Monday, December 31, 2007

You would think

From this picture you might deduce that the car rides to and from Gun Barrel were all peachy keen.

It just so happens that I only took a picture of the good part.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Buzz Kill

So, like a year and a half ago I posted a very sad post, and then left everyone hanging.

I'm ok. I really am. I didn't mean to make it sound like I wasn't, or like I STILL wasn't. I mean obviously I write things when they happen, and then I had a week off of work and it all kind of snowballed into me leaving a post, and I've never turned off comments before, but I really didn't want to talk about it at that point.

So to answer your burning questions.

I will be taking the PE again in April. I'll probably spend the next few days ironing out a study plan. As much as I'd like to believe that I'll be ready for it even if I don't do anything because I might have passed if I wasn't sick, I'm just not sure. So studying it is.

I have purchased the 8 hour Report writing class and will be taking that test and applying for that license within the next month.

Landon had a great Christmas. He got too many toys that make too much noise, and he loved every minute of it. We put more than half his toys up, and will pull them out and "shop" in a couple months.

NonSoccerMom had her baby on the 27th. The Modernish Father is very proud. I bet you didn't think babies came bigger than Landon...she beat him by 2 ozs.

The seeds that were sprouting from Landon's pumpkin at halloween, have grown into plants. With flowers. Proof once again that if I neglect a plant, it will flourish.

I'll do what I can about posting some pictures this week.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I keep checking the board’s website. I got the same grade this time that I did the first time. I keep thinking maybe that’s my old grade. Maybe they entered it wrong. Maybe when I get the paper stuff in the mail it will have been a mistake. A bad dream.


A hope against hopes.

But I know that’s not really possible.

People who know keep telling me I’ll pass next time. Just like they said I would this time. Just like they’ll say next time if it comes to it. And it won’t be helpful or reassuring then either.

I think though that the worst part of failing something and having everyone know that the results are due around Christmas is that whenever I go anywhere, I know at least one person will ask “So, do you know you’re grade yet?” And then they will drown in my tears. That’s not murder is it? Involuntary manslaughter? I’m not ready to face that situation. I’m having trouble holding the tears back as it is, and normally I can stone face anything.

When I was in school, I had one class I had to Q drop. One. I’m not generally a quitter, and I waited until the very last second to do it, because I was holding out hope that things would get better. The day I did it I felt like everyone who looked at me saw a giant Q on my forehead. Like a scarlet letter. In hindsight, it was a good decision, but I remember the feeling, the feeling like I was a failure for not having been able to stick it out.

I haven’t decided what letter I feel like I’m sporting now. L or F. It doesn’t matter I guess. My balloon is already deflated. Maybe people can see me dragging my dead carcass of a balloon behind me.

And no, I still don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about how I can do better next time. I don’t want to talk about what my plan of action should be. I don’t want to talk about how bad I felt that day and how that’s a good excuse for my ineptitude. I want to sit around with my tear stained face and mope. And eat ice cream.

I can’t really be mad at anyone in particular. Except myself. I am so disappointed in myself.

And so it begins. Again.

TREC wrote me back. TREC confirmed my suspicions. TREC directed me to Champions who has my last class that I need. I will be taking an 8 hour correspondence course on report writing. I will be purchasing said class on Thursday and doing it in my spare time until finished. I will then go into their school to have my homework graded and take the final for the class.

I will then send in my education evaluation paperwork.

I will then receive confirmation that I will be approved to take the test.

I will study for the test.

I will take the test and score at least 80%.

I will be a professional inspector.

I have adjusted the side bar plan accordingly.

PE results are in.

Don't ask.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Path of Least Resistance Parenting

I have always taken the stance of path of least resistance parenting. I’ve weaned Landon during the day – mostly because I felt I was done pumping, but he still nurses at night and in the mornings. I expect to be having these conversations fairly soon. But I'm not going to wean him, I'm going to allow him to self wean, whenever that is.

I don’t intend to potty train him until he’s ready – he may be 2, he may be 4. I figure there’s no point in pushing him into doing something when it will just make both of us miserable. I don’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t want to, but keep offering it.

I try to abide by the “Safe, Respectful, Kind” rule of thumb. It’s easy. It what he’s doing safe? Is it respectful? Is it kind? If so, then he can do it. If it breaks even one of the three, he doesn’t get to do it. One rule covers everything. Easy Peasy.

I’m a pretty lenient parent. He plays with a lot of things that are not “toys.” Things he finds in the cabinets, which I haven’t baby-proofed. I think of his exploring of cabinets as a form of learning, so I let him do it. Things that are truly unsafe are not in those cabinets anyway. Bowls, trivets, spoons, the top of the air popcorn popper, are among those things. I try to gather up the stuff he pulls from the bathroom cabinets before people come over, but otherwise if it won't hurt him, I'm not concerned. Tampon drumsticks are funny to me, but I'm not sure everyone sees it that way.

