Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Our dog, Julianna (a white boxer), ran away on Sunday. This picture is a couple years old, but she loves our boys and has put up with them since they were born -- and this picture reminds me of that.

We got her as a puppy our first Christmas after we married, so we've had her since 1997. As a pup, she used to ride to work with me in a laundry basket and keep me company in our office. She is a good protector, and prefers her entire family to be together in the same room so she can truly rest.

This past Sunday, DH was working in the yard and left for some supplies. Inadvertently, he left one of the gates open. About 30 minutes later, I realized she wasn't by my side, so I went to look for her and found the gate open and no dog. I called urgently for her, and our dear neighbors actually hopped in their truck to look for her. When DH got home, he & the boys went out looking as well.

DH felt horrible since he left the gate open. I admit to feeling a bit of ambivalence -- she is microchipped, so I knew if someone picked her up, they'd be able to call us once she was scanned. My biggest fears were that she would either get hit by a car, or wander into the desert and tangle with a coyote or 2.

On Monday morning, both boys woke up and were very sad that Julianna was still gone. They both thought they heard her before they woke, and were tearful when they realized it was only their "memory." We talked about having positive thoughts about her coming home, and saying a prayer that she would be taken in by a kind family who would return her.

Monday evening there was a knock at our door and a young boy was there with our Julie on a leash. She only wandered a few streets away and a very kind family took her in for the night. The family owned 2 boxers, and I guess our boxer refused to eat the dog food they had -- so the young boy said they gave her some steak!!! He got home from school and began walking through the streets trying to find her owner. Another of our neighbors saw him, and said "Hey! I know that dog!" and directed him to our home.

The boys (and I and DH) are THRILLED that she is back home. Even though I grouse about the dog hair on everything . . . I do love our dog.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Homekeeping meme

Seen at Amy's and other places . . .

Aprons – Y/N?

I have a couple, which I wear sometimes while baking or scrubbing the kitchen. Probably not more than half the time, though. I love the look of some vintage aprons, and went through a phase of wanting to make one . . . but never did.

Baking – Favorite thing to bake:

Bread! I love the smell of yeast, punching down the dough, and filling the house with the aroma of freshly baked bread. Yum.

Clothesline – Y/N?

I used to have one strung on our back patio. It was perfect for hanging diapers. DH always hated it, and moved it to the side yard. It was taken down when we had the pool installed and I don't have one anymore.

Donuts – Have you ever made them?

No, but my mom used to make them every once in a while.

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:

make my bed

Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?

yes - and I use the freezer in my mom's refrigerator next door as well. (They only live there a few weeks out of the year right now.)

Garbage Disposal – Y/N?

Yes, but it's lousy and doesn't work very well.

Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?

Because of this meme, and some posts at the Real Learning site, I borrowed Home Comforts and Martha Stewart's homemaking book from the library this week. They're still sitting in the library basket where I placed them after coming home.

Ironing – Love it or hate it?

don't do it. DH has to iron for himself, which is why I take his shirts to the cleaners.

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?

Yes, we actually have 4 in our kitchen! (I'm lucky that I have many drawers/cupboards there.)

Kitchen: Design & Decorating?

I love my kitchen and the more houses we look at, the more I love it. We have tons of cupboards, a wonderful island the boys can eat and do crafts at, and plenty of light. We have plans to paint it this spring 2 tones of orange.

Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking?

Organizing something and keeping it organized.

Mop - Y/N?

DH has always been in charge of the floors in our marriage. That said, he does use a mop.

Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine?

washing machine

Oven - Do you use the window, or open the door to check?

I open the door.

Pizza - What do you put on yours?

Pepperoni and black olives

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

read a book

Recipe card box - Y/N?

No, but I do have a binder full of recipes that I've written out.

Style of house -

Ranch, 4 bedroom, 2 bath

Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N?

for special meals

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?

organized -- mainly because I clog the garbage disposal and DH has to easily get under there to fix it. Everything under there is organized into 3 plastic baskets and a bucket.

Vacuum - How many times per week?


Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do a week?

