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.

Friday, November 27, 2009

#409 - Bowling

This morning, we took The Little Guy bowling for the first time. Granted, he knows all about bowling from playing on our Wii so he already knew that there would be a ball to throw to knock down 10 pins (he even knew that it's called a strike!). My dad, my wonderful hubby and I took him to the Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights while we were all together for Thanksgiving. TLG took about three steps into the bowling alley and got very excited to see all the lanes and pines and balls (and funny shoes!) We used the bumpers on our lane and TLG got 73 pins in his first game and 50-something on the second game. He used a 6-pound ball and was able to hold it with the correct fingers and throw it using one arm (though he tried out each arm a few times). No granny-rolling between his legs for our little guy! It was really fun to see him dance around in excitement to try this new thing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

#408 - Shoebox Party

As you know, I enjoy volunteer work. I pack boxes of books for soldiers, I help the local PBS television station, and so on. But this afternoon, I attended a shoebox party. The hosts have this party annually through Operation Christmas Child (a part of Samaritan's Purse) where they pack shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies and candy for needy children all over the world. I brought a few bags of candy and a Wal-Mart bag full of stuff I purchased last week, but I was not ready for the sheer size of this party! They were expecting 60 guests and had a video to help us learn what to pack. I ended up leaving and going to the Dollar Tree store to get more items for my boxes. We had to wrap each shoebox in Christmas paper (which was the hardest part of the party). It was fun to see what everyone was packing and I was glad to help out in this way.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

#407 - Xmas Fireworks

This evening, the little guy, my fabulous mother-in-law, and I went to the arrival of Santa Claus at the Summit mall. We were supposed to meet up with a bunch of families from our daycare, but we only ever found one other family. I was surprised at the sheer number of people there! There was a youth choir singing carols, and Santa arrived with a police escort. TLG was close enough to the roped-off walkway to say a quick hello. After that, there was 10-15 minutes of fireworks, which was really fun to see in December! The mall had distributed fancy-lensed paper glasses which made the fireworks look more rainbow-colored than normal. When the fireworks ended, we chose not to stay to shop or meet Santa more closely. What a neat event for the mall to have.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

#406 - Trios at Home

As you know, my hubby and I both play trombone in a swing band. We are currently playing the 2nd and 3rd chairs in the group with another local musician (one who's so good, it's his day job!). So this evening, our friend the trombonist came over for dinner and an hour or so of playing trios/duets with us. (Fortunately, we have an amazing Grandma who played with the little guy during the music portion of our evening - thanks Grandma!) This turned into a really fun evening after a stressful day of work... we tried our hand at some classical duets and Christmas trios and had a great time. I'm so lucky to have music as part of our lives.

#405 - Orange Basil Salad

This evening, after a long tough day at work, we tried a new salad recipe: Orange Basil Spinach salad. The dressing was balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. The salad itself was spinach, fresh basil, orange wedges, dried cranberries, red onion, and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds (made fresh on Halloween Eve a few weeks ago). I don't usually serve new recipes to company (see blog entry #406) but this salad was just begging us to try it. And I have to say: YUM! My wonderful hubby (who doesn't like cranberries) and our little guy (who hasn't really tried spinach before) both ate quite a bit of this --- hubby even cleaned his plate. I think we'll be trying this one again before long.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#404 - November Swimming

Last night, after our big event, my wonderful hubby and I stayed the night at the Atlantis hotel where I had spent all day. We had a very nice room on one of the concierge floors! I wish I could say I slept well, but I'll admit between the energy of a great event, funny noises in the middle of the night, my boss texting me at 3:30am, and the alarm clock going off at 5:30 (no, we didn't set it).... let's just say it wasn't the most restful night. However, this morning after a wonderful room service breakfast, the hubby went home to collect our bathing suits and TLG... and when they got back, the three of us went swimming in the indoor pool. This part of our stay was wonderful, as the water was delightful and TLG was thrilled to be swimming. (He is definitely ready for swim lessons next spring, as he's already experimenting with holding his breath and going under water!) So despite the lack of sleep, it was a great morning with my family, and you gotta love that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

#403 - Raising $$$ in a Down Economy

Tonight I was the lead point person for a major fundraising dinner. We hosted 600 people for a reception/dinner/presentation/dancing. Overall, I'm proud to say the event went very well. Everyone I spoke to had a good time, thought the food was great and the presentation was nice. The only real complaint I heard was that the band and singers were too loud, and though we asked them numerous times to turn it down, it never really got better. Best news of all: We made well over our fundraising goal for the evening. It is a different experience being the point person, staying on schedule and working with the staff of the venue to get everything exactly right. I had a blast tonight (and I only got one blister from my goofy shoes). A job well done, if I do say so myself. Also, a special shout-out to my amazing hubby (who never actually reads this) who put on a tuxedo and volunteered his time to help this evening. I love showing off my handsome better half and though I know big crowds aren't his favorite scene, he is really good talking to people. I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#402 - Veterans Day Parade

I've lived in Reno for 12 Veterans Days so far, and I've never attended a parade. So today, I took TLG downtown to watch the Veterans Day Parade on Virginia Street. It wasn't exactly what I expected: there were tons of JROTC students and veteran's support groups, boy and girl scout troops... all just walking and waving. Yes, there were six or seven marching bands and a couple of horses, but where were the floats? TLG did enjoy seeing the motorcycles and the two or three vintage cars. And he did get really sad when the people handing out candy ran out before he got some. (A big thank-you to the girl sitting next to us who gave him a piece before he totally melted down.) I don't know if we'll make it a habit to attend this parade, but it was nice to acknowledge our veterans' gift to our country.

