remember that life is good and maybe we can do stuff like this more often. I'm not so naive to think that I can take them without some helpers to distract them from each other---but I know it can be done!

The penguins were a favorite exhibit again.Eva was fearless with the gorillas. She loved them!

I couldn't get Caleb to pose for any other pictures but Eva was more than willing to climb on the back of the gorilla statue. We have some fun Spring Break memories. We're going to try and do some Lincoln Safari activities with them tomorrow. Today Mommy's feet need a break.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Klutzy

The other day I slipped on a wet spot in the kitchen and pulled a muscle or something on the instep of my left foot. I can walk fine--I just get shooting pains up my leg when I'm not taking pain meds. Today I took the kids to the Omaha Zoo and walked all day (I'll post about that with pics tomorrow or later tonight). Before we left I had to stop at the pharmacy. I got out of the car and twisted my right ankle. It was the kind of injury that hurt for a while (driving was a little painful) but I could kind of "walk it off". It has now been 6 hours since I've tripped or fallen or anything! Pretty awesome.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Almost there

I haven't seen this table for months. Welcome back.

I'm still working on the craft room but for the first time since I have started the major clean-up, I can see that what I've started can actually come to an end. Good times.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Project 365

03/17/08

Grandpa Nelson (with Uncle Jared looking on) tries his best to rock Guitar Hero. It was fun playing that for FHE.

03/18/08
Caleb is a big fan of the microphones. He can't get enough of them!

03/19/08

Eva had a good time hiding out in the box that our bathroom mirror came in.

03/20/08
Eva and Leslie found their first Lincoln Safari clue at the Veteran's Memorial Garden at Antelope Park. Now that the weather is better we should be able to get one or two a week.

03/21/08
Our bathroom is almost finished! We finished all the painting, installed the light fixture, and brought in the mirror. We still have to hang the mirror, switch out the sink and faucet, hang the new towel rods, and install the laminate flooring.

03/22/08
Now that we don't have any more house guests scheduled for a while, it was time to get real with my craft room. I'm putting as much as I can into boxes and then moving back in systematically. I have a fair amount to donate to charity and sell. I've also found some things that I'm saving to use as giveaways in April for Autism Awareness Month.

03/23/08
Happy Easter! I wasn't going to do any Easter baskets this year (I'm lazy) but when we came home from church I decided to fill up some of our eggs and have Carl stick them outside for the kids to collect. We did an Easter egg hunt with some other kids last week and the kids really got into it. They loved finding the eggs today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

iPod

My new iPod shuffle arrived today. It is so tiny! I love it. To celebrate I thought I might download a few songs from iTunes. I found out that all American Idol alumni albums are on sale for $7.99 right now. So, instead of a few songs---I got a few albums (Blake Lewis and Daughtry).

I want to get the Sara Bareilles album (she sings "Love Song") but I can't really justify it right now since I can still hear the song any time I turn on the radio. I think in the few hours that Wendy and I were in my car the night we went to see Bon Jovi, we heard it no less than 4 times. There are at least 3 other songs on her album that I want (based on the clips you can hear) but I don't know whether to shell out the extra few bucks for the whole album. I think I'll be good with Blake and Daughtry for now and I can wait a while for Sara.

Boy Scout Garage Sale

The Boy Scout Garage Sale is today! If you're interested in heading out today, there is a building full of stuff for you to buy!

Just south of HWY 2 on Old Pine Lake Road (between 70th and 84th)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday List

Here is a list post for today.

Things I've Never Done:

1. Smoke
2. Drink alcohol
3. drink coffee
4. Successfully skied (water or snow)
5. Worn a size 2
6. 2nd grade
7. cow tipping (quite an accomplishment having lived in Oklahoma)
8. pregnancy
9. seen any episodes or movies of Star Trek (I had to stay away from Janet a little last weekend to avoid watching some---gotta keep my record intact!)
10. seen Pretty Woman (my sister was surprised by this one)

What have you never done?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Our Heads



Caleb has been singing this song all day. Did they teach him this at school? Where the heck did he learn it?