8 or 9 -- I try to do at least one load/day, but often have 2 loads of towels and 2 loads of sheets each week so I do 2 loads on those days.

X's - Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?

Very often I do. I have a notebook that I write my lists in.

Yard - Who does what?

DH takes care of 95% of yard duties.

Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?

Making sure the outside lights are turned off, and locking all the doors.

Tagging whoever hasn't done this yet and wants to. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

24 weeks & 1 day

C took the picture, so it's a little crooked . . . but here's my burgeoning belly :)

And I cleaned my bathroom mirror yesterday . . . but apparently not very well! LOL

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I'm finally hungry. According to, the babe has gained about a quarter of a pound in the last week! Since I am still down about 12 lbs since pre-pregnancy, I'm glad that I'm hungry and able to eat more. I'm probably on track to end up about 10-15 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight by the time the babe is born, which is okay with me. I've been craving cheeseburgers (same as with C) and oranges like crazy. It was jell-o with N.

I'm at 24 weeks today. I was changing shirts earlier and N came in and was amazed at my stomach. He came over and said "WHAT are all these scrapes?? You need rescue creme right away!" I explained they were stretch marks from my stomach growing to fit the babe. I'm a little amazed at the size of my stomach right now, and can't wait until my mom sees it next week.

brotherly love

I think their love of life, and each other, shines out of this picture ;)

mish mash

  • We stopped at a restaurant a couple nights ago for dinner. It had been a long day, and I'm sure I looked beat . . . but the waitress said to me (as she looked at my stomach) as we sat "You just need to say NO to him!" -- I guess in response to my 2 young boys and burgeoning belly. Ummm, I did not leave a tip.

  • I have a most wonderful husband. He is always encouraging me to rest and/or nap. He never complains about bringing home dinner, or the fact that my meal-making abilities are rather invisible these days.

  • N's favorite book at the moment is Armored Fighting Vehicles, which he chose from a bargain book shelf a few months ago. He flips through the book, then brings it to either me or DH and asks us to read a page that he "is most in-nerested in." I've learned more about tanks and rocket launchers than I knew possible! LOL

  • My oldest is a CCD dropout. Ugh. Unfortunately, we all managed to sleep through his class at church again! We cover more at home religious-ed wise though, than he was getting in this class, so I'm not overly concerned about it. They're not even trying to teach them any prayers -- and he knows quite a few already. We may try again next year, when sleeping in will be pretty difficult with an infant.

  • Even though I think we're not covering enough in regards to homeschooling, C is reading very well and zipping through the math info we have. I guess we're doing more than I think!

  • My parents will be here Monday. I should get all the rest this week that I can!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

celebrity look-alikes?

Umm, I don't know who all these women are, but I'm flattered to look like Juliette Binoche and Lucy Lawless :) LOL!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Over the last week, I have purged my dresser and closet of FOUR trash bags full of clothing.

I'm in a bit of awe over that. What a waste of space!!! The last bag is sitting on my doorstep waiting for a woman to come pick it up. I love fr**cycle! All the clothing I have passed along using that group. (** -- replace the ** with "ee" -- I don't want hits on my site from people searching for info about them.)

I let go work clothes that I've hung onto, even though I left full-time employment over 6 years ago. I let go dress-up clothes that just won't fit anymore. Last week I let go shirts and pants that just weren't comfortable and/or didn't look any good on me!

I admit, a lot of this purging has come from watching that show on cable where they give a woman $5K provided she gives up her entire current wardrobe, and takes their advice on what to buy to replace her clothes. They look at some of her "favorite" outfits and tell her why they just don't work, and then give her ideas on how to choose clothes that will be the most flattering for her shape / coloring / lifestyle. The hosts are pretty harsh (which I don't like, but understand it's part of the show) but these women are always thrilled at the end, and BOY, do they look better at the end of the show!

I packed away the clothes I decided to keep in plastic bins and just left maternity clothing in my dresser. And, the clothes I kept I separated into breastfeeding-friendly and not breastfeeding-friendly to make things easier after the babe is born.

I still have to go through my undies drawer -- but whatever gets purged from there will go straight into the trash :) In fact, in addition to the 4 bags I gave away, at least one additional bag went to the trash.

