Thursday, May 28, 2009

Living Vicariously Through 50 Elementary Schoolers

I'll admit it. I love Musical Theatre Club. I did it for two years in the past (one was an absolutely amazing experience and one...wasn't...which is why I stopped doing it) and was asked to help them out again this year with choreography. With Matt's crazy schedule, it is admittedly hard to make that kind of commitment. If you know me (which I hope you do, if you are reading this...if you don't, go away STALKER!), you know that I don't like to be involved with things I can't commit to fully. It's against my nature, and I get that honest from my mom.

However, I love these ladies who do MTC and admire their dedication. SO, I agreed and it wa a WHIRLWIND of rehearsals these last few weeks--but a fun whirlwind! My sister watched Caleb for me a few times and it's a relatively "slow" time for Matt scheduling-wise. (The calm before the storm...summer is approaching!)

Tonight was our performance. What was my role during the show, you ask? As the choreographer, I was in the back standing on the cafeteria table. I had lots of different signs, including "slow down," "loud," "smile," and "energy." I also had the names of a couple of kids who keep forgetting their cues!! I would hold up the sign as needed, wave it around, and try to get the kids to improve whatever they were doing! I basically had a huge smile plastered on my face the entire time and did quite a bit of jumping around to get the energy level up. Whenever there was a dance, I was dancing too! We've found that having someone in the back giving "reminders" really helps. It was really fun, but exhausting!!

About halfway through, I noticed some flashing. I was so focused on what was going on in the show that I didn't notice about 1/2 of the audience turned around taking pictures of me! *sigh* Those pictures are going to be used as blackmail sometime, I'm pretty sure!

I love musical theatre. I do. It's just in my blood. That year of musical theatre in high school was the best ever, and I wouldn't trade all of those years of musicals for anything! I miss it, and I guess this is my way to get my fix...by living vicariously through 50 elementary schoolers! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday! (except it's Tuesday!)

Yes, I know it's a day late. We went on an adventure yesterday and I didn't have time to post!

NO, I did not jump up and down clapping for joy and cheering with excitement over the three pieces of poop in the toilet put there by Caleb this morning!! We certainly didn't take multiple pictures of the deed to be put on this blog as soon as I get pictures put on a CD! Of course, we would never call both grandparents, his Aunt Amy, and our adopted daughter Heather (our other adopted daughter Erin is in Kazakstan right now, or we wouldn't have called her!) to share our good news! I certainly didn't tell my entire class the entire story only to listen to their groans of disgust!!

We did not continue our celebration tonight by setting off Rocket Balloons. Matt did not cause the very first balloon to land on the roof over the front porch! Caleb didn't scream in terror when he realized that his balloon was on the roof. What's more, we weren't unable to remove the screen from the spare bedroom to get to the balloon. We certainly didn't spend over 20 minutes trying to get to the balloon throught the 1-inch crack Matt managed to make by moving the screen to the side. Caleb didn't cheer us on the whole time. We didn't first use the Swiffer handle and then a long crooked tree limb trying to reach a SINGLE balloon (because we don't have 29 more!) I didn't finally reach the balloon with the stick only to flick it further down the roof. We didn't finally figure out how to remove the screen (by tilting in the window), only to still not be able to reach the wretched balloon! Of course, I would NEVER decide to climb out on the roof to reach the balloon. That would never even occur to me, because I am scared to death of climbing on the roof! I didn't finally get the balloon, safely return inside the house, and go back downstairs to the outside only to pop the ridiculous balloon on the very next launch!! Ahhh, the things we [don't] do for our children!

We surely didn't drive 3 hours to the Shenandoah Valley to go to a book fair yesterday! We didn't stay for only 30 minutes because there were no carts, we forgot to bring the stroller, and Caleb was rather uncooperative. We didn't drive a total of over 6 hours in one day just to look at books. We would never do that!

Until next week...

Tent City

My friend Keba wrote a blog about the tent city that is outside of her living room window. I think that it is pretty amazing how organized these people are and how welcomed they are by the community (she lives in Seattle--I can't imagine that ever flying here in "conservative CC!) There's a homemade video down at the bottom that shows what the tent city really looks like. It's pretty amazing!

A Momentous Occasion!