Mental

Yet another post on the state of my mental health. It is no secret that I've seen my fair share of therapists. I've had some serious issues to work through (infertility, adoption, kid with special needs, other stuff blogland doesn't ever need to know about, etc...). We've started seeing a new therapist and I love him! He's been right on the money and has been really great about helping me work through some things.

I thought I was going to share some stuff with the blog but every time I type out a paragraph or two I realize that I'd rather not put it "out there". So, suffice it to say---I'm still mental, but to quote Monty Python, "I'm getting better!".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

PFD

I'm suffering from a case of PFD (post-family depression). Is this possible? We've had a constant stream of house guests since mid-February until yesterday. I thought I would be so excited today to be able to walk around with no pants on, use the bathroom without closing the door, or drink OJ straight from the carton. Instead I'm fully dressed and moping around like I have nothing to do. Eva's not being too talkative this morning and she doesn't even want to play with me. This morning I went in her room to play with her and her new dollhouse. She looked at me and said, "Go away. More milk.....please.".

I guess I'll go and list some more of my yarn stash on ravelry. I'll even keep my pants on.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Decisions are the Worst

I lifted the title of this post from a movie. Can you name it? It is from my list of movies I could watch over and over.

Anyway, life must be pretty good for me right now because my biggest decision to make today is which of my 3 favorite shows to DVR. I can only do two at a time.

So far, I have American Idol and Biggest Loser taping. I figure I can skip DWTS tonight because it is the first week and nobody is getting voted off. I should be able to find most of the performances online later if I want to see them, right?

I also need to decide whether or not to prime that last little bit of the bathroom. We took out the vanity, medicine cabinet, and light fixture and prepped the walls. When I say "we" I mean Carl, his dad, and brother. They left this morning and Carl told me I could prime the walls if I wanted. I don't know if I want to do that with Eva and I don't think I'll finish before Caleb gets home from school so it could be a disaster. I guess I'll just think of something else to do with my time---like CLEAN MY CRAFT ROOM! I've been working on it---and I can actually see a little progress.

Got any tough decisions to make today?

Monday, March 17, 2008

DWTS

Season 6 of Dancing With the Stars starts tonight. Have you set your DVRs?

I'm most excited to see whether or not Monica Seles will include her (in)famous grunt into her routines, if Kristi Yamaguchi can be as graceful without her skates, and if Cristian de la Fuente is as good of a dancer as he is a looker (he's a hottie, that's for sure).

Any pre-show predictions? Will Penn (from Penn & Teller) be the obvious first vote off or will he pull a Jerry Springer and surprise us all?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Project 365

03/10/08
Drunken Argyle has been saved from the snooze pile and upgraded to a regular WIP (work in progress).

03/11/08Eva was messing around with a cow blanket.



03/12/08

Eva playing with a turtle.

03/13/08

We spent lunch the day before Eva's birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. We took her friend, Leslie. They had a blast.

03/14/08
I made mini boston cream pie cupcakes for Eva's birthday. She could have cared less about the cupcake so I made ones that I would love. She blew out the candle and was content giving the cupcake away. They were delicious.

03/15/08


Caleb always asks me to take his picture with the viewfinder turned around so he can see it. On this day I asked him to let me take a picture of his eyes.

03/16/08

Behold, the bathroom. This picture doesn't quite capture the true color. It is a little darker in real life. We still have one section left to work on. Carl needs to figure out how to get our medicine cabinet off the wall and then we can paint that section and install our new light fixture, sink, faucet, and mirror.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cloudburst

We're going to buy paint today. Our bathroom is going to be finished soon! I'm finally seeing an end to all this madness.

I will post pictures later but the color chip I like the best is called Cloudburst. It is a grey/blue. Our vanity and mirror will be white and we bought a laminate wood floor. The fixtures are brushed nickel.

More later!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Three


My baby is three today. We celebrated this morning with her birthday twin, Whitney. I think they had a really good time playing this morning. They sure were cute together!

