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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

#198 - Learning the Inner Workings...

My wonderful father-in-law is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to fixing things. Give him a problem, or a broken piece of equipment, he can solve it, fix it or make it better. This evening, I learned how to set-up and tear-down his custom built electric keyboard stand, light and dolly. It was quite a set of steps to remember, and he thought of everything to make it work easily (including building a custom stand light). Learning about how this worked and seeing all the challenges he had to address during the design process was very impressive!

Monday, April 28, 2008

#197 - Really Cool Snail Mail

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I've been sending packages to soldiers serving oversees for about six months. In today's mail, I got my first letter from a soldier who said, "I'm coming home so don't send me anything else at this address!" (Wow, I got chills just typing that.) This soldier is one I've been keeping in touch with, sending letters even when I didn't have anything else saved up to send. It feels great to know that this soldier is headed home for his family, friends, and life! Now if they could all just come home, that would be great. (Wishful thinking, I know.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

#196 - Shampoo Experiment #1

I've used Pantene curly-hair formula shampoo for as long as I can remember. But in an effort to rejuvenate my flat hair and get some life back, I bought some new kinds at the store this morning. I tried Herbal Essences "totally twisted curls & waves shampoo" today. I did feel like I had more curl that I've had in a while, which made me feel better. Since I have to dress up every day for my new job, I want to have nice hair to match! Maybe this one will do the trick? Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

#195 - The Great Underwear Experiment

This afternoon, the weather was perfect for being in the backyard, so we put TLG in underwear for the first time and took him outside. For the record, he chose the Lightning McQueen/Mater underoos to test drive. In my opinion, he did great - after about 30 minutes, he said he wanted to go to the potty, so we came in and did that... so I knew I was pushing my luck when I sent him back outside sans diaper. Well, about 15 minutes later, he had an accident (though he didn't seem to notice, it was me who said "Oops! Time to go change clothes!") but he made it almost an hour and I'd say that was good for our first time out. Yay!

#194 - Wallpaper Stickers

What a genius creation wallpaper stickers are! My wonderful sister bought some of these featuring the gang from Disney/Pixar's "Cars" and sent them to us via special delivery... so today, Grammy and I helped TLG plaster wallpaper stickers all over his room. TLG loved it, he chose which stickers went where, and did all the actual sticking himself. I wish his wonderful Auntie had been able to be here to enjoy a wonderful morning. We loved the stickers (and the bubble bath, too). (Grammy and PawPaw, thank you for your visit, and for being the messenger for today's new thing!)

#193 - The Earth Moved Under My Feet

Last night, at 11:40pm, I was jolted out of my sleep by a rumbling earthquake that shook our entire house. While I have felt small earthquakes in the past, I've never been in such a large one (it measured a 4.9). Nevada is the third most seismically-active state in the Union, a little-known fact that I learned as a tour guide of my esteemed University... and even though we've had something like 100 or so small quakes in the past week-or-so, the previous largest one was only 4.2. I was home for that one too, but it was just before dinner time and not nearly as scary. TLG slept through last night's festivities (?) but my hubby says both the dogs knew something was coming 15 minutes before it happened. (He was downstairs watching TV at the time.) The newsmedia would have us believe that this is just a prelude to something bigger coming. We'll see.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

#192 - Evites

I sent my first Evites today, to a party I will be hosting for a friend in a few weeks. I found the system deceptively simple, and yet not very user friendly. On the main page of the electronic invitation page, there was a giant button for getting started, so I did. Ten minutes later, after having finished entering all the e-mail addresses, etc. I thought I was all done - until the "Send" button wouldn't work. My whole computer froze up. So I started all over, and it happened exactly the same way AGAIN. Frustrated, I did finally figure out that I needed to create a user account and sign in before it would send anything. Geez. I know the party will be lots of fun and I sure am glad this process is done! Ei yi yi.

Monday, April 21, 2008

#191 - Fresh Mex

I went to lunch all by myself today, to a new place in town called Fresh Mex. Even though it's right near where I work, I'd never heard of it until last week, when I read about it in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce newsletter. It's a small family business, in a location that's changed hands more times than I can count since I moved to Reno. The service was terrific (could have been because I was only one of two patrons in the place when I placed my order), and the food was tasty. The waitress gave me a recommendation for a meal AFTER I gave her my order, and I probably should have taken it. She said I should try the fish tacos, even though I had just ordered beef. I tried the beef anyway, and they were good but had an interesting spice that I'm not used to. I will definitely return to Fresh Mex and I'll try the fish.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

#190 - New Family News

I've gotten the official "Go Ahead" from my sister to update this post, so here goes:

My sister is going to have a baby! I'm going to be an Auntie! Not until almost the end of the calendar year, but still! Hooray! Waahoo!

