Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Go Green

I didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was buy a new trash can and start saving plastic for recycling. (At our center you have to sort things, so I was just going do one thing and not have to sort it.) Sadly, I did not. I probably will in the near future, but for this challenge time frame I didn’t do what I intended to do.

What did I do?

I didn’t litter. I never do, there are just too many trash cans available at any given time to make littering justifiable.

We used cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels whenever possible. In fact we use cloth napkins most nights for dinner.

Run full loads of laundry and dishes instead of half loads. I already did this, but we are still doing it.

I signed up for the opt out thingy to not get credit card offers anymore, they haven’t stopped yet, but it said to give it 90 days.

I still plan my errands to conserve gas. In fact I even ran one errand on my bike one time (pay the baby-sitter). I'd do that more, but the streets I'd have to cross with Landon on the back of my bike make me very scared.

We have 1 reusable A/C filter, we’re having trouble finding one for the 12x36 size.

Every replacement light bulb in our house has been a compact fluorescent bulb.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Who's the Boss?

And now for pumpkin carvings, I present Mike from Monsters Inc.:

And Tow Mater from Cars:

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Whole Spectrum – Also, longest post EVER

As bad as the weekend started out, it got much much better. (And the pictures don't exactly match the story, but you don't really care about that, do you?)

Thursday evening on the way home from work, I came down with the virus that Landon had. I picked him up, and found Clint to be in much the same state as me when I got home. Knowing that I could not handle him overnight, the night before a test and expect to feel any better, I called my mom and asked her to come get him. I had him packed by the time she got there. And we shove him out the door in a matter of minutes. I think she may have been at our house for all of 10 minutes.

I went straight to bed. I woke up at 2 and took Pepto. I felt slightly better, better enough to get some decent sleep.

I was still very queasy and I tried to eat a piece of dry toast, but it took me nearly an hour to eat 1 piece.

I got to the test and was pleasantly surprised to find that we were not taking it in the Reliant stadium and we were not going to be overcome with noise like last time. I got my books out of my truck and started heading towards the building. I poured my Sprite that I was sipping all over my pump bag on the way in, and I was having trouble with the handle of my cart.

I managed to get my cart up to the second floor and was standing there looking to see if I recognized anyone, and I only recognized 1 guy from work. I started to go over to talk to him when I broke the handle completely off my cart and spilled everything on the floor.

I picked it all up and decided to stay put.

The guy in charge reminds me of Macolm X – I think it’s his glasses (he was in charge last time too.) He’s also very. Uh…anal. And while I understand that you need a lot of procedural exactness when giving a test of these sorts, his demeanor in the test, I hope, is not his demeanor in his social life, because I’d hate to be his friend. I mean, the test is over, everyone has turned in their booklets, and in one particular area the proctor guy had begun handing out the confiscated cell phones, and he about bit that guy’s head off. FOUR TIMES, not because the guy continued to do it, but because he felt like he had to say everything 4 times in increasing meanness, for the fun of it.

The test part was pretty uneventful, the morning session was harder than I remembered if from last time, but I feel decent about it.

At lunch I was able to stomach one of the sandwiches I made, and spilled my Dr. Pepper on the floor. I had no paper towels or napkins, so I used my sweatshirt to mop up the spill.

The afternoon was easier this time around, I think I was much better prepared for it.

I headed home after the test still feeling icky, I called to tell my parents that I was not coming for Landon, but would be there in the morning. When I got home I watched some TV and went to bed, still feeling slightly bad.

When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt great. But Clint had a re-lapse, so I took off. I gathered stuff for me to spend the night in LJ, I played the role of the mean Mom and called to cancel Clint’s play date.

Landon had decided that this was the weekend of hugging. He was hugging everyone. Dos included. And while Dos seemed to hang around for the dropped food, he didn’t appreciate the hugs like Scarlett and Fiona do.

Kathleen and Zoey showed up and we went to the pumpkin patch for pictures, and pumpkin buying.

