One New Thing Every Day

From the day I turned 29, I tried to do one new thing a day... it took a few extra months, but I did it! Now I'll post new things randomly as I try them.

Monday, December 31, 2007

#92 - Not the Same Auld Lang Syne

Tonight, around 5:45-ish, we celebrated New Year's Eve with the little guy (TLG) - complete with noisemakers and hats. The daycare had put on a little party today too, so he came home with a noisemaker already, but when the three of us started playing all together, it was a lot more fun. We made some cupcakes yesterday, and I promised if he ate all his carrots at dinner time, he could have one for dessert... and cake, coupled with hats and taking lots of photos could only mean one thing. So TLG started singing "Happy Birthday!" It was adorable and even though he only ate a few bites of cupcake, the sugar rush lasted for quite a while. I don't know why my hubby looks so intense in the photo, but anyways, Happy Birthday! I mean, Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

#91 - Non-toxic, thank goodness

During our delicious dinner tonight (see below), both of us adults turned our back for a second... and during that time, the little guy decided to eat a crayon. This is the first time we've had to deal with him trying to eat a non-food item that I can recall (though I'm sure it won't be the last). It wasn't an entire crayon, just a large hunk off one end, and of course it was red so it looked terrible in his mouth! When he spit some out, we thought at first that he had lost a tooth and was bleeding everywhere. After a mild heart attack, we both decided that the crayons were non-toxic and he spit out some of it. So we think he'll be OK. But we need to remember to either put everything out of reach at dinner time, or keep a better watch on him!

#90 - Adventures in Salad

Tonight, for dinner, we made Chinese chicken salad using a bunch of new products... the most exciting of which were the pre-made dressing seasoning mix that was a Christmas gift (thanks, AW & UK!) and the pre-cooked and sliced chicken breasts I bought at Costco yesterday. We marinated the chicken anyway according the the directions, and the final product was delicious! The dressing was great and I'm glad that there were a few packets in the box so we can enjoy this meal again later. Two notes to self about the recipe, though: 1) it makes enough for an army so cutting it in 1/2 would work fine, and 2) don't bother with the saifun noodles, they don't add anything and actually make it harder to eat the salad.

#89 - Saying Goodbye, Why Is It Sad?

Yesterday, I spent a little time making a good-bye card for a very good friend who's moving across the country with her family. This isn't new, except that it made me so darn sad to do it! I don't remember ever being so upset when making gifts for friends/family. This particular friend is one of my oldest friends, and one I'm lucky to have... and I'm excited for her and her family, but upset with myself for not making more of an effort to spend time with them these past few years. Life's funny isn't it, you take things for granted and then all of a sudden things aren't the same anymore. I felt very similar when my sister moved away earlier this year. *big sigh* Anyway, last night, we went to their going away party and it was so nice to see them before they packed up and left town. My wonderful hubby took TLG home around 9:00 but I stayed until almost 11:00 myself, just talking and giggling about nothing. The photo is TLG playing with my friend's sons' toys (and loving every minute of it).

NOTE: The title of this post is stolen from the first line of a song in the Muppets Take Manhattan movie. At least that helps me feel better.

Friday, December 28, 2007

#88 - Funny Face

I've watched a lot of musicals in my 29 years, but I'd never seen "Funny Face" until tonight. Since it was mentioned in one of my favorite TV shows (Gilmore Girls), I've wanted to check it out... so tonight, I did. This film, released in 1957, featured Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in the odd pairing as people who fall in love in Paris. I'd like to comment now on the strangeness of this pairing. Anyone who's met my wonderful husband knows I have no bias against a younger woman with an older man... but according to IMDB, Mr. Astaire was born in May 1899, making him approximately 56 during the filming of "Funny Face." Ms. Hepburn was born in May 1929, making her about 27. Didn't anyone think that was odd? Though I ultimately liked the film, which featured the music of George & Ira Gershwin, I saw no romantic chemistry between the stars. This reminded me of "Easter Parade," released in 1948, where Mr. Astaire was about 47 years old, and Judy Garland (who was about 26). Come on, Hollywood, what were you thinking? These pairings were about as believable as Harrison Ford (age 56) and Anne Heche (age 29) in "Six Days Seven Nights," released in 1998... in my opinion, one of the worst pairings in movie history.

But I digress. "Funny Face" was a good movie despite the age difference. I always love to see Fred Astaire in his dancing prime, and it was nice to hear Audrey Hepburn's real singing voice (since she was over-dubbed in "My Fair Lady"). I knew a few of the songs already, being Gershwin, so that was a treat.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

#87 - Scene It? Disney

I love board games, and I'm usually quite good at trivia games involving entertainment. Scene It? the regular movie editions are among my favorite newer board games, and we play it often (though not as often as we did before we became parents). My sister gave me the new Disney 2nd edition Scene It? for Christmas, so tonight, we tried it out. And I was not good. OK, I beat my wonderful hubby two games in a row... but this is a man who's never seen "Little Mermaid" or "Toy Story" or even many of the older classics. I need a whole lot of Disney brushing-up before I'd be ready to play against anybody who's a Disney fan, that's for sure. Perhaps a visit to Disneyland is in order! Yay!

#86 - Christmas New Thing

TUESDAY, December 25
Most of our Christmas traditions were intact today, including opening gifts with family, having a delicious brunch together, and taking naps in the afternoon. It's hard to mess with these traditions to do anything new! But in the middle of the fun, our little family returned home from out-of-town, and by the time dinner rolled around, we were too pooped to pop! So instead of fixing the traditional family meal, we had hamburgers for Christmas dinner! I'll admit, I missed having ham, potato casserole, bing cherry jello salad, etc. with my family for the big Christmas meal... but since it was just the three of us (one of whom doesn't eat many of those types of "big boy foods" yet), we went with something easier to fix. I didn't mean to do new things involving food two days in a row, but our traditions are near and dear to me, and you can't complain about that.

#85 - Christmas Eve New Thing

MONDAY, December 24
We were with family for Christmas Eve, but we didn't have dinner tonight. At least not in the sense of a normal family holiday-type get together. For the first time, our family admitted to our obsession with appetizers, and we just had appetizers, fudge and Christmas cookies for dinner. Many of our favorites were there: hot artichoke dip, spinach dip, shrimp cocktail, and cookies, cookies, cookies (thanks to my brother-in-law, the world's best cookie maker). Sure, there was a burrito bar, and some tamales and enchiladas available for those who wanted something more substantial... but who noticed when there were yummy appetizers to be had? Not me!

NOTE: The photo is the little guy having a piggyback ride, and peeking into the dining room where everyone had gathered to munch. We had all sorts of fun, and stayed up way past bed time!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

#84 - Dee Vee Arrrr

Today we had a HD DVR installed! I'm so excited to learn how it works... we're testing it by taping the new Elmo Christmas special tonight. This is something I've been interested in learning more about, and decided to buy it for a Christmas gift to my wonderful hubby, who loves TV as much as I do. Merry Christmas to us!

#83 - The Circle of Life

NOTE: If you are an extreme animal lover, please don't read any further (AW, this means you!)

Last night, around 11:30, I was sleeping when one of our dogs came noisily into our room. When the noise didn't stop right away, I opened my eyes to see our puppy near my side of the bed, holding something in her mouth. Being somewhat blind in the dark without my glasses on, I couldn't tell what it was... and even after she put it down and turned on a light, I still couldn't tell. I summoned my wonderful hubby from downstairs (where he was watching football on TV) by telling him I thought she had brought in something from outside. Ew, ew, ew, she had brought in a rabbit, which was in fact, already deceased. (Some facts to note: we have a lot of open space near our house where wild rabbits play, the puppy is a notorious "mouser" much like a cat, and my hubby said earlier this week that he thought there might be a bunny around.)