This morning he was playing with the phone. He likes to push the button that tells you how loud the phone will ring. I heard him in the bedroom. I was cleaning his bottles, so I could leave him at the baby-sitter’s. And then the phone rang.

Landon had made his first phone call. He called Shane. I assume it was a redial hit. Shane, I hope, was already up for the day. Maybe Landon just let the phone ring and then hung up, maybe Shane answered and no one was talking and he thought he had a bad connection, whatever happened, he hung up and called back. While talking to him, I walked into the bedroom to see Landon, phone to his ear. I guess phone play will have to be limited to only when supervised, because I’m pretty lucky he didn’t call 9-1-1.

I guess we’re starting early; my mom didn’t have the pleasure of discovering my first phone call until I was 4 and invited Lisa over. I thought she knew what I was doing. I very plainly had asked how to spell her last name; I looked her up in the phone book. And I called and invited her over. Her mom called back to ask if it was a legitimate invite. It wasn’t actually, but she still let her come over.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's cold outside

Sometimes the only thing to do is lay around in your underwear watching TV.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sugar Hangover

These are the best 2 pictures that came from us visiting Santa on Friday.

What? You expected Santa to actually be in the picture? Are you crazy? He's like a giant stuffed animal that talks. DO. NOT. WANT.

And Grandma Logan was worried that he might need more than one present. He's still carrying the boat around this morning.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A whole lada nada

I have been knee deep in a Christmas present preparation this morning, so I didn't get around to posting anything or thinking of anything to post for that matter. And I shut my laptop down before I got any pictures off of it, but none are new anyway, so you'd be disappointed, I'm sure.

So...we have Shrek the Halls on DVR. And after the Charlie Brown debacle - I'm very afraid to watch it. I'm just sayin'. So help me out, if you've seen Shrek the Halls - should I bother with it? I loved Shrek 1 and 2 (Our dog is named Princess Fiona for goodness sake) I haven't seen Shrek the Third. I've just very scared.

Still waiting on PE results - if they follow the same schedule as they did for April, I am looking at December 21. If they follow the historical norms, I'm looking at December 27 or 28.

Since someone decided not to nap last Friday, we did not make it to Santa. We'll be trying again tomorrow, we have a little business in the mall (shudder) . If we go early enough, he should still be in a good mood. We took him around the street in our neighborhood that does a big light display. Lots of Lights, 12 days of Christmas, Santa sits out there at some point...maybe on weekends? He wasn't there, but they have a mailbox for letters to Santa. He loved it. He was talking and pointing the whole time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Leave Spike Alone

Last night we watched I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown. It was on the DVR - it aired on ABC earlier this week, and I honestly thought it might be cute, I do like Charlie Brown. And I do love the normal Charlie Brown Christmas. We shouldn't have. I'm not sure why we sat through the whole thing. Wait, I'm not sure why I sat through the entire thing. Clint kept popping in and out doing other things. What can I say? He's smarter than me. I also sat through Cindy Crawford's atrociously flat acting in Fair Game. Maybe I'm an optimist. I mean, someone paid big bucks to produce this movie, surely at some point things got better, or it would have been trashed, right? Oh how wrong I am about those things sometimes.

It was clear from the first few minutes that Charles Schulz is dead. I asked Clint if he thought it might have been written after the writer's strike started. Alas, someone did this on purpose. It was written in 2003.

There were parts that made no sense. Nothing flowed. It was as if someone came up with 100 separate jokes about Christmas and winter and wanting a dog, and rather than put them into a flowing plotline, they just wrote each scene for itself. To make their joke.

So, in conclusion. Don't.

Wait, did you want a plot synopsis? Linus and Lucy's little brother, ReRun, wants a dog for Christmas. He tries to befriend Snoopy. Snoopy plays along for cookies. Then Snoopy offers his brother/cousin Spike. Who comes, but then leaves, because ReRun is too much for him. Picture that plot interspersed with scenes of Lucy bugging Schroeder all about Beethoven, and scenes of Sally saying that she doesn't like mittens or boots or something else, scenes where they expound on birth order rights, and make fun of Linus for carrying his blanket and sucking his thumb...and also ReRun's mom rides him around town on the back of her bike clearly drunk.

Seriously. Don't.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Better than yesterday

So, I forgot to take pictures last night, and tried to do them this morning.

Landon was in no mood for a photo session.

I tried to get one of him sitting on the bottom step looking at the Christmas tree, but when he sees the camera he runs to it.

So what I got this morning was 3 crappy pictures.

1 fuzzy Christmas tree:

1 kitchen helper who put a pot lid in front of his face as soon as I lifted the camera:

1 "Are you kidding me?" look:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Google Brought You Here

But I don’t think I was what you were looking for.