A little girl waved at him and tried to shake his hand, and Landon lumbered towards her arms outstretched wanting to hug her. She pulled back and was not about to let that strange boy hug her.

He had a great time.

Sunday morning we cut the pumpkins for carving, and he helped pull the seeds out of them. I’ll have pictures of the pumpkins tomorrow.

We went shopping for a Halloween costume and I learned my lesson. Next year, we buy something in early October or I have to make it, because I spent entirely too much on a bear costume because it’s the only thing available in his size. And what I really wanted was a monkey costume.

Anyway, we should have lots of pictures this week and back to regular posting and I realize this was the longest most boring post, but all of it needed to be said.

Friday, October 26, 2007

How to have an awful PE experince in 4 easy steps.

Hey thanks for all the good lucks and happy birthdays! I really appreciate them.

I feel better about the afternoon this time and worse about the morning, so I guess we'll see how that goes. They changed the wording on the website from 12 weeks to 90 days. I guess they needed 6 more days, even though they send out results in about 11 weeks last time. So I'll know something in mid January.

On to the How to:

1. Get really sick the night before, on the drive home. Puking. So sick that you call your mom to come get your kid because you think you might actually die.

2. Break your cart with 50 lbs of books first thing in the morning.

3. Spill your coke at lunch, and finding nothing to wipe it up with, use your sweatshirt, only to discover that you're really cold when you re-enter the room, but have no desire to be sticky.

4. Do it all on your birthday. End up leaving your kid with your mom for another night because you still feel that bad.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wish me luck.

I know I didn't promise a post this week, but I have a few minutes, so here we go, highlights from my week.

On Tuesday on my way home I peered out the window into the median at a major intersection and saw panties. And I wished I had my camera with me. Because who loses their panties like that?

Landon tried to re-enact that scene from Poltergeist on Tuesday afternoon. So I stayed home with him yesterday. He seems ok now, and there is something going around. I wouldn't normally have panicked, but he's never been this sick (vomiting, I mean clearly the pneumonia was worse than this) and he was listless, which was the scariest part. We called the after-hours doctor number and ended up talking to a nurse at Texas Children's Hospital. She said they were getting a LOT of vomiting calls. So I followed her directions and he seems to be recovering nicely. He managed to get either puke or poop on every sheet in the house and we each went through 4 outfits yesterday (granted my outfits were pretty much pajamas, but that's neither here nor there). After washing everything, I layered his sheets, so I can change his sheets by removing 1 sheet and 1 absorbent pad without having to remake the whole thing again. Unfortunately I can't do that with our beds, since I only have one mattress cover for each matress. Anyway, He's better.

Oh and I realized this morning that he somehow figured out how to unlatch the crib rail. Which means he's one short "safely getting out of the crib" lesson away from us waking up to someone staring at us from the edge of the bed (or yelling at us from the top of the gated stairs.)

I am loaded up on vitamins and Zicam as a pre-emptive strike, because the last thing I need for a test is to feel bad during it.

It occurs to me that those of you who don't know me and don't know what I do for a living are all "Why is she so worried about a PE exam? And what's this studying stuff? I took PE in elementary and I did fine." The PE exam is Professional Engineer exam. After working for 4 years minimum and gathering up info from at least 3 supervisors who are PEs who will corroborate your experience, you can apply to take the PE exam. I am a structural EIT (Engineer In Training). I work in offshore at the moment and it's not as highly a coveted achievement within that market, primarily because offshore work hardly ever requires a stamp of any kind. Drawings are still stamped 99% of the time because the lead engineer is usually a PE, but I have been on projects where nothing was stamped. Anyway, if the market dies (a la mid 1980s) or if a person wants to take a different path in life and try something new (a la inspector and self employedness), having a professional engineer's license is a big advantage. To build anything on land, you have to have a PE stamp the drawings. Signifying that they checked them, blah-blah-blah. So it's a big deal. It won't end my career if I don't get it, but it will certainly help if I do.