Being an entirely new experience, I froze up. I couldn't help my hubby with anything because I felt like I might lose my dinner. I just stood out in the hallway, where I wouldn't see anything. It was awful. Once my fabulous hubby was done, I tried to go back to sleep... and couldn't. Ugh, I know the circle of life exists, but it was slapping me in the face. I'm sure the puppy didn't mean to do anything - probably, she wanted me to fix her friend so they could keep playing. I've been thinking about this little creature all day.

Friday, December 21, 2007

#82 - Songs of the Season

Growing up, my family loved to play a home-grown version of the board game Scattergories. My mom also tells the story about how when she was younger, she made lists of things in different categories to bone up in order to beat my grandfather at this game. So in honor of this family tradition, I propose to make a list of all the Christmas songs/carols I can think of off the top of my head. Ready? Go:
1) Silent Night 2) Carol of the Bells 3) Sleigh Ride 4) Winter Wonderland 5) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 6) Frosty the Snowman 7) Wonderful Christmas Time 8) Hark! the Herald Angels Sing 9) All I Want for Christmas Is You 10) All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth 11) Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer 12) Santa Baby 13) Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 14) White Christmas 15) Ding Dong Merrily On High 16) Jingle Bells 17) Jingle Bell Rock 18) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 19) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) 20) Baby, It's Cold Outside 21) Last Christmas 22) Blue Christmas 23) Little Drummer Boy 24) Hallelujah Chorus 25) Christmas Shoes 26) We Three Kings 27) O Christmas Tree 28) Deck the Halls 29) Auld Lang Syne
It's been ten minutes and nothing else is coming to mind. This is harder than it looks...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

#81 - Online Gaming

This evening, I downloaded a random game from the Internet and played the demo version for one hour. The game I chose was called "Wedding Dash" and it was my job to be a wedding planner, seat all the guests and serve them the courses on time. It was a funny little game, and I enjoyed it though there were two separate songs playing the whole time (which I found distracting). I haven't played any computer games in a really long time, and this was a nice little game that didn't take much thought on my part to be successful. If I had more free time, I might consider playing again sometime.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

#80 - A New Photo project

I meant to post this yesterday but didn't get a chance... I'm getting really excited about Christmas coming up, and I've got a great present for one of my family members. I don't want to mention who, or what the present actually is (though I pledge to re-visit this post and tell you all about it). Last night, I sorted through a bunch of photos to get them ready for Christmas, and I played with this Christmas gift for quite a while! Sorry for the vagueness of this post - but it's an awesome gift, and I just know it will be a hit.

Monday, December 17, 2007

#79 - A Fortune for the Taking?

Today's mail brought a Christmas Card with this crazy number of stamps on it. I've never seen most of these stamps before, and I wondered if some of them were old enough to be worth anything besides what was written on them. So I did some internet research on collecting stamps. Of course I'd seen the Navajo jewelry stamps before, since they are modern. But I found a great website called Arago, which is part of the National Postal Museum, to help me look up the other stamps. As it turns out, the blue "Champion of Liberty" 4-cent stamps were issued in 1958 and were part of a series honoring some of the world's leaders (these feature the President of Czechoslovakia). The black-and-red International Geophysical Year stamps were issued in May 1958 to commemorate the launching of satellites from mid-1957 through 1958. The 3-cent magenta Polio stamps were released January 15, 1957, and the green International Naval Review stamp was released June 10, 1957. Are they worth anything? I guess it depends on who wants them... but I think they're really cool regardless.
UPDATE: The friend who sent this card saw my post and sent me the story behind them, and said it was OK to share it here. She says: These stamps were collected by me as a kid. They are not worth anything except face value. At the time, the PO mistress lived across the street from us at our summer home in the Catskills and she saved some of these stamps for me. I came across the book when I was cleaning out my basement and was told to use them as they had little value. So, I decided to use them on my Christmas cards this year. I know several people will laugh at this, but it took me a long time to add them up and paste them on envelopes. Now they are all used up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

#78 - Pillow Fight!

It's getting close to Christmas and today I went out to try to finish my shopping. I went to buy one thing for my sister, and ended up leaving with about $250 worth of other stuff for us! I was at a home furnishings store, and I should mention that I'm not really one for decorating my house. A good portion of the stuff at our house arrived "accidentally" (hand-me-downs, etc.) and so we don't really have a theme, other than "comfortable." Today I bought some great oversized throw pillows and a new blanket for our t.v. room that actually match the couches, and are quite comfortable, to boot. I think I was just so pleased that they spruced up the room that I forgot all about what it all cost! Now if we can just find a better way to organize TLG's toys and books so we're not tripping over them all the time...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

#77 - Come On Baby, Light my Fire

I made a candle today. Actually, I made two candles - one with a Christmasy smell, the other for the rest of the year. I was so glad to complete today's new thing with my dear friend (who I miss working with!) - it was her suggestion to go, and she went with me to show me the ropes. There's a place in town called Flicker where you choose the shape/size, scent, and colors, then you arrange chunks of colored wax and they fill in the holes with the scent you choose. NOTE: I picked up my creations on Sunday because there was a birthday party in there at the same time, and there were lots of candles being made. It was so exciting to see the finished product!

Friday, December 14, 2007

#76 - Bye, bye bottle (bonus post)

We had TLG's 2-year-old checkup yesterday and were encouraged to stop giving him bottles, particularly at bedtime (but they really meant at any time). We were told to stop this a year ago but couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Tonight, after the hair-drying episode (see below), we offered him a cup of water and read two books, then put him to bed, sans bottle. He took it quite well, no crying or fussing, and so far has been silent (though it's been less than an hour, so we'll see how he does through the night... I have my fingers crossed).

#75 - Hair today...

This evening, as part of the little guy's new goodnight routine, we dried his hair using a hair dryer. At first, TLG didn't really want to come near the dryer, since it was so noisy. But after I let him hold it and play with the switches for a minute, he thought it was fun and wanted to do it himself. (Doing things himself is a routine we're getting used to around here, anyways.) We didn't get much of the back of his head, but he did sit in my lap and play with the warm vs. cool air for quite a while. If this becomes part of the nightly routine, I can stop worrying that he'll catch a cold from going to bed with wet hair. Gosh, if I didn't have something to worry about, what would I do with myself?!?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

#74 - Homemade birthdays

The daycare won't let us bring homemade treats for any celebrations in TLG's toddler room. I'm pretty sure this is because they don't want other parents to worry about what's in the treats, though it may have something to do with some standards, rules or regulations. For today's party, I brought store-bought chocolate cupcakes to share with all TLG's friends and teachers. Both my hubby and I have memories of sharing homemade goodies, so this rule was foreign to us, but times have changed and there are plenty of good reasons to be careful in today's society. Still, it's a little sad that I couldn't participate in the time-honored tradition of making cupcakes for TLG's friends. Good thing I got to bake the cake last weekend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

#73 - Tantrums

Our family dealt with our first major kid meltdown at the grocery store tonight. This close to his birthday, our little guy decided to show his true opinions by having a total tantrum in the middle of Raley's because he wanted to play with a big toy truck (still in the box, naturally) instead of shopping. I knew this day would come, I just thought it would be later. We tried to diffuse things in steps:
1) explain why we couldn't play with the truck
2) try to distract him with something else
3) put him in the cart and try to keep shopping, and finally
4) Mommy and TLG went - kicking and screaming, literally - out to the car while Daddy paid for our items.
Since I was doing the carrying, I got lots of looks from the other Raley's patrons, though I saw more understanding looks than I expected... perhaps this is because I kept repeating loudly, over and over, "OK, we're done, let's go to the car." The two of us just sat in the car, as TLG's screaming continued, until Daddy came to join us a few minutes later. (Note to self: until further notice, make sure there is always a pacifier in the car!) TLG was so mad at us, he kept screaming all the way home and as we removed his jacket/hat/shoes and until we finally let him calm down on the couch to some TV. Eeeek I hope this doesn't become a regular thing!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

#72 - Gonna paint my wagon...