#189 - Shortcake Adventure

This morning at the grocery, we bought a half-flat of strawberries off a flatbed truck. Since just TLG and I eat strawberries, I decided to make some homemade shortcake biscuits to encourage the two of us to eat more of them before they all go bad. TLG helped me, wearing his adorable apron of course, to get out all the ingredients, measure and stir the batter. I thought they turned out great (even if I was the only one who ate them)... TLG enjoyed just dipping his berries in chocolate sauce and whipped cream while we were waiting for them to bake.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

#188 - Undies for TLG

Our daycare teachers told us that we should take TLG shopping for underoos and make a big deal out of letting him choose his own designs. This afternoon, we headed to Wal-Mart to choose some underwear for TLG! (I have to admit, even though I know it may be months before he's potty trained, this is super-exciting to Mom and Dad!) There were plenty of cartoon characters available, including Spiderman, SpongeBob, Transformers, and TLG's pick: Disney's Cars. Hopefully this coming weekend will be warm enough outside to try them on. Wish us luck.

Friday, April 18, 2008

#187 - Tattoos Everywhere

My hubby and I attended a banquet tonight at a convention full of tattoo artists and enthusiasts. Neither of us have any tattoos ourselves, and I'll admit I don't know much about them... just enough to know I don't want one. But I found it fascinating to learn about how they design their art, the contests they hold among themselves, and see a lot of the beautiful designs up close. There was one gentleman whose entire head - even his eyelids and scalp - were covered! I'll admit sometimes it was hard not to stare, but nobody seemed to mind too much. This was definitely a night to remember.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

#186 - Groom's Cake

Today, in honor of our anniversary, I had a cake delivered to my incredible hubby... not just any cake, but one from a new store in town: Nothing Bundt Cakes. Having never heard of this franchise before, I thought we should give them a try. When I ordered it, I thought it was overpriced for a cake that was only supposed to feed 8 people, but of course that included the delivery price and some extra money for plates, forks and a plastic server. Well, the cake was delivered on time, but they forgot to leave the utensils and plates. Plus the enclosed card didn't have my hubby's name, or mine either. I had to call them to get the utensils delivered again. After all the confusion, we settled in to try their chocolate turtle bundt cake. It was very tasty, moist and the frosting wasn't too sweet or overbearing. Apparently everybody at my husband's workplace liked it and there weren't any leftovers, so in that sense it was a hit. Happy anniversary to us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

#185 - The Grill

I had lunch today at a new restaurant, The Grill, with a good friend and her husband. It was crowded when I got there, but I only had to wait a minute as they cleared a table before I was seated. The menu had plenty of yummy-sounding dishes, including some specials (and a type of soup I couldn't even pronounce). I had my eyes dilated at the dr. just before lunch so I didn't spend too much time reading everything (since it was blurry) and just picked a turkey sandwich on nine-grain bread with french fries. It was a delicious sandwich, as a matter of fact, and the service was really fast despite being full to brimming with customers. Good food, good company - what more could a girl want?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

#184 - Running, Snowing, Panicking

Oh, if you had only seen me this morning, you may not have believed your eyes. In a sad turn of events, I ended up chasing Penny up and down our court in the snow, wearing my p.j.s with a windbreaker and my hubby's shoes. *sigh* Sure, I've chased dogs around the neighborhood before, but never on my own and never with a 2-year-old alone in the house. And never have I panicked like I did, not knowing what to do next! I finally gave up chasing her and went back to the house to call my wonderful hubby, who came rushing home. The dog came back home before he got here... in fact, she came all by herself and went straight back in the house. How frustrating was that to start my morning?!?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

#183 - Slides, Swings and Rock Walls, Oh My!

The swing set is done! Hooray for Daddy and Grandpa (and Grandma, too!) for all their work to get it constructed. While I didn't help at all with the construction, I can say how excited TLG was to see the big slide when he woke up from his nap today. We had so much fun climbing up, sliding down, and swinging. What an amazing addition this is to our backyard. Here's a photo of me with TLG upon the completion of the construction phase:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

#182 - Spring Cleaning

TLG helped me with some spring cleaning today (the photo is of the two of us using Simple Green to clean the door from the garage into the house). I've definitely never let TLG help with chemicals before, but he loves to help and he was enamored with the spray bottle, so why not? While my wonderful hubby and his dad worked on the infamous swing set all day, Grandma and TLG had a wonderful time playing outside. As for me, I worked all day cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and some dusting. It was a very productive day all around.