At my new project I ran into someone I met at the first PE exam I took. Since I didn't get the congratulatory email about her that I got for the others who passed, I asked if she was taking it again and she is. She also missed a passing mark by only a few points. She has decided that if she doesn't pass this time that she's not meant to be an engineer. Which I find sad, not that she can't change her career path, but that she's letting a test dictate to her that she's not worthy of her original choice. Plus she'd still have 2 more chances on the same application. I say, you get 4 chances to take it without having to re-round up your references, and I'm going to take all 4 if I have to. I may reevaluate at that point, but not before then.

I have a new approach to the exam this time, and I think it will serve me well. I feel better prepared this time, and I feel like I know what I did "wrong" last time around.

My birthday is Friday, and I'm turning 29. I don't like it - but everybody's doing it.

If ever I needed comments, it's now. Good lucks, and happy birthdays and the like. I know I told everyone I wasn't going to post this week, and I can tell from my stats that almost all of you took that to heart. So I don't expect much.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Birthday Pictures

I got nothing. My laptop wasn't charged, so I didn't get to unload the pictures from the camera and take new ones, like I planned. I did scour the ones I have and picked a few to post for today, since 99% 100% of you only really care about Landon pictures.

Next week posting may be scarce. My PE exam is next Friday. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKK. And so is my Birthday. Nothing like spending 12 hours on your birthday taking the hardest test of your life. I still haven't written the Thank You notes for Landon's birthday party, but I see the list every day and think "I need to do that." I'm transitioning to a new project at work next week too. And for a while I'll have two, count them, one-two, offices. Also 2 computers. Anyway, it's about to get crazy busy for at least the next week. Not to mention the whole - "your house is wet from the inside" business. So no posting promises, and I'll do my best to return to your regularly scheduled M-Th posting schedule come October 29. Provided I am not killed by the exam.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

So yesterday, I stayed home from work sick. I was battling a cold all weekend and still felt bad yesterday morning, bad enough to take Landon to Linda's and then go back to bed.

The freakish rainstorm kept Clint at work late due to flooding.

I was standing in the kitchen getting my ice water ready to go upstairs and begin an evening of being yelled at to pick me up, put me down,WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYY did you put me down....PICK ME UP!

And I heard what sounded like if you leave you sink on and it over flows and the water hits the floor. And I looked, and the sink was not on. And the Bar sink was not on. And the washing machine was not on. And the bathroom sink was not on. And the shower was not on. And the floor around the fridge looked dry. And I had just about decided that maybe the noise was some kind of toy making a weird noise, when I saw water by the pantry, coming from the dining room.

The whole front wall of our dining room is wet. Up in the corner was a pocket of paint, peeled from the wall, what once held all the water that finally gave way.

The plumber comes today, and hopefully we can get to the root of the problem.

Clearly this is going to be the best week EVAH!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Next Time We'll Stop at DQ After

Landon's 12 month appointment was last Friday.

Last time he was small for his age.

This time at least he made the chart. He's 28 inches tall (25th percentile)

He's 22 lbs 8 ozs (50th percentile)

He got 4 shots. He didn't even cry for the first one, but the second one pissed him off. The 3rd and 4th were just plain torture. And of course he spent the weekend kind of doped up on Tylenol to combat the normal "low grade" burn your arm off if you touch his skin fever.

And a special bonus is that 7-10 days after the flu and chicken pox vaccines, I get another round of side effects to deal wtih. Yea for me!

The absolutely brillant news is that we get to turn him around in the car. We ordered the new car seat a little late, so we waited to turn either seat around until it showed up. It showed up Tuesday, so we'll be putting it in this weekend.

The pleasure level of being in the car should dramatically increased, by 10,000% give or take.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What the Hell did the Damn Duck Do now?

I kind of feel like I'm just missing a cane, a moomoo and house shoes, yelling at kids to "get off my lawn!!!" Telling stories about how in my day I had to walk to school, 10 miles, in the snow, up hill, both ways. And today, I gripe about "these childrens' books today..."