We celebrated the little guy's birthday today, and Poppy gave him a great wagon which was the hit of the party. But we got enough snow last week that it's still all over the ground. So for the rest of the day, we played with the wagon indoors. I don't remember if I owned a wagon growing up, but I'm not very good at steering it just yet. Though I got lots of practice this afternoon and it will be old hat before long! Thanks, everybody, for the great gifts!

#71 - Let them bake cake

Last night, the little guy (TLG) helped me bake his birthday cake. He loves chocolate, so once it was mixed, I handed him

a beater from the mixer. He didn't know what to do with it, so I took the other beater and showed him... and we proceeded to make a grand mess of things after that! The photo was taken near the beginning of our messy session, so it got much worse... but by then, I needed my hands free to help clean everything up.

Friday, December 7, 2007

#70 - Steamroller magic

I was in Sacramento yesterday to attend the Mannheim Steamroller concert at Arco Arena. I've never seen Mannheim Steamroller before, but I grew up listening to their Christmas music (as well as their regular music, such as the Fresh Aire recordings). The concert was wonderful - we all enjoyed it, even my stepfather who wasn't necessarily looking forward to it. (I saw him tapping his foot more than once.) Our seats were fantastic, right up front, and the music was just as it should be... Christmasy! I loved the village and scale-size train they had set up in the back of the arena. Spending the evening with some of my loved ones (unfortunately, not the little guy or my wonderful hubby) was a special treat mid-week. Let the season begin!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

#69 - Language translator

I've been thinking about how strange it is to have so many languages on the same planet. I mean, when Adam and Eve came to the garden of Eden, there was only one language. Somewhere along the line different languages became necessary. And now, many people only speak one language. Today I played with an Internet-based language translator to see how different languages really are from one another. I asked it to translate the phrase "I try to do one new thing every day." and here's what I got:

Intento hacer una nueva cosa cada día. (English to Spanish)
J'essaye de faire une nouvelle chose chaque jour. (English to French)
Ich versuche, eine neue Sache jeden Tag zu tun. (English to German)
Eu tento fazer uma coisa nova cada dia. (English to Portuguese)
Provo a fare una nuova cosa ogni giorno. (English to Italian)
Я пытаюсь сделать одну новую вещь каждый день. (English to Russian)
Προσπαθώ να κάνω ένα νέο πράγμα κάθε ημέρα. (English to Greek)
私は毎日1 つの新しい事をすることを試みる。(English to Japanese)
나는 매일 1개의 새로운 일을 한것을 해본다. (English to Korean)
我設法做一件新事每天。(English to traditional Chinese)

None of these seem particularly similar to me, though the Spanish and Portuguese have a few words in common. No wonder people across the globe don't get along - we can't even communicate very well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

#68 - Mexican food, ole!

Tonight we made chicken enchiladas for dinner. I didn't actually help a whole lot with the preparation, save for letting TLG pour stuff in the blender and supervising him while he turned it on (and off and on and off and... you get the idea). The recipe was borrowed from a friend and it tasted delicious. In our ongoing quest to find quick, easy dinners that aren't the same 8-10 things we normally eat, this one ranked pretty high, though the prep time was longer than we expected somehow. Still - yum!

Monday, December 3, 2007

#67 - Good clean fun

The little guy (TLG) and I played with colored soap paints tonight in the tub. We have noticed how much TLG loves to color and do art-related stuff, so I bought these soap paints in red, blue and green to play with. I was trying to save them for an upcoming holiday, but they were just so darn cute I brought them out early. TLG really liked them, especially when I brought in a hand-held mirror so he could see his own face. I had fun seeing how he would embrace a new creative way to play, and we took tons of cute photos in the process.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

#66 - A "dressing" party

(Sorry for the multiple posts today - I've been doing plenty of new things but have been so busy, today's my first time to post!)

We had chicken nuggets for dinner, with barbeque sauce. When we were just about done, I noticed the expiration date on the sauce had passed. This prompted me to look at the other bottle of barbeque sauce in the fridge, and lo and behold, it was also expired. (If you have a weak stomach, better stop reading now.) So then I started looking at all the bottles of salad dressing and other condiments. EEK! We had one good bottle each of ketchup, mayo, mustard and salad dressing. All of the others were past their prime! Ewwww! What else could we do but have a "dressing" party where we emptied them all in the sink? I checked the bottles and took the lids off, TLG did the primary pouring, and my hubby did the rinsing. It was absolutely disgusting, and TLG loved every minute of it. All the different colors of sauces mixed together in the sink, plus a bunch of water everywhere? It's a two-year-old's dream come true!

#65 - Jingle Bells

Last night we all dressed up and the whole family (even the little guy) went to see the local Philharmonic's Christmas concert. Grandma came with us and we all had a great time! The concert also included performances by a handbell choir, some tap and ballet dancers, and some Russian acrobats... so there was plenty for TLG to watch. And when he started to get fidgety, it was time to color a little bit, which worked out fine. The best part for TLG was the giant balloons that fell from the ceiling at the end - we took two home and have been playing with them all day. If the Philharmonic continues with this Christmas tradition, we may have to make it a tradition for our family too, since we all enjoyed it.

#64 - Their fate is in my hands

At work on Friday, I got to sort through and rank some job applications I received as chairperson of the search committee for a new position being created. I've never been chairperson of a committee like this before. I have served on similar committees, but somehow that felt more collaborative somehow. Seeing all these people interested in the new position made me excited at the prospect of finding the right candidate, and I wanted to read everything slowly so I wouldn't miss any pieces to the puzzle. I can't wait to hear what the other committee members think and meet some of these folks in person. It's very exciting to have this under way.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

#63 - DirecTV

(Note: again, I missed posting yesterday, so I am posting two new activities today.)
For a while now, we've been unsatisfied with our cable TV service. It's very expensive and the HD picture is terrible (plus it skips). We even bought a separate antenna trying to fix the picture, and that didn't help either. We watch a lot of TV, so this was all problematic. So while I was out this afternoon, the DirecTV guy met my hubby at the house and they installed two boxes for our main TVs. We are now the proud customers of DirecTV and so far I can't say enough good things. When I got home, my hubby was already watching an HD broadcast of the Cowboys football game - and the picture quality was amazing! Plus tonight's game was broadcast on the NFL network, which we didn't receive with our old cable package. This DirecTV is cheaper than the cable was, and we still get the digital music we enjoy (only now it's affiliated with XM satellite radio). A good deal all around, and I think as we play with it more, we'll definitely enjoy it.

#62 - Not wishing to be sick, but...

