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, March 31, 2008

#172 - Napa-Sonoma

I had lunch at a new restaurant today, Napa-Sonoma. Of course I've eaten in plenty of cute cafes in town, even some with little gift shops attached, but today's new place was among the best I've tried. I had a turkey wrap with cranberries, cream cheese, tomato and lettuce... which came with a delicious slice of watermelon (hard to find this time of year!) and a side salad. Yummy! If you're ever in Reno and want to see a cute little gift shop an try some great food, give this place a try.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

#171 - A Small Fortune

This afternoon, we spent a small fortune purchasing a swing set for our backyard. This is a pretty massive set, with a slide, 2 swings, a sandbox, a climbing wall, a chalkboard, and some sort of glider-swing-thing. It came in three heavy boxes so my dear hubby had to go back to the store to pick it up using our trailer. Of course the weather's a bit too mild for digging holes for posts just yet, but since it was on sale today we bit the bullet. TLG doesn't really know what's going on just yet, so it will be a good surprise for him when we go to install it in the backyard. I'm looking forward to this summer, when we can play out there all day long!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

#169/#170 - First Trombone Lesson/Video Post!

Our family and friends have been telling us we need to try this for a while now, so today we gave TLG his first trombone "lesson". He's got quite the lip and he's always blowing raspberries at us, so it's no surprise that he got quite a few good notes blown while I was taking photos/video.

And in a special bonus first, I'm uploading my first video to the site. I hope it works OK.

Friday, March 28, 2008

#168 - Last Names are Fun

Our little guy started the day today by having a conversation with his daddy about our last name. Fortunatly, I was present, so I could giggle along. Daddy was teaching TLG our last name (which as you know, can be quite a mouthful for the uninitiated). Today, TLG learned our last name. We practiced and practiced, and finally he got it... he sort-of separates it into two words, and puts a flourish on the last two syllables. Adorably cute.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

#167 - A Street Devoted to Me!

Through a set of circumstances at work, I came across a Reno address with the street name "Kathleen Denise Lane". Assuming this was a mistake of some sort, I went to Google maps and searched for it, and lo and behold, this is a real street! And (if you can believe it) it's a new street, less than 1/2 mile from our old house here in Reno... and it's on my way home from work! So on my way home from work, I visited Kathleen Denise Lane and took a photo of the street sign. The photo is on my camera phone, which I don't know how to upload to this site, unfortunately. I guess you'll just have to believe me. But boy did it feel funny to see my whole name up on a street sign!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

#166 - Neigh!

TLG knows how to gallop, and today he showed us by galloping around the entire bottom floor of our house, saying "Neigh!" This is one of those things that I didn't know he knew how to do, I didn't teach him and I feel happy that he's so smart (and sad that I missed out on teaching him myself). I don't think he's learned skipping yet, so maybe we'll work on that together in the future. You can't grow up in my house and not know how to skip, right Poppy?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

#165 - Chalk It Up

The Easter bunny brought a neat set of sidewalk chalk for TLG today, so with the weather being perfect (65 degrees and sunny today!) we played with chalk in the backyard. I don't remember seeing some of those colors as a kid - there were 20 colors in the set - and TLG really enjoyed drawing on the ground. I know they've played with chalk to do artwork at day care, but I don't know if he's ever done it on the ground like that. When we got bored with chalk, we brought out the bubbles to blow, and later (after a nap) we headed to the park to get in some more time outside. What a wonderful day!

#164 - Coloring Easter Eggs

We helped TLG color Easter eggs this morning. He was fascinated watching the tablets dissolve in the vinegar and was patient with letting us adults help him put the eggs in and out of the little glass cups. We did 18 eggs all together, so I see lots of egg salad or deviled eggs in our future... but it was worth it to see TLG enjoy coloring them, putting on little stickers, and having a good holiday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

#163 - Ice Cream is Yummy!