We took Landon to the book store the other day. Clint picked out a book that he thought was cool.

Duck in the Truck

It’s cute, it rhymes, it has a story to it.

The duck is driving along in his truck and he hits a rock and get stuck in the muck.
A frog, a sheep and a goat all go out of their way to help the duck out of the muck.
But the last page is where I really have the problem…when the duck’s truck is unstuck? He leaves the animals who helped him, stuck in the muck. He didn't say "Thank You." He didn't help those who helped him. He just. drove. off. GRRRRR.
It doesn’t have as easy a fix as my other childrens' book I have issues with. At least for this one:
I can just skip the page where his mother breaks into his house and rocks him…as an ADULT. She breaks into his house, people. It's creepy.

What happened to the stories like “Whose Mouse Are You?”

That mouse lost his whole family and systematically went about solving his own problem by getting them all back. We need more books like that. Problem solving mouse books. Bring ‘em on.

Or Sheldon’s Lunch. Yeah they screwed up the recipe. But those animals cleaned the WHOLE kitchen before Sheldon’s Mom got home. Sure, they created their own problem, but they also solved it.

Or Popcorn. At a Halloween party, the house is accidentally filled with popcorn, also, by the time the parents arrive home, problem is solved.
So I find myself picking up children's books now and looking at the end to make sure they don't have some kind of rude protagonist, teaching my kid to not even thank the people who help him. His books don't all need lessons, but at the very least, shouldn't they model basic polite behavior?
And it won't bother me in the least if my kid fills my house with popcorn or blueberry pancake batter without my knowledge as long as he cleans it up well enough that I don't even notice when I return. I want him to be a problem solver, and if that's what it takes, so be it. At least I won't have to clean it up.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Birthday Boy

We started with swimming and eating fajitas.
Hey mom, I think you set the table on fire.
What are you people singing about?
Icing is good, but I'm not sure about this whole cake thing, more icing please!

So, there's stuff under the tissue paper?

And as it turns out, we could have just bought him a dozen helium balloons and called it a day:

Monday, October 08, 2007

No MIPs?

I bet you thought you could come here for Birthday party pictures.

I thought you could too.

I don’t have my USB cable with me today. And the camera is all “No I won’t give them to the computer with out it.” Selfish.

So that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Instead want to hear about how I called the cops later that night?

Clint and Shane went to Clint’s parents’ hotel room, while I tried to get Landon to sleep at a reasonable hour.

SOME ONE we know didn’t go to sleep until like 11:20pm. I took him upstairs to his crib and went down to make myself a glass of ice water.

I looked out the window and some person is walking around Shane’s car. Weird.

I got my water, I went to the bathroom. I came back to see what they’re doing then.

They were still there. They looked like they were on the phone.

A car drove up and 4 more people got out.

They all walked around the car. They looked in the windows. After a few minutes they had been here too long for a “hey there’s this old car on ____ street, come look at it.” Way too long. Long enough for me to think. “I wonder if they’re deciding whether to take the radio, or the whole car.”

I locked the backdoor. I called Clint. “Uh…people outside, looking at Shane’s car. Unnerving.”

I hung up and I started shaking. This is not an emergency, you can’t call 911 because it’s not an emergency. Where is the regular phone number to the police station…city of ….no. I look up police. It’s under police,. But doesn’t say if it’s Ourtown or Town Nextdoor. I call anyway. I tell her I’m alone and I’m scared. And what’s going on, and she says she’s sending someone out.

I honestly thought if the cop showed up at the end of the street they’d scatter.

I called Clint and told him I called the cops.

The cops showed up. They sent a 12 year old. He was, literally smaller than my nephew.

Clint skidded around the corner about half way through their “investigation” Read: sit the kids on the curb and let them “think about what they’ve done.”

The 4 boys and 1 girl had a LOT of liquor – which they claimed to have found by the car. HAHAHA. It was cheap clear liquor. Nothing says “This is a teenager’s alcohol” like a $6 gallon of something clear.