This morning, my BIG BOY Caleb went POOP on the potty! Here is how the events transpired:

* Caleb was making a few grunting noises while I was curling my hair this morning.

* I asked him if he was pooping. (We aren't potty training, but we are trying to make him aware of when he goes potty.)

* He told me no, but that he needed to poop. I suggested that he go try to sit on the potty.

* He sat on the potty for several minutes without as much as a toot. I figured it was a wash, but he didn't want to get down yet. I went back to curling my hair and let him try for a few more minutes.

* He called, "I'm done!" and Matt went to check on him. I hear a joyous, "Get the camera!" which could only mean one thing...HE WENT POTTY!!!

* After lots of jumping up and down and cheering, we took many pictures of the deed, including several of Caleb (in all his nakedness) pointing at his poop and pretending to go potty.

* I ran downstairs and got Caleb his beloved Baby Hank, which we'd promised to give him as soon as he went poop on the potty for the first time. He was incredibly excited and had big plans to take it with him to Mommom's house.

Way to go, Caleb! We love you and are sooooo proud of you!! :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Ticks Are of the Devil

So, based on my wonderful recent experiences with deer ticks and the trouble they cause, I decided to look online to find out what their purpose is. After all, every insect has a purpose, right? Even spiders are important to us, and I hate spiders!



Well, when this is the best they can come up with, I'm pretty much guessing that ticks have no purpose in Mother Nature's world. Come on--isn't it a bit of a stretch to say that they (along with mosquitoes and termites) are beneficial to us because they have created a large pesticide industry? (Many can argue that THAT in itself is a HORRIBLE thing!!) Really, I now firmly believe that they were put on Earth by the devil to torture us and cause of physical and mental pain.

For those of you who are behind on my tick saga, let me catch you up.

SATURDAY: Found ticks #4 and #5 (five all in the same week!) on me. Matt pulled them off. The one on my back was really hard to get out.

MONDAY A.M.: Got out of the shower and glanced in the mirror to see a huge red spot on my back...definitely ugly. Had the nurse look at it when I went to school, and she told me to go to the doctor that evening because it was either infected or a bull's eye.

MONDAY P.M.: Went to the doctor for the first time. Lyme's Disease doesn't show up in blood tests for about 6 weeks, which is often too late to treat. They treat patients first, and test them later if they still have symptoms. He put me on Doxycycline, a drug that prohibits me from being outside for any length of time or my skin will blister. Wonderful...

TUESDAY: On the drug for 24 hours. It makes me feel like I am in labor...constantly.

WEDNESDAY A.M.: Spot on my back totally changed shape and color, making me kind of nervous.

WEDNESDAY P.M.: Spot began to travel. After calling my aunt (the retired head of infection control), she told me to go to Urgent Care. I spent 2 hours in there (MISSING the final AI results--ughhh!) only to be mocked by a flippant doctor who just wanted to go home.

THURSDAY A.M.: Spot was continuing to travel. At the insistance of my aunt who was afraid that it was a Staph infection, I made an appointment with my primary care physician (Are you counting the doctor's visits? This is #3!). He convinced me that this was just a hemotoma and that it will go away in the next week or so. (Yes, it is ugly!!) On a positive note, I had already taken the rest of the day off and was able to get an amazing amount of work done. It's really incredible what you can do in 4 hours without a toddler!

FRIDAY: Field Day...because I can't be outside in the sun, I switched with a second grade teacher and watched her kids in the morning while she took mine on their rotations. No, I wasn't basking in the AC all day--it was broken as usual! It wasn't too bad, but I did miss hanging out with my kids. I really do like Field Day.

So...I have 10 more days of this TERRIBLE labor-inducing drug (I am having all kinds of flashbacks that are making me reconsider our next-baby timeline...) and about 14 more days of SUN BAN.

Yes, it's Memorial Day weekend and we had planned to spend some good time at our beach.

Yes, it's going to be a beautiful 80 degrees alllll weekend.

Yes, Caleb constantly asks me to go outside and can't understand why I keep saying no.

Yes, Matt is gone most of this weekend and can't take Caleb outside.

Yes, I was incredibly annoyed when the weather changed from rain and thunderstorms to sunny skies. At least the rain would force me to be inside. I'm really going through Vitamin D withdrawl...

