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.

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

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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!