Our local hospital is awesome! This afternoon I took a tour of the new tower at our local hospital. The new tower is amazing and has some of the most state-of-the-art equipment and facilities anywhere. There aren't any patients in the new tower yet, but I know they'll be starting to move folks over soon. The most exciting thing that could potentially affect me personally was the prospect of remodeling the rooms in the maternity ward. I do hope we'll have another child someday and as good as my experience was last time, it sure would be nicer to have a private room for our family and a pull-out bed for my hubby that was semi-comfortable. Sharing a room last time was not impossible, but it sure was crowded for us all! It was exciting to see all the medical advances and I'm jazzed just thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

#61 - Getting ready for Christmas

This evening, the little guy (TLG) helped us unpack some of the Christmas decorations and spread them around the house. He was around for this activity last year, but was so little he couldn't really be any help. But tonight, he was actively pulling things out of boxes and checking them out. He was enamored with anything snowman-related (as seen in the photo, with the snowman headband on his head). He also really liked the snowglobe that plays "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and the carolers go around in a circle... but of everything, his absolute favorite is the brand-new Sesame Street carolers featuring Oscar, Cookie Monster and Elmo. They sing two songs and do a little dance. Thanks, Poppy, for making this a part of our newest Christmas decorations!

#60 - Planning pays off

Since I skipped a new thing yesterday, here's a bonus one from today:
Ever since my boss left my organization in the spring, I've been trying to "hold down the fort" as the new powers that be get acclimated. During this time, I've been especially involved with a K-12 program that's near and dear to my heart. Today we had a celebration event at the newest school to participate, and I did all the organizing (invitations, RSVPs, scripting everything, etc.) just like I always do. What made today's event different was that I did it all by myself, without anyone checking over my shoulder. This was very liberating for me, since the event turned out wonderfully and all three of the local TV stations sent news crews! I was so excited that it went so well, and I'm feeling particularly proud that everything went off without a hitch.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

#59 - I feel pretty

Dealing with an-almost-two-year-old who definitely acts like an already-two-year-old stressed me out this evening. So tonight I gave myself a mini-facial using a new facial scrub. I bought a tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub that I've been saving for just such an occasion. The directions said to "Moisten face, apply with wet fingertips and massage into skin for about one minute. Rinse well and pat dry." Well, one minute is much longer than I usually wash my face, so I timed it to make sure I'd follow the directions properly. The scrub smelled good and once my face dried, it was smooth and soft and ready for a little lotion. *aaaah* I feel a little better now.

#58 - I love a parade

On Saturday, we took TLG to the Santa Parade in Sacramento. This was TLG's first parade experience, and our first time as a family to enjoy this tradition. A distant family member was marching in a high school band, so we went to cheer him on... but it was so much more than just a little parade! It was an hour long, and TLG really seemed to be enthralled with all the fire trucks, horses, marching bands, unicycles, police motorcycles, and everything else. His favorite was the Shriners on their little motorized mini-cars. At the beginning of the parade, he just sat in his stroller, watching passively. About halfway through, he sat forward and started saying "again!" Our whole family enjoyed this tradition and I hope we'll do it again next year.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

#57 - Thanksgiving, Part 2

As noted in the previous post, our little family stayed home today
to celebrate Thanksgiving in quarantine (since TLG is sick). This was the first holiday either of us adults have had without our larger families around. I found today to be a mixed bag: it was nice to have a day with no pressure to do anything - especially with a sick kiddo to worry about (he got up extremely early this morning and then slept a good portion of mid-day). I did get to do some of my favorite Thanksgiving things: watch the Macy's parade, take a nap, eat yummy food. But I missed the chaos of being with family and celebrating the holiday together, even if my hubby was adorable and got the living room furniture configured to accomodate Christmast decorations. Here's a photo we took with the timer on the camera and TLG had just taken a huge bite of mashed potatoes.

#56 - Thanksgiving, Part 1

We were supposed to go out of town for Thanksgiving, but our plans changed at the last minute when TLG got sick. So last night, after TLG went to bed, my hubby and I did a little holiday cooking so we could still try to have festive food today. Here's a photo of me, making my Grandmama's recipe for pumpkin pie. I knew this recipe was a no-bake chiffon type, but had never tried to make it myself that I recall. It looked good when we put it in the refrigerator to chill overnight - though I'll admit we ate so many delicious foods today that we haven't even tried to eat the pie yet!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

#55 - Lunch with TLG

I wish I had a photo from today's new thing: my hubby and I attended the Thanksgiving feast at the day care with our little guy. They had a huge crowd of people, many of the kids had both parents in attendance. TLG was a little overwhelmed with the number of people there, and he was clingy during the whole time. The food was tasty (and there was plenty to go around). It was nice to see the other kids and interact with some of their parents, and I am constantly amazed with the activities our day care has provided for the parents and families.

Monday, November 19, 2007

#54 - Elf Yourself

Office Max has a great holiday-themed website at that I discovered today. You upload photos of yourself (and either 3 other people, or you can get random faces) and the little elfs dance around to some Christmas music. It was so cute, I e-mailed it to some family members when I was done. I'm starting to get into the holiday spirit - after moaning for weeks that this year has gone by too quickly.
(The photo has nothing to do with today's post, but I liked it anyways - it's TLG and I at the park recently.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

#53 - When did "Google" become a noun and a verb?

It's been a few years, at least, since Google became a noun and a verb. In my line of work, it helps to keep up with the best search engines available, and it occurred to me that it's been a while since I saw what was out there. So what did I do? I went to a search engine and typed in "search engine." Seemed obvious to me. There are a few I've never used, like AltaVista, WebCrawler and HotBot, plus one I'd never even heard of called DogPile. (Where do they come up with these names?) So I typed in my name and city in a few different search engines and compared the results. What do I think? For the most part, the information each brought up about me was an odd mix of new and old internet sites. Plus there are a bunch of other people in our great country with the same name! Interesting to know all these other options, though, and I'll be trying them out at work soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

#52 - Veggie delights

Today my little guy and I ate like vegetarians. I didn't actually plan it that way, but as I was thinking over everything we ate today, it just happened. I have a family member who is a vegetarian who would have enjoyed today's meals, I believe:
breakfast: cereal with milk for me, a cereal bar for TLG
lunch: vegetable soup and a cheese quesadilla for me, soup and peaches for TLG
dinner: burritos with vegetarian refried beans, plus mixed tropical fruit cup for TLG
In the meantime, we played in the park, did some great shopping at Lowe's and took a long nap. A very nice day, if I do say so myself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

#51 - The sweet smell of home

Our still-fairly-new house smelled pretty good when we moved in. This could be because my wonderful hubby and his dad spent all day shampooing the carpets throughout, or it could be that the former owners had done something nice to it. Since then, with the three of us and our two dogs, it has lost some of its scent appeal. In an effort to retain some of that special fragrance, I've been using a Bath & Body Wallflower plug-in with the cucumber melon scent for a while now. But it's getting to be closer to the holidays and it started me thinking about what smell reminds me of home at the holiday time. There are lots of choices that people say remind them of the holiday season: pine, cinnamon, apples, pumpkin pie, cranberry, and cookies. Often I like the cranberry scent myself, but when I was buying a holiday-themed Wallflower, I chose the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin refill instead. I plugged it in as I started to type this, and it already smells good in our office. Mmmm pumpkin pie. I'm looking forward to the holidays with my family!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

#50 - Boo hoo

Today's story is insignificant in the grand scheme of life, more of an observation than a new thing, but here goes: This evening I spent a bunch of time playing with the little guy (TLG), just the two of us. At one point, I was lying on the couch with my eyes closed, pretending to sleep and "snore" (which TLG thinks is hilarious). He was sneaking up on me, as always, so I could open my eyes and say "boo!" We play this game a lot. But tonight, during the course of the game, TLG took the big blanket I was lying under. I pretended to start to cry, and he got very concerned, brought the blanket back, and insisted that I take it. I've never cried in front of TLG before, so I had no idea what he would do, and I assumed he would just ignore me and keep doing his own thing. But TLG melted my heart with that one... he knew I was sad and wanted to help. I know my child is a sensitive type, but I had no idea! He must have inherited that from his daddy. (OK, I'm a softie, so maybe I helped with that gene a little as well.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

#49 - La la la

Tonight I sang (until I almost lost my voice) at an assisted living facility with a group of ladies. (That's me on the far left in this artistic photo.) My band rehearses at a place like this every week, so the new part about this is the singing... I don't remember the last time I sang in performance as an adult. (Sure, I sang at concerts at the University, but I was a student, and that was a totally different type of thing.) We sang mostly old standards like "Do-Re-Mi" and "God Bless America" and projected the words on the wall so people could sing along if they chose. I don't think I'll be doing this again any time soon (and it's a good thing, since I'm really not that great a singer) but it was fun to do something new in performance.