They claimed they just thought it was a “cool car.” 2 were released to parents, 3 were allowed to just drive off! After finding them with gallons of liquor, he didn’t even do a field sobriety test. He just poured it out.

He said when he told them that what they were doing was a good way to get shot, that it’s like “their eyes were opened.” I think when they heard him say that they thought “if we act dumb, we won’t get in any trouble for this.” And they were right.

And then he tried to give us the bag. It’s not our bag. It’s their bag, you moron.

What happened to MIPs? Do they not give those out anymore?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Plan #5697

Wow, I was totally ready to change the side bar stuff and rework my whole plan.

But looking at it, it’s probably about the same.

I called my contact last night because it has been two weeks and I hadn’t heard anything from him. He said he didn’t get my email, so I’ll send it again. But I asked him over the phone if he would consider sponsoring me and he said yes!

So I will work under him for a minimum of 1 year and 200 inspections and then I can apply to be a professional inspector and work for myself. Or I may end up loving working for him and stick with him. I assume at some point I will go actually talk to him about the details of how he sponsors people. And what it would mean for him to sponsor me.

But YEA!

This opportunity to work for him is actually really a blessing. When the rules changed I wrote a pro/con sheet (I'm a nerd) about continuing to pursue the education vs. having him sponsor me (him specifically, because I didn’t know anyone else who could). It couldn’t have come out more pro for him than it did.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #12

Dear Landon,

Today you turned 1. It was one year ago today when I lost a complete day of my life. I have no idea what happened. I know it wasn’t painful that day, but it was pretty painful in the weeks that followed. One year on the campaign trail of “Only Child or Bust.” Your target demographic seems to be in lock step with your views. Polls show you just might win.

This month you’ve taken your first steps. You had no idea you did it, you had no idea why everyone was so excited, you had no idea why Grandma was teasing you with a toy thinking you’d step to her, and JUST HAND IT TO ME WOMAN! You've done it since, but not a lot, probably because you didn’t know you did it to begin with. In the last couple days it's been more and more, so it’s only a matter of time.

Since we showed you how your walking cart is supposed to work, you’ve taken to grabbing anything you can find that slides and using it as a walker. A laundry basket slides nicely on all floors, the barstools are good on the tile, but not so much on carpet. And stupid baby gates get in your way.

You’re beginning to test your limits. You know what you’re supposed to be doing and what you’re not, we can tell by the way you smile at us when we tell you no. I’m pretty sure it’s a survival technique designed to disarm angry parents from killing their young for trying to climb the stairs for the 14th time in less than an hour. Or you’re a punk.

You’ve said some words besides “Mamama” and “Dadada” this month. We’re pretty sure you’re saying “Dogdogdog.” It sounds a lot like “Dadada” but you are normally looking at the dog when you say it. You will occasionally say “bye” to someone, but not on command, pretty much it’s only if they’re lucky. Then there’s the time I thought you might have said “kitty.” I’m not really sure what’s at work here. I mean, if you put 100 monkeys on typewriters, one of them is bound to type a word. You do a lot of “dee dee dee” noises. I kind of like that everything you say is in 3s. I would love to be Mamama, instead of Mama and then you can skip right on to “Mom.” (and God knows I do NOT want to be called "mommy".) Hey there’s a commercial for Volvo where this little girl is talking and talking and talking and her Dad is trying to be all attentive, but also trying to get the hell in the car and go somewhere, and he very carefully listens while he puts her in the car seat and has to close the door and get around to the driver side, and she never misses a beat, she just keeps talking. That’s you. Only we don’t know what the heck you’re saying.