I'm now trying to find something cool for us to do on Monday that is indoors. We were considering the Baltimore Aquarium, but the price for adults is $24.95 now...and that's not even including the dolphin show!! I'm going to see what Matt thinks about Port Discovery. That looks pretty fun. I welcome your suggestions for inside activities that would not take place at our house! :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol Finale

Although my favorite was Danny Goki, I am DEFINITELY cheering for Kris tonight. I cannot STAND Adam and his freakish ways. He's just creepy to me!

I am not sure why they chose that song as the finale song. I don't care if Kara wrote it or not--it stunk!!! Poor Kris did the best he could with a pitiful song, but it wasn't too hot.

I can hope...either way, I'm buying Kris' album (and burning Adam's!) GO Kris!!!!!!!!!

The Southern Bell With Her Parasol

Well, now that I can no longer be in the sunlight AT ALL because of this hideous medicine I have to take for 2 weeks (thank you, evil Deer Tick!), I am forced to carry an umbrella with me whenever I'm outside for my 15 minutes of recess duty! Just call me Scarlet O'Hare...

What makes matters worse is that Field Day is Friday, and it probably won't work so well for me to be outside for 2 1/2 hours straight...*sigh* I really like Field Day (crazy, I know!) so I'm actually kind of disappointed. My principal is in the process of working out some sort of trade so that I can stay inside and do something that is probably NOT as fun as playing games outside, but it's better than getting blisters and boils on my skin!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

* I did not spend over 10 minutes just now trying to figure out how to hide the rather large and disgusting-looking hot sauce stain I just got on my pants when I big glob dropped in my lap. I definitely didn't try to go 80's style and tie my jean jacket around my waste so that all of the people in the library didn't think I had some sort of "accident..." I'm secure with myself, so I would never do that. (Oh, and I also didn't decide to throw my purse over my shoulder and carry it sort of in front of me to block the hideous blob while I was walking!)

* I do not have a countdown on my Ipod counting down the days of school we have left. What's more, I really don't look at it every day!

* I didn't get 5 tick bites in the last week ( of them were not on my butt!) and have to go to the doctor today for an antibiotic because one is a huge red circle about 3 inches in diameter! What's more, I did not almost decide NOT to go to the doctor because I was afraid they would draw my blood! I've had a baby and have been poked and prodded a bagillion times. I can handle a little blood work...and I didn't sigh with relief when the doctor said I only needed to get blood drawn if I have symptoms after I finish the antibiotic!! :) (If you know me, you know that I do NOT have an intense fear of needles...so much so that my OB used to sing to me every time I got blood work done when I was pregnant!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hmmmm...

After my jaunt through the woods at the One Room Schoolhouse on Tuesday, I found two deer ticks on my right leg. Matt helped me remove them with the aid of rubbing alcohol and tweasers, and I saved the ticks--just in case. Ever since then, I have just been achy and I've had some shooting pains going through my leg. So tell me dear friends...hypochondria, or a potential case of Lyme's Disease? At what point should I go to the doctor? Hmmmmm...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me Monday



I most certainly did not watch my dog Becky steal Caleb's peanut butter sandwich (very gently) out of his hand and not do anything about it! I definitely did not lie to my son when he asked where it was and tell him that he already ate it all! He definitely did not proceed to look down at his belly and exclaim, "I did??"

I did not put a nasty smelling candle that I got in a Teacher Appreciation Week drawing into my treasure box. I did not then shamelessly sell it to a kid for 26 tickets under the pretense that it would be an excellent Mother's Day present!!

I did not tell Caleb that there was a farm in his belly and that in order for the crops to grow, he had to feed and water them. It didn't work! (but it really did!)

We do not get Caleb to drink his milk by having him show us his muscles and then gush over how much bigger they got after that one sip of milk. I certainly do not avoid drinking milk at all costs myself!

I did not waste most of my weekend away downloading and playing silly games on my new Ipod Touch. I most definitely did not justify downloading several of the silliest games by saying that they were for Caleb! I didn't download a game called "Pee Monkey" whose object is to get as much pee in the toilet as possible. That would be a disgusting and obnoxious game, and not at all fun...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It Must Be a Good One!