You'd think I was a clothes horse, but I'm not. I will probably do a bit of purging again after the babe is born and then fill in with clothes that are flattering and that fit well.

Next to tackle: the boys' closet and drawers! And I need to prod DH into purging his side of the closet as well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

where'd the week go?

I'm still here.

The stomach bug N and I had lasted forever . . . well, a full 7 days anyway! It was the worst stomach bug I ever had! Thankfully C & DH did not get sick, but just dealing with myself was tiring enough.

I completed some paperwork that has needed to be done for over 3 years. That was my big accomplishment for the week ;) I wish I could say I didn't have any other overdue paperwork in my office, but that wouldn't be true. I WILL have it done by Feb 15, though - no matter WHAT!!!!!

My stomach bug is over, but I feel tired and cranky. I think it's just pregnancy and hormones, though. Poor DH is getting the brunt of most of my crankiness, but the boys have felt it as well. Which just makes me feel like a lousy mother and wife . . . and wonder what I could be doing having another child . . . and well, can you tell I'm still cranky and let's add a dose of self-pity on top? bleck. I'm not especially thrilled with myself at the moment.

We went and looked at more houses on Monday. By moving about 20 miles further "out", we could purchase a house that is twice as big as our current house for about $50K less than we could sell our current house for. The temptation is high . . . but a big part of me would also like to stay put. We have an awesome rate on our mortgage, and rates are just not that low anymore. We have an awesome backyard, and a new house would not have a lot as big as our current one. Our utility bills would be higher in a bigger house. Our taxes would be higher in a bigger house. We would be farther away from stores, the zoo, etc.

BUT, we would have more than enough room for our family. Each child could have their own bedroom, plus we'd have an office, plus we'd have a living room and a family room, plus a loft room that could be used as a playroom. I'd have room to put a piano. I'd have plenty of places to put lots of bookshelves. This is the floorplan we're considering. This is another floorplan we're considering. The cost is higher, but it's a bit closer to where we live now. (For comparison - here's our current floorplan. The house we live in now is just over 1600 sq feet.)

Thinking about it adds to my stress. DH wants to make the move; I'm torn.

Need to feed the boys dinner. I think I'll feed them and put us all to bed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


In the last few days, my stomach has really popped out. Being overweight, I've been at that "could be pregnant, could be just fat" stage up until now. But, yesterday, I noticed my profile in the mirrors a few times while we were looking at houses -- and YEP, I'm looking pregnant.

Now, if only I could feel better. Not sure if I'm still suffering from stomach bug, or hunger. Trying to force healthy food into my system in hopes that I feel better, and also to nourish self & babe. Nothing sounds, looks or smells good though -- but the pain in my stomach and nausea are pretty awful, too. urgh.

Tomorrow will be an easier day. I know it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

busy, then sick :(

We had a wonderful weekend. Saturday we attended another in the series of family symphony concerts and thoroughly enjoyed a production of "Mozart and the Magnificient Journey." The boys were enthralled throughout and the actors playing the parts were wonderful.

Saturday night DH & I were up with N from around midnight until 4AM as he suffered through some horrible stomach bug. 4 loads of laundry and a few hours sleep later, and he seemed fine. So, Sunday night we headed out to Zoo Lights.

We had a great time again. The weather was mild and it's always fun to wander around the zoo after dark. We like to wait until the last weekend because it's a nice closure to our holiday season.

Monday I spent the day in bed suffering from a stomach bug, and most of today. DH came home and wanted to go look at some houses, so I managed to shower and make the drive. I still feel weak and yucky, but I'm doing better.

I'm ambivalent about the house issue. The houses we looked at are at least 1.5 times bigger than ours and we could swing the mortgage. DH would like to keep our house, though, and rent it while we buy the new house -- which I'm not as comfortable with. I would like the extra room in the house, but I'd miss our huge backyard. One of the houses had 6 bedrooms and 5 baths!! Because it's further out than we live now, the difference between what we could sell our house for and buy that one for isn't that huge. I imagine there will be quite a few late night discussions about this!