Monday, November 12, 2007

#48 - Ladies who Lunch

Today, the little guy (TLG) and I went out to lunch with an old friend and her one-year-old daughter. We were planning to try a new restaurant named Sup (prounounced "soup") but they were closed for Veterans' Day, so we ended up at my favorite Chinese place instead. TLG has lots of experience with Chinese food (yum!) so I wasn't worried about the food. Most of the time, taking TLG out to eat is a study of multi-tasking at its finest... make him comfortable, get him a snack, order something for everybody, keep him occupied, help him eat. Not to mention trying to keep up on the conversation! And just about always, I have another family member around to help. But today it was just me and him, and we did great. TLG is shy around people he doesn't know, plus we played really hard at home this morning (so he was quiet and hungry, a great time to go out to eat). My friend is always fun to be with, and we had a good time catching up, comparing notes on parenting, and just being out and about.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

#47 - Food, glorious food

Every weekend, we make a long shopping list and get everything we need for the week. Well, it's the time of year when people start having food drives, and our day care is no exception. In the past, of course we've participated in similar drives, but only with what we've had in the pantry already. During today's shopping trip, the little guy (TLG) and I chose a bunch of extra food to donate to the holiday food drive. I wanted to avoid giving just Thanksgiving-related food... I mean, yes, the holiday is important, but people only have one special meal that day and many, many other regular meals leading up to (and after) that. So we chose peanut butter, oatmeal, spaghetti sauce, noodles, potatoes au gratin mixes, and some cans of veggies instead of stuff like cans of cranberry and sweet potatoes. We are very blessed with not having to worry about food, and it feels good to help this time of year. Now, if everyone would remember that people who need food don't JUST worry at holiday time! This is a year-round problem in every community.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

#46 - Cooking with TLG

Tonight the little guy (TLG) helped us make lasagna for dinner. This was our first time having him help with anything cooking-related and it was fun for all of us! My wonderful hubby and TLG got the cheese mixture ready while I worked with the noodles and the sauce. It all turned out delicious and even TLG ate all the lasagna on his plate. My hubby learned at the daddy training the other day that kids of that age like to help with everything, so I think we'll both be more patient and let TLG help with stuff like this more often.

#45 - Stop! Go!

Last night during our nightly run-around-the-kitchen marathon with the little guy (TLG), we were treated to a new game: run-run-run-then-stop and freeze for a few seconds before run-run-run and do it all over again. This small change in our ritual with TLG gave me the giggles and made it a tiny bit easier to catch up with him once in a while. It was almost as cute as TLG singing the Sha-Boom Sha-Boom La-La-La part of the song from the movie Clue. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Rent Clue - it's hysterical.)

I would have posted this yesterday but we had some wonderful guests from out-of-town. Thanks Grammy and Paw-Paw, it was great to have you here!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

#44 - The Daddy Manual

I've read in some humor books about how there should be a manual for becoming a parent. Of course there are plenty of books on parenting theories, but none of them are perfect. And if you want to find opposing views on parenting opinions, you certainly can. Today's new thing wasn't actually something that happened to me directly, but to my wonderful hubby. He attended a daddy training session at our day care. Not really knowing what he was getting into, I anxiously awaited his arrival at home afterwards. Fortunately, my guy took it all in stride, and was eager to share some of his new knowledge. The instructor spent some time discussing discipline problems (like timeouts, which don't work until after a child is 3 or 4), and shyness (apparently, this is genetic!). It sounded like the small group of dads in attendance had some good stuff to talk about... and my hubby even said I was right on target re-directing when the little guy cries. Next time they hold a mommy training class, I hope I get to go!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

#43 - In the airport

I flew to and from Las Vegas for work today, and since I had lots of down time in the airports, I got a lot of reading done. I read an issue of Self magazine, which I'd never seen before. With a name like "Self" and the captions on the cover, I had certain expectations about the types of articles I would find inside. And I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with some of the content! This issue had lots of stories surrounding cancer (particularly breast cancer, since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month)... some of them were personal stories from cancer survivors who are younger than me. This made me feel very lucky to be healthy - and sparked some conversations with friends and family about what causes cancer? Why can't we find a cure? How can us healthy people avoid getting cancer in the future? Thank you, Self magazine, for a lively debate and an hour's worth of good reading.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

#42 - Taking Charge

When I was in college, I needed some serious tutoring in economics (both micro and macro). I've paid the bills for a long time, but when it comes to managing our finances, I generally let my wonderful hubby take charge. Well, not today! On my lunch break, I met with the banker and took charge of our finances. OK, we had agreed previously what I'd be doing exactly, but it still felt great to be taking charge and getting things done. Take that, economics 101 professor! Ha!

Monday, November 5, 2007

#41 - Photos for the masses

A family member who's been keeping up with my blog gave me today's suggestion: enter a photo contest. You can probably tell that we're a little nutty with a camera around our house, and that's nothing compared to the photo albums we have. So today I e-mailed a photo in to a contest on, where I hope it will be successful. My family member's suggestion was actually to enter a "crazy photo contest" with the photo and caption from my "Bruised ego" blog entry, but I was not able to find a contest where the caption would make a difference (and I have to think that photo on its own, with no explanation, doesn't make much sense). I'll certainly let you know if I hear anything...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

#40 - Watching firsts from up close

Our little guy (TLG) had lots of firsts today which I got to watch up close. We bought him his first pair of sunglasses (which was the highlight of his day, I think). Then we went to the park, where he rode on the big-boy swings for the first time - and they were so low to the ground, when he wanted off, he just hopped off. Amazing. And this evening, he told us he had to go potty, so I swept him off to the bathroom and (lo and behold) he really did! It was a great day to see a lot of development in TLG and I'm so proud of him.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

#39 - It's the great pumpkin!