In preparation for Easter tomorrow, we made an ice cream dessert with caramel topping and a crust made of quick oats, brown sugar, butter and flour. I know I must have helped make this recipe at least once as a kid, because I remembered to buy the ice cream in the square box because it's easier to use - but it sure was fun to make the crust with TLG's help (he's getting to love to cook!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

#162 - Lyrics Machine

Tonight, my hubby and I caught an episode of "Don't Forget the Lyrics" with host Wayne Brady. What a goofy game show that is! If you haven't seen it before, it's like karoake only the contestant has to finish the words to a randomly selected line, and the prize money gets higher for each song correctly finished. The lifelines and prize monies are arranged a la "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" and it wouldn't have been so bad if tonight's contestant wasn't totally, abysmally annoying. We were exchanging foot rubs at the beginning of the episode, but after about 40 minutes, I just couldn't take it anymore. Neither of us would be bad as contestants, mind you.

#161 - Work Firsts

Today I did a couple of things I've done before, but never for my new organization, including: learning a new database system, attending a board meeting and going on a donor call. The whole day felt shiny and new because I was meeting lots of people and meeting my goal of doing donor "stewardship" (one of the reasons I was hired). I would list these all separately and count them as a bunch of new things, but I would bore you to death, dear reader. So we'll leave well enough alone for now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

#160 - Dancing Machines

As I have for the past four seasons, tonight I watched the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars. (I didn't watch the first season at all, but I've been hooked ever since!) But tonight was different... instead of watching all by myself, my wonderful sister was in town visiting and agreed to watch with me. It was so much more fun watching with someone else than by myself! We had conversations about which of the six men participants (Adam Corolla, Penn Jillette, Cristian de la Fuente, Mario, Jason Taylor and Steve Guttenberg) was the best and the worst. That was awesome. Thanks, sister-of-mine!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

#159 - Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I helped the Easter Bunny do his shopping today. (Don't tell the little guy!) The past two Easters, TLG has been too small to have any idea that it's a holiday. Last year, we did an egg hunt with the plastic eggs, but they were all empty and they were "hiding" in plain site (i.e., on the seat of a chair, or in the corner by the front door.) This year, we'll have a much more exciting celebration, I think! I'd say more, but after all, doesn't the Easter Bunny get to have a few tricks up his sleeve?

#158 - My Civil Rights

This morning, I was approached outside the grocery store and asked to sign a petition. I've certainly signed before, most often at the University for some issue or another. But today, I signed a petition to help get an issue put on the November ballot! The woman explained that they're trying to re-direct the money from the room taxes towards other things than what it's currently going towards - one of the new things being having a portion of that money go towards education. As I believe education in our county could use as much help as we can afford, I thought that was a good idea.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

#157 - The Tax Man

My fantastic husband has finished our taxes. But for the first time ever, we used one of those computer programs you purchase to help with your taxes, and we filed online! In years past, we've done it on paper, and once we hired someone at one of those companies to help. But not this year... he worked on-and-off most of the day, with a miniscule amount of help from me, and we were both impressed with the level of ease it afforded us, and we're both so glad this project is done for another year.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

#156 - Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat

OK, our house doesn't actually have a smelly cat, but we do have one extremely smelly (new) dog. For some bizarre reason, the Nevada Humane Society did not give our Penny a bath before spaying her yesterday. And since she was a stray dog, she was pretty dirty to begin with. Now that she's had the surgery she can't have a bath for 10 days while we wait for the stitches to dissolve. The staff member at the NHS had suggestions for making her smell a little better, including using a wet rag to wipe her down, or trying to sprinkle a little baby power on her. But tonight, I did some internet research to see if there were any other suggestions for giving a dog a better smell. I didn't actually find much, to my surprise, though there were lots of pages encouraging the surgery (which I was happy to see). I guess we'll try the powder and cross our fingers.