I was getting the house ready for your birthday party and I set you up in the foyer with a couple toys, I gated the front door while I bleached the front patio. I could see you and talk to you and I thought it was a pretty good set up. You screamed as I walked away to get the hose from the side of the house, but you were perfectly fine and I could hear you talking to the dogs once I was out of sight. Until you saw me come back and then you screamed and pretended I had abandoned you and you had been screaming all along. We both know that’s not true, so cut that out. That’s not the only time I’ve observed this little manipulative trick of yours, you do it when I have the audacity to put you in your car seat and then lock the back door before we leave in the morning. Or when I try and go to the bathroom. Not cool.

Meanwhile, for all your punkish behavior, I almost called in cute and cuddly to work last week and its days like that when I can see why a lot of people have their babies about 2 years apart. Not that we fall into that category, see above, about the most excellent campaign you’re running.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Death Threats

Someone is trying to kill me in the restroom at work.

I go in there a lot. I drink a lot of water.

And every time I have walked in this week, I am assaulted at the door. Bludgeoned even. By the scent of I don’t know… something overly flowery.

Now look, it’s a bathroom, I assume from time to time people will create a smell in there. And from time to time, it won’t smell like roses. But we have one of those nifty little box things on the wall that’s supposed to be for odor control and as far as I’m concerned I’d rather smell the business than the flowers, if you know what I mean.

So I’ve had a headache all week. Which is making concentrating on stuff that much harder. I guess I should count my blessings, at least it’s not lilac flavored. And I have yet to encounter people on their cell phones in there like I did at Previous Employer.

Small Change Challenge #10

Beth, at Playgroup Dropout, is totally using my challenge this month. WOOHOO!!

I cannot fail at my own challenge, I cannot fail at my own challenge, I cannot fail at my own challenge.

So the challenge is to go green.

This is so super easy to do, pick one or two or do them all.

Don’t litter.

Cut up the little rings on your 6 packs before trashing them.


Put a water saver thingy in your toilet (they have valves now that do this, but you can also use a brick in the tank.)

Use cloth napkins and dish towels instead of paper napkins and paper towels.

Run full loads of laundry and dishes instead of half loads.

Organize or participate in a trash clean-up. Or just pick up trash at your local park or whenever you’re out.

A couple posts ago I posted a couple websites to reduce your junk mail, sign up for those.

Plan your errands so that you use the least amount of gas (do a lot at one time, start at the furthest out and work your way back home.)

Buy reusable A/C return air filters.

Replace any burned out bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

Use the library for books instead of buying them.

There are probably 100 more things I could list, I’ve only been typing this for 3 minutes and those are the ones I came up with off the top of my head. Feel free to add in the comments any ideas you have.

The beauty of this is that more than half of them, are not only good for the environment, but they’ll save you money in the long run.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Red Tip Root Conversations

“Here, pull on this and hold it like this, and I’m going to swing my axe right here and cut this.”

“Oh my god, I’m going to lose my hands today………Hey, don’t forget to get Landon out of the playpen when you take me to the hospital.”

“I won’t.”

Small Change Month #9 and boringness and excitingness

Beth of Playgroup dropout has not posted about her chairty stuff yet, but here's my summary for the month.

At work we had a dunking for dollars and hotdog and coke for $1 and car show that benefitted the MS150. I spent a whopping $2, and felt like a jerk, cause I had a huge report due that day and in order to finish it I had to run out and get my hotdogs and come back in.

And then Clint told me about how earlier this year he had pledged $25 to the American Diabetes Association, and he needed a check for it. So I was saved.

I'll update when we get a new challenge.

This weekend we spent getting ready for Landon's party next weekend. I was going to make him a cupcake car cake, but when I tried the mold, it was not very successful, not to mention it's only a few REALLY small cupcakes when it's done. So we went to Sam's and ordered a cake. And then we had a big debate about cooking vs. ordering food. And we decided to order food, because otherwise someone ends up working the whole time and doesn't get to enjoy the party. Chances are that next year his party will not be this big a deal. And I'm ok with that.

Oh and I almost forgot. He took about 5 or 6 unassisted steps in a row, 3 or 4 different times over the weekend. He's gaining confidence.

I left my bag at home today - so no pictures, maybe tomorrow.