Monday, November 9, 2009

#401 - TLG's Bubbles

I love bubble baths, and The Little Guy (who loves all things water-related) has always enjoyed them too. Usually we use Johnson's Bedtime Bath (purple bottle) or Avon's kids bubble bath. This evening, we tried a new bath product: Johnson's baby bubble bath & wash (in a blue bottle). The scent is on the fruity side for me - upon opening, I said "Hey! It smells like fruit salad!"... but TLG didn't seem to mind it. It had plenty of bubbles to start, but once we started using soap to wash (I used our regular soap, not the new product), the bubbles just about disappeared. We'll use this bottle, but I think next time we'll go back to our tried and true favorites.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

#400 - Healthy Tree

In the early summer, we noticed that one of the five trees in our backyard was growing brown clumps on the branches near the budding leaves. Concerned, I took a sample to the state agriculture office to ask about what kind of fungus it was and how to get rid of it. I became even more concerned when instead of a fungus, they told me we had an infestation of teeny-tiny bugs that were slowly eating the tree! They told me the only way to get rid of the bugs was to wait until fall, when the leaves fall off, then remove the clumps by hand. This would avoid removing large branches of the tree (which would be bad for the tree) and would get rid of the bugs. So today, I spent 30 minutes standing on a ladder pruning a tree. The branches are pretty high on this tree, so I really only helped two branches today, but every little bit helps, right? We have a long way to go out there before the snow arrives, though. Whew!

Friday, November 6, 2009

#399 - Good Karma

We went out to dinner tonight at one of our favorite places, Red Robin. As I was helping the little guy unbuckle his carseat, I noticed a loud hissing noise nearby. It turns out we had just driven over a large nail and the rear passenger tire was going flat. My wonderful hubby got out the spare, took off the old tire, and then... couldn't get the spare tire on because of a crack in the parking lot that we were parked on. I called AAA, and while I was requesting help, a perfect stranger brought a flashlight over and started helping my dear hubby re-position the car jack to try again. He said he's a police officer and he helps lots of people with their cars, and his wife waited patiently while they worked together to replace the spare and put the pieces back into place. We didn't catch his name at all, but I wish him tons of good karma and owe him a big debt of thanks.

#398 - Sesame Street Love

Today a memory I wrote about my experience at Muppetfest (in 2001) was published online in USA Today's story about the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street. I submitted the story on Monday, not really expecting to hear anything, and they called me on Wednesday to double-check the spelling of my name and hometown. They said there was a chance it would be in the print edition as well (it wasn't, I checked)... but it was exciting enough to be included in the other great stories that readers sent. I'm proud to be a part of the celebration!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#397 - Opa!

For lunch today, I tried a Greek restaurant called "Opa." A co-worker and I were on a work errand at lunch time and decided to stop in. The place is pretty small, only a handful of tables inside with a few more outside. I tried the large Greek salad, which came with a warm pita. It was delicious, romaine lettuce covered in feta cheese with some tomatoes, artichokes, kalamata olives and peppercinis. My co-worker had the spanikopia (spinach pie), which looked really tasty, with a small Greek salad. The man who took our order seemed like the owner, he was a little gruff with the woman waiting the tables but he warmed up once everyone had been served. He even brought us lemon cookies for dessert though we didn't order them! This place isn't really near my work (it's across town in the Costco shopping center) but if I'm ever over there again I'd go there for another bite.

Monday, November 2, 2009

#396 - When There's a Will...

Today, my amazing hubby and I finalized our wills. People have been telling us since the little guy was born that we needed to have a will, and it took us until now to actually do it. We started a few weeks ago with a consultation with the lawyer to discuss our wishes, then we had a second meeting to go over everything and ask questions. And boy, did we have questions! Legal-ese does not come naturally to me. And today was just a quick meeting to look everything over a final time and sign it all. Whew! As my hubby said to the lawyer, "I feel very grown up."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

#395 - Wii Fit

After almost a year of looking at the box (purchased late last year, if memory serves), today we got out the Wii Fit and tried it out. It comes with a balance board and a CD with a bunch of different games (yoga, balance games, aerobics and strength exercises). The little guy LOVED it, especially the ski jump and running games (boy, did he ever run!). One cute thing he did, after running in place for about 10 minutes with the game, he said he was sweaty and he wanted to take his shirt off. It was so funny the way he said it (I know I'm not describing it right, just take my word for it.) I liked the hula hoop game, the yoga stuff, and the ski games. My wonderful hubby was preoccupied watching football today and tending to his knee - did I mention he had knee surgery 10 days ago? - so I didn't see him do many activities. I hope once his knees are recovered this will be something we can all do together. One complaint I have so far: we haven't figured out how to get more than one player in a game at one time, so when we want to take turns, we have to back all the way out and start over. That will get old, so I'm hoping we can figure that out soon. But overall, I think it was a hit!