My pumpkin bread is famous in our family. Not because I make it well, or even make it often. Tonight is only the second time I've ever made it. But as my mom likes to remember, last time I made it in the middle of the night using three different recipes and running out of ingredients half-way through. So when I found a can of pumpkin hiding in the pantry tonight, I decided it was time to try again. My wonderful hubby helped me, and I'm proud to say that this time, we used one recipe and all the correct ingredients to make some yummy pumpkin bread. I love anything pumpkin this time of year - from Starbucks' pumpkin latte to pie at Thanksgiving. The bread is still cooking now, but it's starting to smell delicious. UPDATE: As seen in the photo, the pumpkin bread is edible... but not at all as good as I remember. Wonder what we did last time?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

#38 - Customs

If you've been reading my posts for the past few days, you know how excited I've been to get involved as an official volunteer for Books for After posting a bunch of books as available last weekend, yesterday I heard directly from a soldier in the middle east asking for some of the books. Last night, I packed up two packages of books, candy, and little games - and today I took them to the post office where I had to fill out customs forms and do all the "official" stuff to get boxes sent oversees. I learned some valuable advice for next time regarding the flat-rate priority mail boxes they have (boxes are free and the shipping is $8.95, which is cheaper than the smaller boxes I sent today). I also brought home a bunch of boxes and forms for next time. So if you live near me and you have any spare (used or new) books, CDs, DVDs or games, don't throw them away! I'll take them off your hands for my new venture. It felt good to know someone else will really use the stuff I'm sending. Yay!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

#37 - Trick or treat, smell my feet

Tonight, we had about 70 trick-or-treaters come to our house. My wonderful hubby put up great Halloween decorations outside and posted a note on the doorbell to "please knock" since our doorbell bothers our doggies and our little guy (TLG). Last year, TLG was too little to really pay attention to this holiday. But tonight he saw us answering the door and decided he wanted to help. We let TLG help us hand out candy, and 9 times out of 10 he was cuter than the kids who were on the doorstep. Between each handing-out-candy time, TLG was waiting with us in our front room. For a while, we sang lots of songs he knows, including the ABCs, pat-a-cake, A-Ram-Sam-Sam, and I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee. After some time, though, he realized we were waiting for a knock and he got really excited when someone would come to the door. It was adorable and I'll miss having help next year when he's out collecting his own candy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

#36 - Joy of cooking

I'll admit I'm not a very experienced cook. I have a repertoire of about two weeks' worth of dinners I can make without consulting a cookbook. And that's if you count things like grilled-cheese-and-tomato-sandwiches. So tonight when my wonderful hubby put me in charge of baking the potatoes, I had to consult a book for instructions. Yes, I've never successfully baked a potato. Who am I kidding, I've only ever tried once before and it was years ago. Well, despite my best efforts tonight, and following the directions (mostly) I can say I've STILL never successfully baked a potato. Tonight's side dish was semi-warm crunchy potatoes with sour cream and green onions. At least I had the toppings right!

Monday, October 29, 2007

#35 - Album recommendations

I have been about a year behind on my photo albums/scrapbooks for as long as I can remember. Part of my problem is that, for many years, I have used the books with the magnetic pages that require me to cut out scraps of paper on which to write the captions. Not only are some of the older books starting to show their age (the pages yellow and un-stick over time) but I find this process to be exhausting. So today I've started a new album which has the paper and lines for writing comments right on the page. These books have plastic sleeves to slip photos in, making the whole process quite easy. I'm excited to get going and catch up a little more on the photos... I'm finally to my sister's wedding photos from over a year ago. *sigh* Please enjoy this extreme close-up of our younger dog in our backyard, taken this weekend as I tried to show the little guy how to use the camera. (He was fascinated - definitely his father's son!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

#34 - A New Cause

There are an incredible amount of soldiers oversees who could really use some extra books to read during their down time (if there is such as a thing over there). I recently discovered a website called Books for Soldiers, which organizes volunteers with troops who would like to receive books. For years, I've given my books to local organizations - but who knows if they actually get read here. So I've officially thrown my hat in the ring, and today I posted my first seven titles to offer to the troops. I'll certainly be posting again if I get any "bites" but I'm excited at the prospect of helping in a small way.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

#33 - Bounce houses are for kids

I'd never been in a bounce house before today. Our family attended a kid's birthday party at one of those places where they have a lot of them in a huge room. At first, the little guy was pretty shy, since there were lots of kids and standing on a giant inflatable thing can be a little intimidating when you're not even 2 years old yet. So the hubby and I were helping him out. After a while of figuring it out, the little guy decided he liked it - but of course he loved the slides best and he's too small to be able to climb up the ladder-thingys to get up the slides. As an adult, I was probably too big and in too many other kids' ways as I helped our guy to the top (over and over and over). But he had a great time, even going down the slide by himself towards the end. I tell you what, though: one hour in the bounce house, and I was exhausted! I think we will all sleep well tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

#32 - Happy Nevada Day!

Nevada Day - the anniversary of the state's admission to the union - is celebrated on the last Friday of October each year. Since I had the day off and the little guy's day care was closed, we got to spend the day hanging out. It was wonderful! My favorite part was playing with play-doh together. Someone at our trick-or-treat outing last week gave us some black play-doh instead of candy (what a good idea for a little guy!). It was obvious that he'd already had plenty of experience with the stuff, since he only tried to put it in his mouth once. But I'd never done it with him, and it was fun. The play-doh smelled exactly the way I remembered it from my childhood, too. (The photo was taken just after I took the brand new play-doh out of the the container, and before we got messy.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

#31 - Comments

This afternoon, a family member I admire very much sent me an e-mail with a bunch of comments and suggestions for some previous posts. This is the first time anyone's offered some critiques of what I'm writing here... and it felt great! If you're reading this, please (please!) leave me a comment or write me an e-mail. I would love to talk with anybody about any of this stuff - or just know you're paying attention.

Now, to address the matters in the e-mail:
1) It has been brought to my attention that my previous post mentioning a Clinique GWEP is actually a GWP (gift-with-purchase). This family member has a history in the retail business world and she knows - far better than I do - what this acronym really is. I stand corrected.
2) In the entry where I said I didn't do anything new, she points out that I received an order of new pants in the mail. While the pants were technically new, the process was not. I have ordered online before, I have worn sweats before. Plus I'm trying to really do something interesting to share - because if I tell you about every new item of clothing I buy over the next year, you'll be bored stiff. So as opposed to forcing something new out of a humdrum day, I'll just skip it, I think.

So thanks for the comments and the words of encouragement, too! Now, to everyone else, please let me know that you're reading! Thanks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

#30 - Bruised ego

A few days ago, I fell down a bunch of stairs in front of a group of people. On top of being totally embarrassing, I also bruised both my shins pretty badly. So to try to encourage my legs to heal faster, today I did some research on remedies for bruises. Did you know that some people put butter on their bruises, or drink apple cider vinegar to prevent them from turning black-and-blue? I guess they do. My favorite suggestion, though, was that you tie a bullfrog to the bruise - belly-down - in order to ward off the changing colors. Wow, people have some weird "helpful hints!" Since we don't generally have bullfrogs available at our house, I've included my own version of this remedy in the hopes that my legs will feel better soon. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

#29 - Work firsts

Since my former boss left my organization a few months ago, I am trying to help "fill the gaps" until a new V.P. is hired. Today's work day was full of new projects in this vein... including some major writing projects that I'm excited about. I also met some people from other education groups today that we may be able to collaborate with, and we went out to lunch as a group to celebrate new partnerships (to a new Mexican place!) Work has been full of challenges these past few months, and it just felt so good to be helpful today.

Monday, October 22, 2007

#28 - Trivial pursuits

Today I won a trivia contest on movie star Cate Blanchett. Finally, years of stupid trivia memorization and reading People magazine paid off! I've won contests before, to be sure, but those have been raffles/auctions and the like. This was different because I actually had to know something! Did you know that Ms. Blanchett is the first Oscar winner to receive her statuette for portraying another Oscar winner? Well, I did! And now you do, too. I won two tickets to the local movie theaters for knowing this and three other useless facts about this actress. Hey, I should go on "Jeopardy!" Um, maybe not.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

#27 - Big truck

Generally, our family doesn't shop much at Toys R Us. In fact, since the little guy was born, I think we've been there twice as a family. So today, as an experiment, the little guy and I went shopping there, just the two of us. He absolutely had a great time - and since he was there to literally "test drive" the toys, I think we brought home some winners. But today's cute story comes from the toy mega-blocks isle. We got four different types of large trucks off the shelves so he could try them out. One was a dump truck, one a wagon, one a fire truck, and the last a car carrier type. He kept going back to the dump truck so I knew it was the one to put in the cart... well, he barely let the cashier scan it! He insisted on putting it in his lap in his carseat (and this thing is big enough for him to ride on, so I could barely see him on the way home). He ran around with it all afternoon, putting his favorite blanket in the back as cargo. He even said "night-night" to it on his way upstairs to bed. So cute!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

#26 - Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

My family and I visited the Animal Ark today. I'd never been there, though the rest of my little family went to visit a year ago. We really did see a mountain lion, as well as a brown bear and some tigers. The white tiger, which you can see in the photo behind the little guy, was our favorite. He was strutting around and seemed to be enjoying the sun. That is, until it started to snow. We saw them feed the brown bear and once it started snowing pretty good we decided we'd had enough. But our visit kept our attention pretty well (we were there 1-1/2 hours!) and we had a good time. I hope we will go back next year when we won't need to take the stroller!