Friday, April 11, 2008

#181 - Go Red

The local chapter of the American Heart Association held their annual "Go Red for Women" fundraising luncheon today, and I got to attend. It was a nice affair with an inspirational keynote speaker, rubber chicken for lunch, a raffle and auction component, and plenty of take-away gifts. What made today's lunch memorable for me was the way they asked for additional donations from everyone in attendance: they had four testimonials about women and heart disease, followed by an impassioned ask for donations which referred us to the donation forms on our table... and then, in order to "give us time to fill out the forms" they had two women get up and sing a version of Mariah Carey's song "Hero". Talk about inspiring!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

#180 - LOL Dog

This afternoon I created this submission to featuring a photo of our girl Penny. I love this website, and if you have never visited, give it a shot because some of the stuff people come up with crack me up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

#179 - Bad Daughter

My dad had some surgery today, and he came out of it fine, I understand. I feel guilty to admit today's new thing: I didn't know anything about my dad's surgery (time, place, exactly what type of surgery) and so all day, I worried that I hadn't heard anything about how he was doing. My family has been pretty healthy, save for a couple of health scares over the years, and I've always been kept up to date on things in the past. This made it especially odd to not know a thing about today's happenings. I left messages yesterday and today and still didn't hear back. Finally, after dinner, my dad himself called to let me know he was OK. *whew* Next time I resolve to have more information in advance so I don't have to start wondering about cold-calling hospitals to find him!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

#178 - A Gold Star for You

I've been active with a music group of women since I joined in college, and tonight for the first time, I got to present a surprise award to one of my friends. It was spur of the moment, since we had planned to give the award next month (with someone else actually doing the awarding) but instead it became necessary to do it tonight. It felt good to tell her how proud we are of her accomplishments, and to recognize all the work she's done for our chapter. I'm so pleased I got to step in and help with this fun deed!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

#177 - Lollipop, Lollipop

The little guy got his third haircut today, and his first-ever lollipop afterwards. Those little sticks make me nervous... what if he ate it when I wasn't looking? Should I let him have it in the car? Do I make him finish it before we leave? What if he chomped on the candy and it got stuck in his throat? Do I remember enough about the heimlich maneuver to perform it on a small child? (Good grief, I really am neurotic.) Anyway, he chose a purple Dum-Dum at the hair cut place, and he ate it successfully all by himself. He was still sucking on it when we arrived safely at home, and he promptly gave me the stick back when he was done. What a relief for Mom!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

#176 - Alone, but Not Really

*NOTE: I've re-written this post three times now, trying to get the words right. This is the best I can do.

One of my good friends, a regular reader of this blog, recently lost her mother, and I have been thinking about my friend since I got the news early this week. Having only met her mother once or twice, I can't say I knew her personally, but today I attended her service all by myself. (By way of explanation: Having only attended a few services in my life, I don't have much experience to draw on, but I've always been with family or close friends on occasions like this. Anymore, I don't often do things by myself, but it was important to me that my friend knew I support her and her family during this time.) After hearing about all this wonderful lady did for her circle of loved ones, church members, and the community at large, I am sorry I didn't get a chance to know her better. And to my dear friend, please know you are in my thoughts all the time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

#175 - Party People

My hubby and I put together a surprise party tonight at a restaurant I've never been to before. OK, my hubby's been to this Mexican place before, and he did a lot of the work (calling to invite people, keeping it a secret, arranging for the birthday boy to arrive)... but still. The restaurant is called The Agave (formerly La Pinata) and they have a great Mexican buffet. The funny part about today's post is that the person having the birthday was 20 minutes early and hardly any of the guests had arrived yet, so it was a little anti-climactic. All in all, though, it was a nice party with good food and happy folks. Exactly what a surprise party should be!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

#174 - Magic Keychain Gift

Today's mail brought a special gift for me: a square, silver keychain imprinted with an adorable photo of TLG and our dog CJ. I've never seen a keychain like this before... according to the gift-giver, my amazing sister, it's a product from Shutterfly. So after rehearsal tonight, we changed over all my keys from my old half-broken keychain to the new totally cute one! Thanks, wonderful sister, you picked an awesome photo and this is a gift I will treasure for a long time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

#173 - A Party in a Box

Take TLG into any store, and he can find the items with Disney/Pixar's "Cars" characters on it (he takes after his mother and her love of Muppets, apparently). This was very obvious tonight when we took him to Party City for the first time in his short life and he ran around, pointing out helium balloons, pinatas and other decorations with Lightning, Mater and the whole gang. Of course, he was also enamored with the taller-than-him yellow M-and-M guy, who was a prop in the store. We also stopped for fast food after our short shopping trip, and he enjoyed his first root beer, which was loads of fun for us parents since he reverted to his funny faces and shuddering after each big sip.