UPDATE 3/16: After a trip to the pet store today to look for a product ("Cowboy Magic") recommended to us from a member of a ranching family, and having no luck finding such product... we tried wiping Penny down and sprinkling some powder. She does smell much better now, thank goodness! But I still can't wait for her to get a real bath.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

#155 - Whatever Lola Wants

Today our family adopted a dog from the Nevada Humane Society. They told us she was a stray, so they don't know anything about her... but they were guessing she was 3 years old and probably a yellow labrador retriever. (That's her in the photo with TLG, me, and our other dog Ellie.) After much debate over a name, we thought we had chosen Lola, because as they say, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets!" But after a lot more talking, we finally chose Penny. It just seems to fit her calm attitude and loving nature.
They gave her a microchip and spayed her first thing this morning, so we know she's not feeling 100% just yet. So far, she's the most mellow dog I've ever met! She does seem very OK with our toddler and dominant dog Ellie, so far she hasn't even barked once (though she did growl for a second at the cats at the shelter). Penny also seems house-trained (what a blessing!) and has already gotten the hang of the doggy doors. Mostly so far she just wants to be with people and has been following us around. Welcome, Penny!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

#154 - And You?

I was planning on writing something work-related, since today was my first real day on the job... but this evening during dinner, TLG started his first conversation with a real question! With no prompting or anything, he said to me: "How are you? How was your day?" And I thought I was going to melt right there in my seat. I answered that my day was good and asked him how his was. He answered with a long run-on sentence that neither my hubby or I really understood, and from there we just asked him a bunch of questions about what he did today. It was the cutest thing!

Monday, March 10, 2008

#153 - I've Been Oriented!

My first day on my new job, and I have officially been oriented. I mean, for the first time ever, I'm working in an organization that is large enough to have an all-day orientation session. There were probably 75 folks at the session today (and they hold these monthly!) - and I felt the HR folks did a good job of mixing up speakers, videos, paperwork, a tour of the facility, and Q-and-A sessions. There are 2300 employees total at my new organization - wow! - and I obviously have a lot to learn before I'm ready to do any official work... but my boss and co-workers are understanding of this fact and are eager to help me gain the knowledge I need. I'm so happy to have made this switch!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

#152 - Empty-Handed

Our little family, including our dog Ellie, visited the Nevada Humane Society today to try to pick out a new canine companion for us. As an adult, I've only ever visited the pound/NHS once, on the day we chose Ellie (whose name was something else at the time). So today we visited the dog shelter and came home empty-handed. That's not to say we didn't see lots of nice-looking dogs, of course. We even took one out to the exercise yard. She was a cream-colored lab mix who was more interested in chasing a ball than in introducing herself to us humans (if I were in her shoes, I might have done the same, as a matter of fact). She seemed like a nice enough dog, but we didn't get the right vibe, so she stayed at the shelter. We did put our name on a waiting list for one of the dogs in the pound side of the shelter, who will be available Wednesday if her owners don't find her by then. So we'll see how that goes. TLG was a little intimidated by the dogs barking, and made us carry him most of the time. But Ellie did great, I was very impressed with her!

Friday, March 7, 2008

#151 - Happy Endings

Today was my last day at my old job, and that's close enough to a new thing for me for today. My office has been a ghost town lately, literally, so it was nice to see lots of people... the IT folks to turn off my e-mail, the HR folks for the paperwork, and they also got me a cake so I could say farewell in style. My friends who still work there have been very supportive through all this and while I wish I wasn't leaving them in the lurch timing-wise (there's a big fundraising event coming up soon), well, when exactly is a good time to leave a job?!? It's like any major life event - there really IS no good time, so you just have to plunge ahead. It was a nice day, and I left the building at 5:00 knowing I have completed every project I had agreed to (and then some!) and there's nothing left that I need to do. It's a good feeling to have!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

#150 - Parenting 101

I wish they handed out mommy and daddy manuals at the hospital when a new baby is born. Today I could have really used a mommy manual to consult...