99% of the searches that bring people to my blog are for some form of “Make Tomato Soup from Scratch” Which sends people to a post I made because I had nothing else to talk about at the time. Also, I don’t even post a recipe, I link to a recipe.

But lately, I’ve been getting a lot more. Much more odd searches.

“weekly menus” – Well I did the one post about it, but I’m not about to start posting what we eat every week. Because no one cares what you had for dinner. (No, clearly, they care about how other people find your blog, silly.)

“10th year reunion themes” – Please don’t use the one from mine. Disappointment is probably the worst theme ever.

“eat dry toast bet seconds party” – what? Are you looking for some kind of toast eating party game where people bet how long it takes to eat a piece of dry toast? Good luck with that.

“dq business plan” – 1. Contact DQ. 2. Give them a bunch of money to buy a franchise. 3. Sell lots of Blizzards. 4. Make lots of money.

“wood gumball plan” – Wooden gumballs hardly ever turn out the way you’d hope. They get all splintery when you try to chew them, the flavor isn’t that great, teeth get broken, then they just taste like blood. You get maple I suppose, maybe that would be a good flavor. I think maybe stick with the high fructose corn syrup gumballs and you’ll be better off.

“become thief” – If you’re going around searching the internet for how to become a thief, you probably don’t have it in you.

I took this picture because it looks crappy outside, but in the picture it doesn't look crappy as crappy as it does in person. And for a person who LIKES rain to say it looks crappy, it's crappy. I mean, if you're going to rain, rain already, stop screwing around with the drizzle, you're just going to cause accidents on my drive home.

Oh wait, now it's going to rain.

Did you know I have been teasing you with medium sized pictures and all along I could have been posting these, large pictures? And instead of giving you one of the kid you truly care about I gave you your first large picture...of my office window on a rainy day. You're welcome.

Hey, how apparent is it that I didn't quite get enough sleep last night? Just checking to see if you caught all the bitter awakeness I'm currently experiencing.

And since I'm on a vent here, on Saturday, we went to Phoenicia, which is like a Mediterranean grocery store. I went in by myself while Clint and Landon stayed in the car, because we were only getting pita bread and a coke. Anyway, in front of me in line is a middle aged man (45? 50?) wearing a T-shirt that said "I'll try to be nicer if you try to be less stupid." I found it an odd choice, considering he was with his 3 children and his wife who was in a full conservative head scarf. But the bad part was the guy behind me who was litterally yelling into my ear and probably also his cell phone about how he was near Phoenicia (he said near, not in, I'm pretty sure we were IN the store) and also chicken, but not a meal, just a snack, to his daugher(?) and then his wife. The he asked for directions but couldn't shut up long enough for them to give them to him, so he decided he's just find it on his own, he's been there before so he'll probably remember it, maybe. He was so close to me, the checker thought we were together.

Then we went to Half Price Books. And found out all about this old guy's dialysis and how it makes him feel really sick and he just wants to die, so he skipped it, he'll go again when he feels better. "Oh, you need to go?" "BLAH BLAH BLAH 50 decibels BLAH BLAH BLAH, Go Bro!" "No, Go BRO" (I especially liked that he was a 60(?) year old white guy calling his brother "bro.") Hey - he can't just hang up on you, clearly you have health issues and how would he feel if the last time you two spoke he hung up on you! Plus, no one needs to know those kind of intimate details about your life, make those calls from home.

Oh and one more bitter pill, since I'm on that side of the spectrum right now and this post is already all over the place (should I start writing using outlines or something? Is that how other people manage to bring their posts full circle?). (Can someone teach me about punctuation? Because "?)." is clearly not the right way for that sentence to end, but Word doesn't seem to have a grammatical problem with it.) (Last parenthesis, I promise.) I cannot get anyone to confirm my interpretation of the new TREC rules. They miss this part of the first sentence EVERY TIME "other than actively practicing licensed or registered architects, professional engineers, or engineer-in-trainings" They skip right on to tell me what I need to do if I don't have my EIT.

Tomorrow I will attempt to be less...crappy.

Green Jello

I keep checking this blog and no one has updated it. So rest assured, you're not the only one annoyed that it hasn't been updated.

I finally emptied my camera, so I could take more pictures. And then I didn't. HA.

Let's see, what did we do this weekend...Uh - we did do some shopping. Stocking stuffers, etc.

On Sunday we watched Zoey, so Kathy and Austin could go to a concert. Zoey didn't have much of a nap on Sunday, and she was kind of gassy, so you can imagine how well our evening went.

But the bad part was really that Landon has no communicaiton skills and his idea of sharing is handing stuff, or throwing stuff to or at another person and then taking it back. It does not jive with Zoey's idea of sharing and since neither of them have very good communication skills, it just compounds the problem.