That Dogwood picture must be a good one, because I've had two people (one on my blog and one on Facebook) ask what kind of camera/lens I have! Well if you must know...


I have a Nikon P80. (Sorry Katie, I definitely told you an S80. I knew it was one of those letters!!) :) This is the P90, which appears to be just about the same thing. Mine is a year old (in fact, she just had her birthday yesterday!), so I'm guessing the P90 is this year's model.

Can I just tell you how much I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this camera???? We bought it with our Economic Stimulus money (we did our part!) and it was worth EVERY cent that we paid!! In order to truly understand how wonderful this camera really is, you have to understand what I had before!

I was dealing with something like this pitiful excuse for a camera, which was over 10 years old. The plastic around the shutter button was cracked, which meant that the shutter didn't always go off when you pushed it.

The viewer had gotten knocked off center somehow, so you had to compensate a few centimeters every time you took a picture or your picture wouldn't be centered! This resulted in MANY cut-off heads or unsymmetrical pictures (which I despise...)

The rechargable battery pack was more or less dead because the charging dock didn't work well. This meant that I had to constantly buy photo batteries and keep them in my purse, because it gave you NO warning when the batteries were low!

The LCD screen was so ridiculously small that you really couldn't even look at the pictures on the camera. This also meant you couldn't take pictures very well looking at the LCD either, but that's okay because doing that used up the batteries in about 10 minutes!

So what's different about my Nikon, you ask? Well...it has an 18x optical lens that allows me to zoom way in on pictures. In Macro close-up mode, I can get a clear shot 1 cm away from the subject! That's how I got such a great shot of the Dogwood blooms. It also allows you to take pictures in black and white so that you don't have to switch it over when you edit the pictures. I find that the color is much truer when it is taken in BW from the camera. You can EVEN set it to take the picture in BOTH black and white AND color!

I have a Sports Mode which is incredibly useful when trying to take pictures of a rambuncious two year old. Whenever I want a good shot and he's all over the place, I set it to Sports Mode and let the "rapid fire" do its thing! 9 times out of 10, I get at least one good shot that way! The only problem is that you have a lot of pictures to delete afterwards! :)

The automatic red-eye reduction is amazing. Basically, the camera corrects the red eye as it takes the picture. I have never had a SINGLE picture have red eyes in it since I bought the camera!

The LCD screen is a 3-inch square, which means I can see the pictures even without my contacts in! I take ALL of my shots from the LCD...it is wayyyy easier.

Oh, and did I mention that the battery lasts FOREVER??? AND I have two of them!! (Long story that involves leaving my poor newborn camera out in the rain...but I had an insurance policy from Best Buy and it was replaced for free...got to keep the old battery...got a new battery with the new camera...and so now I have two!)

The editing software is great too (at least, it was until Caleb broke my USB and I could no longer load pictures onto my computer...) Seriously though, it is very user friendly and I thought it did a nice job of editing my pictures.

Needless to say, this little baby is a big step up for me! I have learned a lot about photography since I have gotten it, and really feel like it takes some good shots.

So...that's my camera. As you can probably guess, I would highly recommend a Nikon!!! So go do your part for our struggling economy and go buy one! You know you want to!!! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We're Proud of Our Dogwood!

The picture on my header is of our Dogwood tree. We planted it when we moved into our house (it's Caleb's tree), and it nearly died that first winter. We were pretty much thinking that it was gone, but the girl hung in there and made it through the cold weather. There was not a single flower (or leaf) on it last summer, and I still didn't have much hope this spring! Caleb and I continued to water it religiously in hopes that it would flower. Low and behold, IT DID!!! Caleb is convinced that it was his amazing watering skills that made the Dogwood bloom. I was so incredibly excited that I took LOTS of pictures of it. Aren't they the most beautiful blooms you've ever seen? They sure are to us!! :)

Easter

Here are the highlights of Easter...

Caleb got a Plasma car as his "big" gift. It has since provided hours of entertainment!






Pictures with Owen and Sara...took about a million of them to get this one decent one!




Attempt at a family shot



Hunting Easter eggs at Nina and Paw Paw's

Underwear Time!