Oh, and even with being sick, we did get some homeschooling in! Yea for me!

I don't really have much planned for the rest of the week. I'd like to get back to organizing and de-cluttering! Provided I'm feeling better, that's the plan.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

daily life

We are back in a groove this week, and it feels good!

Tuesday we were able to hammer out some lessons -- and even N was willing to sit and concentrate on copy work for a little bit. He much prefers anything that involves movement, so if he sits still for more than 5 minutes, I consider it a victory! We also visited a new exhibit at the local youth museum and finally made a new entry into our nature journals.

Wednesday C went to his enrichment program. I started going through clothes in my bedroom and made some good headway into that project. I decided to pass along everything that I absolutely didn't love . . . a decision made even easier since I won't fit into anything but maternity clothes for the next 5 months!

Today we worked on more lessons and then spent the afternoon running errands. We dropped off a donation for the food pantry, visited the post office, cashed some gift checks at the bank, dropped off B's shirts at the cleaners, picked up some rubber bins at Target on sale and visited the library. A very productive (and exhausting) afternoon.

I've got to figure out a dinner soon, as B has a late call and we won't see him for hours yet. I may whip up some scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast and call it a night.

OH! And that diaper bag I posted about yesterday? I bought one from ebay last night -- not that exact style, but the same company and the same fabric in a messenger bag style with a black bottom. It was a good deal and, well, I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

diaper bag

I'm currently coveting this diaper bag.

Me -- who has told countless people -- "Oh, a backpack really was the best diaper bag I could have used!"

I received a cute Winnie the Pooh diaper bag at my baby shower with Colin. When that wore out, I purchased a simple navy bag from W*llyworld for something like $15. Then, I went to a backpack I picked up on clearance frome JCP for less than $5. (I still carry that bag, too! It's been an awesome backpack.)

I really intended on sticking with my backpack -- until I saw this bag. It's a Kecci bag (no real clue who they are?) It converts from a messenger style to a backpack style. Oh, and it's pink (in case you couldn't tell.) It's also crazy expensive - at least to me. With shipping, it'll be over $60!! I know there are diaper bags out there going for over $100 -- in fact, a friend has one that cost almost $200 -- but for someone who has never paid more than $15 for a diaper bag, this seems extravagant.

This bag is reviewed as very roomy, and comes with lots of pockets and a changing pad! I have another few months (btw, Alexa, my due date is 5/16) so I'll wait to see if I'm still lusting after this bag when I'm closer to needing it. This may end up being my big splurge for this baby, who knows?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I've decided to make just a few resolutions -- more like goals, really!

1. Take better control of our finances. I used to be really good about tracking our income and expenses -- but then times got really bad and it was all I could do to keep our heads above water. I know it might seem that would be the time to keep careful track, but it was just more depressing than anything. We're in much better financial shape now, and I'd like to get back to being more organized.

2. De-clutter the house. I want this done before the new babe arrives, which means I need to get on it! I did start this weekend already, with a good cleaning of the laundry room (which had become a catch-all room.) I still need to go through the shelves in there, but the lower half of the room looks great.

3. Create routines, stick with them, and involve the boys. Ugh, once again, I have to say that I used to be really good about this! But, I've let them slide completely over the last couple years. I know it helped keep my sanity when I had 2 very small children, and I know it will be necessary between homeschooling and caring for an infant in a few months. I've started working on these slowly -- and I know I can implement them fully in the next month!

4. Blog the details. Looking back on posts made this last year, I realize my favorite posts are those where I recall what we did all week -- even when it was just running errands and visiting museums. I know that there are those out there who try to make social statements, or want to post only "meaningful" posts -- but I realize that I want to remember the day-to-day things that make up our lives. Life is in the details, and this blog ultimately is for ME. I also realize the blogs I like best do the same -- I am interested to read about how lives unfold in other families.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve -- finding us all in bed by 10:30. DH is doing a side job this weekend, so he spent yesterday (and today) working and came home pretty wiped out. We've never been big partiers for NYE, though, so it's not a big deal.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!! May 2007 bring you all that you need, and plenty that you want!
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