Friday, October 19, 2007

#25 - Early spooky celebration

The little guy and I went trick-or-treating today. He was much too young last year to understand the concept (or even walk house-to-house!) so we participated in my work's annual party for everyone's kids. At first, he was shy with all the other kids and their parents. Plus the pirate jacket (as shown in the photo) was obviously made for outdoor activities and was much too hot for walking around indoors! He only had it on for a couple photos and then we went without it. Still, he wanted me to carry him everywhere... until I let him eat some chocolate. From that point forward, he was happy as could be, and he even walked a bunch by himself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

#24 - Venturing out alone

Since our regular babysitters are out of town, this evening my wonderful hubby stayed home with the kiddo, and I went to rehearsal by myself. I've been in this group almost 7 years and I only go alone if the hubby is sick... but what makes today's occurence "new" is that he wasn't sick. Sometimes it's hard to be an adult and give up things you want to do in order to stay home with the little guy. We have been incredibly lucky to have family around to babysit most of the time since he's been around. But tonight was a good lesson in fairness for us - hubby went out last night to sub in a band, and I went tonight. At least we each got to play this week! And we each got a night to play and run around here at home. I am grateful that we can share all this responsibility... how do single parents do it?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#23 - Not a new thing in sight

Well, I made it more than three weeks, but it's official - I didn't do anything new today. And that's my new thing for today. I've reviewed the day in my head, over and over, but there just isn't anything. Took the sniffly kiddo to day care, went to work, had lunch at home. Picked up the sniffly kid, tried on some new pants that arrived in the mail, ate dinner with the family. Watched a little t.v. Now it's bedtime and I've got nothing. Sorry, folks, I've failed you. I'll try harder tomorrow, but I'm not ashamed. I worked hard today and it was a nice day. Next time I don't choose to do something new, I may not admit it and just skip a posting day. And I will be O.K. with that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

#22 - A Birthday tribute

Two of the important men in my life have birthdays today. In their honor, I researched some birthday traditions around the world. My dad, who recently traveled to England and Egypt on vacation, probably already knows that the British like to bake tiny items into their cake, and whoever finds them gets various types of luck. (Find a coin, get good luck; find a thimble, get bad luck. Good thing I don't sew very well!) They also like to turn people upside-down and bump their heads on the floor (once for each year they've achieved... aren't you glad they don't do this one in the U.S., Dad?)

My step dad loves to cook. I find he would enjoy the tradition in Hong Kong, where they eat special extra-long noodles to symbolize a long life. Wayne's family makes their own noodles for some special occasions - something I've never done (hmmmmm...) and they are delicious. Happy, happy birthday!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

#21 - Hair Creation

Since I was in 6th grade, my hair has been naturally curly. Last weekend I bought a straigtening iron for the first time ever. When my sister asked if I had tried it on Monday, I said "Is it the weekend?" And her answer was, "No, why should it be?" Of course my answer was: "I need time to practice!"

So today I attempted to straighten my hair for the first time. To get the entire make-over effect, in the first photo you'll see my hair as it is dried naturally (and I have no makeup on, just like magazine make-overs do). Photo number 2, well, see for yourself.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

#20 - Flying high (and falling down)

In honor of perfect fall weather, our little family spent most of the afternoon at a local park. The beautiful fall colors were out in force and the playground had lots of kids. Today's new thing for us, as parents was: let the little guy (TLG) climb and run around without one of us immediately behind. So far, TLG has been too little to be able to do this... but he loved climbing the chain wall (with a little help) and going down the curly-cue slide all by himself. He did fall down through the rungs on a ladder-type thing, and he cried for a few seconds - but he made us both proud when he stopped crying to say "Again!" and he went right back to it. Awwww.

Friday, October 12, 2007

#19 - New tunes

Today I discovered some new music on my t.v. via the cable music channel. While I have been finding lots of great new music in the past few weeks over the internet, today was the first time to discover music I'd never heard before. (To clarify, in the past, the music I've listened to on t.v. is all stuff I knew before.) So today, in honor of new tunes day, I've fallen in love with Office's "Oh My" along with Feist's "1,2,3,4" and the Killers' "Read My Mind." My ipod is going to be burning up with all the great music on there! Woo hoo!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

#18 - Itsy Bitsy Crazy Momma

Today, though I worked all day, turned into a day full of kids stuff. On my lunch break, I went shopping for some birthday gifts for some friends who are turning 4 years old this week. I don't think I've been to a 4-year-old's birthday party since I was close to 4 myself, so today's new thing is: the little guy and I attended a 4-year-old's birthday party. (Actually, since they are twins, it was 2 4-year-old's birthday party, but that's much harder to explain.) The party was good fun, the twins were patient with my shy little guy, and the spider cupcakes were yummy. The little guy even ate some cheese pizza all by himself (a first for him!).

While I was shopping at lunch today, I also bought a new CD called "For the Kids 3" which has famous musicians performing some kids songs in a manner that's supposed to keep their parents sane. Well, none of them listened to Itsy Bitsy Spider ten times in a row... so I am one heck of an itsy bitsy crazy momma now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

#17 - Happy little trees

I work at an organization that is concerned about finding solutions to all sorts of environmental problems. But until today, we had been lacking the proper recycle bins to partake in this quest at home. So today, for the first time, we recycled glass, plastics, and tin cans in addition to our regular paper and aluminum cans. For most people, this would not be newsworthy. But I had to call and get some new recycling bins delivered to our house, since we used to only have one yellow bin at home, and it's only been a few years since the recycling program was created in our fair city. But now, as you can see, we're set! Our city's recycling program is still far from perfect, but I'm so happy to do our part in reusing whatever we can. It may sound cliche, but I'm even looking forward to helping the little guy learn how he can help to recycle household stuff, too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

#16 - A Day Trip

Today, the little guy and I did something new together: we drove to Sacramento and back for a dr.'s appointment. My wonderful hubby has made this trip with our little guy before, but it was my first time to do the whole thing in one day with him... and it went great. I was worried about being able to reach toys, food, etc. for him while I was driving, but as many moms before me have figured out, you just do the best you can. He ended up sleeping most of the way anyways. And, for all the curious folks out there, the next surgery has been scheduled for Feb. 15 so things are progressing well. Hooray!