I have started allowing Caleb to wear "big boy underwear" for short periods of time. He has to pee before he puts them on, and he can only wear them for 20 minutes at a time (unless he pees...then he gets another 20 minutes!) We've done this a couple of times now and he LOVES it! (That could be because we let him run around almost naked...not quite ready to actually put clothes on over top of the underwear yet!) :)




Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me Monday!



I just joined this huge carnival of bloggers who all write "Not Me Mondays" about stuff that they most DEFINITELY did NOT do (but they really did!) It's a fun way to confess your humanity...so here goes!

I did not cry at the thought of Caleb not needing to announce that he was awake in the morning--no, I did not begin to realize that my baby is growing up and has found other ways to entertain himself!

I did not go to sleep at 7:30 after I put Caleb to bed twice this last week because of utter exhaustion!

I did not eat an entire bag of popcorn for dinner...several nights in a row!

I do not have a "Salz" canister (that means Salt in German) that is actually a secret stash of chocolate.

I did not find myself thoroughly enjoying Little Einsteins yesterday morning. I certainly did not find myself wishing that it was longer and saddened when it was over!

I did not drive a remote control car all over the house knowing that it was getting marks all over the walls but having way too much fun chasing Caleb around to care.

I did not get completely grossed out during Communion at the thought of all the dirty hands that touched the Communion bread. I definitely didn't seriously consider not taking a piece to avoid contamination. After all, we are not in the midst of a Swine Flu epidemic!!

Okay, that's all I can think of right now. Hope I got you laughing! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Going Green--A Very Disappointing Update

UPDATE 5/2: Yes, yes, in fact my recycling efforts ARE in vain! I found out today that Matt only actually puts the cans/cardboard in the recycling bin 60% of the time (his percentage). That's a D! The definition of a D is "needs improvement," and that's exactly what you need, Matt! All of my GREEN friends, jump on him please!!

His answer to my being upset about his throwing away recyclables? Well, you aren't using napkins or paper towels anymore, so your environmentally friendliness is about what is was before! *sigh*

May I say a big THANK YOU to Adam and Susanne for being the only people who have heard about my green efforts to NOT crack some sort of joke!



Maybe it's the fact that our school has just become a Green School. Maybe it's the trendiness of "going green" that's plastered all over the TV screens. Maybe it's that I have always been environmentally conscious and want to dig a little deeper. Whatever it is, I am really becoming a much "Greener" person these days!

Despite the constant jokes from my dear husband and mom, I have decided to stop buying paper towels and napkins. We still have a lot (I tend to stock pile, as do most thrifty sale shoppers!), and I told Matt that if he conserved, he wouldn't even have to use cloth! I bought a pack of 18 white washcloths for $4 at Walmart and now have them sitting in a little container in my kitchen. These will be our "every day" napkins and paper towels. Never fear--they won't be used to clean up chemicals, chicken juice, or any other disgusting messes. These will be used just as napkins would be--to wipe your mouth, clean up a juice spill, etc. This morning I used one to dry off the grapes I washed before putting them in the bag for my lunch! I got white so that they could be bleached easily. We do have "fancy" cloth napkins for when guests come over that match our decor a little better, so chances are none of you would ever use our "every day" cloths!

Although I have yet to actually get the buckets upstairs and into the bathroom (possibly because our garage is in complete disarray right now due to the termite treatments and I have no idea where our buckets are!), I am also going to start putting a bucket in the bathtub with me and collect any extra water. Then I will use the water to water the flowers! I already have some flowers growing (my hydrangeas are coming up, and I just planted blueberry buses), so I can start now. I just have to locate the buckets...

Always an avid recycler, I am now really trying to recycle all cardboard and paper. Matt HATES this and I'm not so sure that he's not just throwing it all in the dumpster, but my idealistic self hopes that my hard work is not for nothing. Is it, Matt?? Is it all for nothing???

The other day, I commented on our need for more toilet paper the next time I went to the grocery store. Without missing a beat, Matt replied, "Oh, we're not using the washcloths for that too? I thought we were getting rid of toilet paper!" *sigh* Jerk...NO, but I did buy Small Steps brand, which is made from recycled paper. (Plus, I had a great coupon!)

At any rate, I'm doing the best I can. I won't be starting a compost pile or anything like that (I think they are gross and attract bugs that I don't like), but I am trying....even if people do make fun of me! :)