Happy birthday, EVA! You've come a long way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Closets

Last night I cleaned out our coat closet. I can't believe how many things were in that little tiny space. I filled a huge laser printer box bull of coats and bags ready to go to the scout garage sale. I also found another great wool sweater that I'm going to have Julie turn into a bag. I put up a shoe organizer (from the Target $1 spot) to control the gloves, scarves, and hats. It only took me five minutes to convince Carl to allow an old trench coat to go to the garage sale. He willingly let go of one hat (out of five---which, incidentally, he never wears hats because they mess up his hair). He about flipped out when I put in my leather coat I got in Mexico right before I left my mission (10 years ago!). All the convincing was worth it because now our closet is under control, everyone has at least one pair of gloves, and we have a fair amount to contribute to the fund raiser.

What did you do last night?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cleaning Up

Cleaning up my craft room is making me money.

I spent last night going through all of my stamp sets and finding out the going rate for the retired ones I don't want or use anymore. I then posted them on Splitcoaststampers to see if anyone was willing to take them off my hands. Before I went to bed I had already sold 3 sets. They'll stay listed there for a month and then I'll put the rest up on eBay.

This was all made possible by my awesome laptop. I did all of this while watching American Idol. Speaking of American Idol and cleaning up...I'm kicking butt on a little American Idol pool I joined with Wendy's family. You pick your bottom three every week and earn points if your picks go home or are in the bottom two. The grand prize is...ETERNAL FAME AND GLORY. You all know I'm all about that. I'm ahead right now but a few others (Wendy included ) are nipping at my heels. My picks for this week:

1. Kristy Lee Cook
2. Syesha Mercado
3. Ramiele Mulabay

I'm also cleaning up by filling boxes to send to the garage sale that Carl's boy scout troop does every year. We've got a lot of stuff to take. I'll post the information when it gets closer but that garage sale is the BOMB. Do people still say that? I think I might be the only one left. Like, whatever. Gag me with a spoon.

Another way to support the Boy Scouts in the area is to eat at Valentino's today. They are donating a percentage to the district or council (I can't remember) so it is a good way to support the Boy Scouts and get some food.

I better get busy. I've got money to make and things to throw out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Baby Caleb

Caleb didn't get to have his baby pictures plastered all over a blog since I didn't start it until he was almost 2. I found these two shots in my recovered folder and thought they were too cute not to post.

This first one is Caleb at 3 months. He was a really good and happy baby.

This one is when he was 9 months old at his first Halloween. He was Mr. T. He had chains and his onesie said "Call Your Mama". We drew a tattoo on his arm, too. It is hard to believe he used to be that little.

An Organized Computer


I am well on my way to having an organized computer. It took a crash and a brand new laptop to drive me to it, but it is happening nonetheless. Sometimes there is nothing better than starting with a clean slate.

Since purchasing my laptop, I have really been on top of organizing my files and pictures. EVERY SINGLE PICTURE that I have uploaded has also been sent to my Flickr account. My documents are in appropriate folders. My desktop is clean.

Just a few minutes ago, Carl brought me a hard drive with all of my old files on it. My job today is to transfer all those files to my new computer. Here is my plan.

1. All old picture files are going into a folder on the desktop named "Recovered Pictures" (original, I know). When I have more time I will upload them to flickr and put them in the appropriate file. When the recovered picture folder is empty, I will delete it.

2. All old document files are going into a folder on the desktop named "Recovered Documents". I will then do the same thing with those--putting them in the appropriate places.

3. My iTunes library needs a little extra care. Those don't transfer as easily so I need to find a utility to help me. I've done this before so it shouldn't be too big of a deal. Carl wonders why I bother with iTunes but I can't help it. I love it.

4. Files I don't need anymore (like the Pampered Chef specials from 2004)---or information I can easily find elsewhere--- WILL NOT be transferred to my new computer.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to "crash" my craft room and start from scratch.

More Talk About Tuesday posts here. It includes a great post about planners.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Silver Lining

Before we decided that medication was a serious option for Caleb, our home life was pretty volatile. Caleb could go off the handle for (seemingly) no reason so I couldn't anticipate or divert it. Everyday I was being hit/pushed/yelled at/etc... Same for Eva. As soon as Caleb got off the bus it would start. Last week I was talking with Caleb's behavioral psychologist and we were remembering those dark times to try to put his latest behaviors into perspective. He really has improved so much. We still have lots of challenges but I don't think we'll ever have to go back to what it was like just over 6 months ago.