Monday, October 8, 2007

#15 - A girly post

Yesterday, the little guy accompanied me to the mall, where I picked up my annual Clinique GWEP (gift-with-every-purchase, pronounced "Gweep" in my family). Today, I got to try two new products: a new foundation and a new circle-under-my-eyes product called an airbrush. Am I supposed to have circles under my eyes at age 29? (Well, I do. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.) The new make-up seemed lighter than my old stuff, and for that I liked it... plus, I felt like it looked pretty good at the end of the day, too. For the sake of keeping you awake, I won't go into all the details. The little guy liked the mall, if only because there's lots of crazy people to watch when you're there. So it was a good trip for both of us.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

#14 - Sleeping In

This may not seem like a big deal to most regular adults, but to anyone who's ever had children, it is: today, the whole family slept in until 8:30am. This is very new to us... our little guy usually gets up on the weekends between 4:30 and 6:00-ish. Today when he woke up at around 4:00 I said "To heck with this!" and after a quick bottle, he was back asleep for a few more blissful hours. This has to be the most boring post ever, but we spent the day celebrating our amazing luck with the amount of sleep we got last night! Hooray for sleep! Yes, we have no lives. But at least we got some sleep.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

#13 - New Eatery

This evening my hubby and I went on our "date night" and we tried a new place to eat. The Stone House Grill was recommended to me by a friend but we'd never been there... it was delicious. I tried the orange roughy. It was amazing, covered with 3 prawns, macadamia nuts, pecans and roasted red peppers in a creamy sauce. YUM! Thanks, Mom and Wayne, for the wonderful date night!

Friday, October 5, 2007

#12 - Homecoming party

I arrived home tonight to find my hubby throwing a fantastic version of a homecoming party for me... He spent hours making a delicious meal (homemade french dip sandwiches!) and let me spend a little time playing with the happiest kiddo on earth. I know my wonderful husband worked hard today and I just hope he knows how much I appreciate him!!! :)

#11 - Dinner with Sinatra

Yesterday, I was in the Las Vegas area for work and I had dinner with Frank Sinatra. OK, he was an impersonator but it was fascinating to hear how he got into that line of work, what it pays ($300+ for just a couple hours!), how many gigs a month he has (a lot!). No, he was not performing at the dinner... he was actually sitting at my table in his regular clothes, no makeup. I would have had no idea. It was fascinating.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

#10 - Pig Latin

Histay ostpay isway rittenway inway igpay atinlay. Iway asway ryingtay otay hinktay ofway omethingsay ewnay odaytay andway hileway Iway avehay riedtay igpay atinlay eforebay, Iway asway entay atway hetay imetay. Odaytay isway ootay usybay otay hinktay ofway away ewnay hintay otay oday. Histay isway eallyray ardhay! Owhay oday eoplepay understandway histay anguagelay? Iway adhay otay ooklay puay irectionsday otay riteway itway roperlypay!

P.S. - I will be out of town for work Thursday and part of Friday... so I probably won't get to post anything tomorrow. But I'll try to make up for it over the weekend!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

#9 - The internet has taken over my life

Today, not only did I use the internet to talk to friends all over the country via e-mail, catch up on the news, and use a blog to communicate... I used the internet to apply for something big (this post has been specifically kept vague, just in case). I remember the days when I was worried about sending personal information over the internet, and it wasn't even that long ago that I didn't really navigate the web often (or easily). These days, though, it's second nature, and I hardly even bat an eye at being asked to do new things. Isn't it interesting how the internet has been so sneaky as to take over my life?!? Today's activity was actually really easy and a lot less stress than the traditional way. Wow.

Monday, October 1, 2007

#8 - A Ring for Mommy

Tonight, the little guy showed me how to play "Ring Around the Rosy." We've never done this before, but as soon as I started singing the song he knew right when to "fall down" and start giggling. (Apparently he's played this game at day care, but it was new to me!) This brings me to tonight's musing... I like to work and be around adults during the day, but I sure feel like I miss lots of fun stuff with our cute boy. *sigh* If only I could win the lottery and only work when I wanted to!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

#7 - Concert with Friends

This afternoon I was invited to attend a Philharmonic concert with a friend, and yes, I have attended these concerts before. But this particular friend is moving away in a few months and I already miss her... so today's "new thing" is giggling through the concerto with a great friend. The cellist had a particularly spectacular "mean face" as she dramatically played her way through the piece. The violinist was not nearly as expressive with his face, but both musicians did a great job. My favorite part of the concert, though, was hearing them play the Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story." I played a wind ensemble version of that very piece while at the University, and it was great to hear it again. Today's blog post was brought to you by: Grandma, who was willing to babysit during the concert (while my hubby fixed their RV). Thanks, Grandma!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

#6 - First haircut

Nope, not for me. Today we took our adorable son for his first haircut. (See before and after photos, left.) As you can imagine, us adults were a little keyed up about it, but he did great! From the moment he sat in the chair to the minute we left the shop, he was quiet and amazingly good. I stood right next to him in case he was nervous, but he just looked around and watched in the mirror. AND he patiently let both of us get ours done afterwards! We both agree he looks older with the shorter hair. What do you think?

Friday, September 28, 2007

#5 - Sock Wars

The day care told us to keep the little guy home today, and I took the morning shift to keep him company. But I tell you what, he sure was acting like he felt good! We were running all around the house playing... and ended up in his room. Usually I insist that he keeps the clothes in the dresser and only use the toys/books for playing. But today I decided - what's the harm? So we had a sock war. We threw his socks everywhere and did silly things with them, like wear them on our heads and shoulders. Just when I thought we were moving on to a new activity, and put them all away - fooled you Mom! - he'd take them back out and throw them around some more. This was really great, giggly fun for both of us. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

#4 - Fast-food tongue

Got your attention, didn't I? Well, today I went to lunch at a new fast-food Mexican restaurant. We were wanting Jimboy's but when we got there, it was closed. (My husband says the McD's near his work was closed today too, something about immigration issues?) Anyway, this place is right next to Jimboy's but has menus on the window in Spanish so it must be more authentic, right? Absolutely! You want tongue for lunch? You got it! You want cow's head? Just say the word! This was the first time I'd ever seen these ingredients on a fast-food menu... however, I couldn't bring myself to try them. (I had a chicken burrito, and it was OK.) So much for "new" things - guess being in a new place will have to suffice this time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

#3 - Watching TV on the web?

This may come as a shock to anyone who knows me, but I love TV. I know, the idea is to do something NEW. So instead of waiting for the next DVD of "Friday Night Lights" to arrive tonight, I watched an episode on the internet. Having never watched anything longer than 4-5 minutes on the web before, I encountered a few problems with this. 1) The video stopped and skipped during the show a few times. 2) There were commercial breaks during the show which you couldn't fast-forward through or even pause (totally annoying). 3) Of course, the video didn't skip during the commercials. Ummmm yeah. So I think I vote for watching TV on regular TV. Next time I'll just wait for the DVD to arrive.

P.S. - If you haven't given "Friday Night Lights" a chance yet, please do.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

#2 - Taco Soup

Often, when I meet my family at home after work, we are all too tired to make any huge efforts toward dinner. We'll pop in a frozen pizza, or make a quick sandwich, or go out. So tonight, in the spirit of trying something new, I pulled out a cookbook and tried a new recipe: Taco Soup. It was a hearty meal, especially with a cheese quesadilla by its side, but it was a good blend of spicy and yummy! OK, the little guy didn't try any soup tonight but I bet he'll like it once he gets a tad more reliable with a spoon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

#1 - Set up a blog

Today is the day after I turned 29(!) and I've spent a lot of time considering how I can jump-start this year. So today I made the decision that I should try to do something new every day this year... and I started a blog to track my progress. Anyone who knows me also knows that I take extra time to deal with new things and change... so this is a challenge I've issued to myself. Also, I've loved reading blogs of some of my friends and hope to keep in better touch with folks while trying said new things. Maybe some people will have suggestions for me. Would love to hear from anyone with ideas!