For most of the day today, our little guy talked about our dog CJ, who recently passed away. He pointed out CJ's leash in the coat closet, talked about how big he is (big!) and what color (black). And at dinner time, he helped me "cook" dinner for our dog Ellie and insisted that he wanted to help with CJ's dinner too. So today I had to try to explain death to a 2-year-old. My hubby and I both tried every explanation we could think of, including he's gone, he's outside, he went to work, he's playing and won't come home. It was very emotional for me and I started to cry, which just made TLG upset too. Where's my mommy manual!?!?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

#149 - Hunger Strike

I think TLG is on a hunger strike... not really, of course, since he's been in the habit of eating whenever he wants, being at home for the past month. Today was his first day back at day care following his recovery, and he just didn't want to eat breakfast. They said he ate well during the day, but I certainly wasn't around to see it. And for dinner, we got pizza, which he usually enjoys, but tonight he wasn't having any of it. So today's new thing: My child did not eat in front of me, and I refuse to worry about it. (On a normal day, this would freak me out.) I'm sure he ate plenty at day care, and if he were hungry, I'm sure he would speak up. His vocabulary is excellent, and he knows how to find food if he wants it. What a relief.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

#148 - Pleasure Cruise

Our little guy had his follow-up appointment in Sacramento today to see how he's healing from his recent surgery. Before I even woke up this morning, my dad called to tell us he heard on the radio that there was an accident blocking one lane of I-80 (the major freeway between here and there). We decided to go that way regardless, since the website confirmed that only one lane was closed. We did leave plenty early for the afternoon appointment, and thank goodness, because I-80 was closed at the top of the summit and we were forced to take Highway 20 towards Sacramento. It's a pretty drive, but not one I would ever recommend if you're in a hurry to get anywhere. The two-lane road through the forest was especially nice, but when you have a cranky kid who's wearing a catheter plus a cranky mommy who's anxious to get somewhere, it's just stressful all the way around.

I've only ever been forced to take a detour on I-80 once before, and it was headed east back towards Reno. Maybe someday when we just want a nice drive, we'll try this one again. With all the extra traffic, it did add some extra time to our trip (enough that we missed lunch with Grammy - sorry again!)

But the good news is, TLG's appointment went superbly and unless he somehow manages to damage the work that's been done, this part of the repairs is complete (hallelujah!). We have another appointment scheduled in six months to talk about the next stage, but we're focusing on the good news for now. If you have questions, loyal reader, just ask.

Monday, March 3, 2008

#147 - Sight Unseen

One of the local casinos, the Peppermill, has been through some extensive remodeling/renovations and a long building phase. For the organization I'm leaving, I've been helping to organize an event that will be held there in the coming weeks, but I've never seen the completed construction. Today I visited the Peppermill's new Tuscan Tower to see their ballrooms, and I ate a crepe in one of the new restaurants. The ballroom was very pretty, though if I had decorated them I probably would have stuck with more neutral colors than the red-rust colored air walls and blue back-lit mirrors around the ceilings. They will be very nicely decorated for an upcoming function, that's for sure. And the crepe was delicious, topped with nutella, coconut and hazelnut something-or-other. Mmmm.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

#146 - Zits are the Pits

Thanks to a suggestion from my sister, today I bought and tried Neutrogena's On-the-Spot Acne Treatment. We've been under a tiny bit of stress at our house, what with my under-the-weather hubby (flu, sinus infection, ear infection, and odd pain in his side), still-recovering-from-surgery little guy, and me (changing jobs, taking care of everyone)... and for me, stress means acne. There, I admitted it. My sister tried this product while she was visiting last week, and said it worked very well. It's a vanishing cream with benzoyl peroxide, so I hope it doesn't stain my clothes, sheets or towels. I just washed my face and dabbed it on where needed, and will leave it 'till morning to see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

#145 - Go Pack!

Today, I wrote a check to join my alma mater's Alumni Association. I've given them donations before, particularly to support a scholarship in the name of one of my favorite professors who passed away too young. But when a mailer arrived this weekend inviting me to join the Association, I decided to give it a try. I've read about it in the Alumni magazine in the past but have never figured out exactly what the big deal is. So now we'll see, won't we?