Here is a short list of some of the good things going on around here with Caleb and Eva.

1. They have learned how to "switch". I can count to 20 and then say "switch" for them to take turns on their favorite toys (trampoline, piano). Works about 70% of the time.

2. Caleb has learned that he can get a drink of water or go to his room to calm down (50% of the time).

3. They can play together for longer periods of time without parental intervention.

4. They go to bed at a reasonable hour and stay there.

5. I only had to pull them apart 4 times while writing this post.

6. I was able to write this post while both of them are home.

7. LPS is going to re-evaluate Eva for her behavior at the request of the behavioral psychologist. She might qualify for some type of services after all.

8. All day kindergarten is a good thing.

Uh, oh. I hear crying.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Project 365

03/03/08One of the challenges for Project 365 this week was to capture water. I love this shot of Eva washing her hands. This is probably my favorite shot of the week.

03/04/08
Kenny's announcements. This is really all we did that day.

03/05/08Another challenge was called "Bottoms Up". We were supposed to shoot something from below. These toys were perched on a shelf. It didn't turn out quite like I had hoped but I didn't get around to finding something else to photograph that day.

03/06/08I didn't take this picture for any challenge. I just realized that I hadn't taken a picture and my camera was upstairs by this bookshelf. Don't mind the dust. ;)

03/07/08
Just some of my knitting.

03/08/08I knit this hat as a test knit for a designer. I just needed a model. Kenny was kind to oblige.

03/09/08
Another challenge for the week was to find something from the opposite sides of the color wheel. I used this because of the red/green.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Busy Saturday

Today has been a busy day! Here are some things we've done and some random tidbits:

1. We gave Caleb a haircut this morning. We took this picture mid-haircut. I thought I might want to grow his hair out since he loves hair so much. But, he wasn't letting me comb it out without a fight so I guess we'll just wait on that for a while.

2. We vacuumed the house. Soon after, Caleb and Eva spilled some popcorn. Story of my life.

3. Carl bought a sink today. My bathroom should make some real progress when Carl's family comes to visit (I hope they know that Carl plans on making them work--I guess here's your warning).

4. My dad and brother (Sam) are here today to pick up my sister and Kenny. They will leave tomorrow.

5. I have free babysitting tonight (thanks to my family) when I go out with Carl to some kind of Boy Scout awards banquet. He is nominated for an award. I think it is because he is actually taking the boys camping every month.

6. We opened Christmas presents. My dad brought the gifts that have been at his house for months. I got everything I asked for (Robertson's beef jerky from Loves) and then some (fun games). The kids got some dance mats and microphones. They are in heaven. Merry Christmas!

7. I finished the pea pod sweater for Kenny. It is a 12-18 month size so he won't get to wear it until next winter. I only had to add the buttons so I did that so I wouldn't have to send it later. Lisa can just take it home.

8. I finished a load of laundry.

9. I'm making steak salad and/or tacos for my dad and sister tonight so they have something good to eat while I'm on my date. My brother doesn't like steak so he gets chicken nuggets and applesauce w/ the kids.

10. My brother is 12 and is taller than me now. His voice is changing, too. It is weird.

I guess that is about it today!
Have a great weekend!

*If you're missing my Smart Habit Saturday update---I'm still working on my craft room. I actually sold 8 skeins of yarn this week via ravelry so that's good.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Lists

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is in November but they are starting to have groups for other months as well. I signed up for March. I figure I'm already blogging everyday so I might as well see if I can win a prize or something (this seems to be the theme of the week---free stuff!). This month the theme is "Lists". I thought I might jump on the bandwagon and have a month full of lists but figured that might get a little mundane. Instead I am just going to do a list whenever I want to----and Fridays.