Landon did not want either of us to hold Zoey. But if you're holding Zoey, you can't hold MEEEEEEEEEEE! Oh, you handed her off to Dad? But if Dad's holding Zoey, he can't hold MEEEEEEEEEEE! Do you see the catch 22 in this?

Clint suggested at the end of the night that maybe he needed to make an appointment to get snipped.

All in all, I think we need to wait a while before we can watch her again. once Landon can communicate at least a little, or once Zoey can whack him on the head when he takes something from her.

Hey, maybe I'll take my camera out tonight and actually have some pictures for you this week...maybe. No promises.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Small Change - November

You can probably guess what the Small Change challenge was supposed to be for Novemeber, even though I didn't say anything about it.

Yeah, so I didn't manage to even bring in canned goods to work, where they were collecting them.

What I did do was buy a package of Christmas cards from the Children's Art Project. The one I talked about here.

Not only are they cute cards, with pictures drawn by children participating in the project. They came with an extra envelope. These people know me! I bought mine at Kroger, they were on display near the self check out registers, but I've seen them in other stores too.

Clubmom is shutting down their blogs at the end of the year, so Beth at Playgroup dropout's blog will disappear - she blogs elsewhere, but I don't know if she's going to continue the monthly challenge thing or just let it go. I'm going to keep doing it. At least something, every month. For now it's as easy as writing a check, or bring stuff in to work when they have collections. But as Landon gets older, I want it to be more visible to him.

Anyway, December's challenge? I'm pretty sure you can guess it. Help someone in need have a better Christmas. At work we adopt a bunch of families and you can pick an "ornament" off a tree and get an assignment of what/who to buy something for. At nearly every store, there's a box where you can drop a toy to be donated. One day, I'd like to help with Elves and More and put bikes together. It's just not in the cards this year though.

It's a little late for this one, but something to consider for next year: An extended family adopts a family of 4, instead of buying adults presents. So for example, a set of 4 siblings and their spouses would spend $20 on each of the other 6 people normally, so they would put $120 towards the adopted family. Each family draws a name, they are responsible for buying that person gifts. A few weeks prior to Christmas, you meet up and have a wrapping party and unveil what you bought for the adopted family. It has the element of surprise, look what we bought! It has wrapping paper! It's everything Christmas! And put any left over money into a grocery gift card so the family can have a nice family meal.

Any other ideas out there?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #14

Dear Landon,

Today you are 14 months old. We have had quite an exciting month with you. You are in a constant state of learning. You are still not really talking to us. Or rather, you are not speaking English. You are talking all the time. Sometimes it just sounds like a bunch of babble, sometimes it’s to tell us how mad you are. When you can’t get your point across and we stand there shaking our heads, mouths agape, you drive your point home by banging your head on the floor. That’s how frustrated we make you. Why can’t we just understand you already. Bang Bang Bang.

You’ve been eating about the same things ever since we introduced table foods a few months ago. But you have now begun to turn me into a liar again. Just like you did with the sleep thing. So when I said to your grandfather “No, he doesn’t really like bacon, but you can try.” He broke off a piece for you and you gobbled it up like it was covered in chocolate syrup. And when I told your grandmother that you liked sausage, but hadn’t ever actually swallowed any eggs I had given you, you promptly spit out her sausage and gobbled down her eggs. It’s not that I don’t want you to try new things, or that you should never have a change in heart about how you feel about bacon and eggs (trust me, I need you to like bacon), but do you have to do it in such a way that makes me look like a liar?

This is going to be a really fun Christmas. You are truly excited by Christmas decorations. Lights especially. You loved the drive through light display we went to, and every lighted tree we see. You are quite the fan of the large inflatable yard art – even the kinds that move and sing – which is odd, considering your hatred of large stuffed animals that talk. Also, FYI, you should absolutely enjoy those things in other people’s yards or at Lowe’s and Home Depot, because we’re not putting them in our yard.

You are not a fan of Santa. At least not a live Santa. We took you to see Santa in the mall, the same one we saw last year, actually. But you were not in the mood for that guy. We decided, rather than spend $14 on a picture of you crying in Santa’s lap, we’ll just keep trying. I can take you to the mall every Friday between now and Christmas, and on Sundays there’s a Santa in Town Center we can go see. Maybe if you see him enough you’ll be willing to sit on his lap. I guess if you haven’t gotten used to him by the end of the season we’ll settle for a crying picture, but we’re going to try all the same.

This year I actually reached my goal of buying all the Christmas presents prior to December 1. They aren’t all wrapped, and a few haven’t come in yet, but they are all bought and paid for. We do have most of them wrapped and under the tree and if nothing else, that alone has made it possible that you have mastered the command “Put that back!” We’re still working on how you put it back, because throwing it down, even if it’s near it’s original place, isn’t what we actually mean. But you do at least take it back to the tree, so it’s in the vicinity, and hopefully it’s not cracked, I guess we’ll find out when it gets opened.