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again (in no particular order)

1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
2. The Pirate Movie
3. The Sound of Music
4. Harry Potter series
5. 50 First Dates
6. Bye Bye Birdie
7. The Princess Bride
8. Mary Poppins
9. Evita (partly how Eva got her name)
10. Grease
11. Hairspray
12. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Moulin Rouge
14. The Parent Trap (Hayley Mills version--I was obsessed w/ the Lindsay Lohan version for a while but I'm over it)
15. Oklahoma

I'm sure I'll think of some more later. What do you think I forgot? Got any must-sees that I should see? You can probably tell I'm a sucker for musicals and dancing.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

More Free Stuff

I just spent about 30 minutes this morning being a research test subject up at the university.

Why?

I got a $10 gift card to Chipotle.

I'll do almost ANYTHING for Chipotle.

Yum.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


The County Fair Book came in the mail today. The fair isn't until the first week of August and I'm going to be out of town for my 10th wedding anniversary celebration extravaganzapalooza in New York City. I'll have to bribe a fellow guild member to drop off my items, I think. I'll be back in time to pick up all my prize money ($5 for first place this year!). They have doubled the amount of classes in the knitting section but all new classes are not eligible for prize money (just ribbons). At least I'll have more opportunities to win the coveted Best in County Needlework prize ($75). I better start searching for just the right patterns!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Announcing Baby Kenny

We made some baby announcements and thank you notes today.

I think they turned out really cute. The announcement is a pocket card and the pullout has a picture of Kenny on one side and his stats on the other. The Thank You notes got a little washed out in the picture but the base of that card is the same blue as the announcements.

Talk About Tuesday


I love getting stuff for free. For almost as long as we've been married, Carl and I have done some kind of survey site to earn points for cash and/or prizes. We started with MyPoints. Over the years we've probably cashed in about $200 worth of points for gift cards to various places. Once the emails started getting annoying, I stopped. Carl still does MyPoints every once in a while but he's ready to cash in his points and be done with it.

I've been using MySurvey for a few years and have amassed over 12,000 points ($120). I take 2-3 surveys a month. Sometimes they send me stuff to try out. Last year I got 6 weeks worth of diapers for Eva. Not bad. They've sent me soup, lysol wipes, and hair color. Last night I decided to see how many points I had available to spend and what I could get (not cash). I had enough for an iPod shuffle. I have the old style shuffle--the one that is like a stick on a string---with only 512mb of space. This has served me well since I don't use it to hold my whole music collection and just load a playlist at a time. However, I've been wanting the new style for a while now. It almost doubles my space and is so much smaller--it will clip on my shirt while I exercise. So, I went ahead and got it. Free iPod!

Another place I go to take surveys is Pinecone research. I think I have Gigi to thank for this one. They only accept a certain amount of people meeting requirements. I got accepted when they were looking for people with infants. They pay $5 a survey and it gets deposited directly into my paypal account.

Do you survey? Are there some sites I should know about so I can get even more free stuff? I'm all about it, you know.

Have something to talk about today? Do it here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

For Catherine


Which Hobbit are you?







You are Pippin. Mostly concerned with having fun you have the funniest lines esspecially in FOTR (stupid gimli in TTT) However you are brave as we can see in the council of Elrond when you agree to go with Frodo before knowing where he's going
Take this quiz!








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Homebody

Can you tell I've been suffering from some serious writer's block? I have had no idea what to blog about lately. The crazy thing is that I should have something to write about. My sister and nephew have been here over a week. Maybe I can't write anything because all we've been doing is laying around the house oogling over the super cute baby. He's really good. He rarely cries. He takes whatever my kids dish out (which is a lot) and is surviving...even thriving! We've been out of the house a little bit. This morning we went to an aerobics class at the church. On Friday we went to the park (it was in the 60's on Fri/Sat and then yesterday it snowed). I took Kenny to knitting group on Saturday and while we were knitting (he was lounging away not making a peep), my sister went tanning (it is an addiction) and got a pedicure. I've done laundry and continued cleaning up my craft room. I even sold 5 skeins of yarn from my trade/sell page. Not bad. Are you all bored yet? Times like these make me really happy that I'm a stay at home mom and can enjoy these little bits of down time.

And now, I'm off to the post office. I'm shipping off my yarn and then I'll think about what to do with the rest of my day. What's for lunch?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Project 365

02/25/08

02/26/08

02/27/08

02/28/08

02/29/08

03/01/08

03/02/08