Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Babysitting is a dangerous job

But I hope it won't be when Grandma Debbie is here to take care of Cee for a few days while the LT and I take a little vacation. Grandma Debbie offered to watch Cee and the 3 dogs at our house, which was really nice of her. I suppose the only danger will be the fact that 18-month-olds don't sit still, and GD hasn't chased one around for 3 days at a stretch in several years. Cee can be tiring.
I've got lists of everything typed up (in a large font to GD won't have to put on her reading glasses). Cee's routine, how to make her cheesy bread, the fact that since she's GRANDMA, it's okay to spoil Cee. I mean, come on, an extra sippy cup of juice won't make Cee obese. Also how to care for the dogs and my plants and the fact that it's OKAY to run the air conditioner. The air's practically solid this week.
I've never been away from Cee overnight before, so this will be something new. We'll be gone 2 nights. I'm not at all worried about Cee. She just adores Grandma Debbie. Cee has also begun realizing that when Mommy goes away, she comes back. We've left her for a few hours with different people, and she doesn't really cry when we leave anymore. The only thing that might be tricky is bed time. Cee's never been put to bed by anyone but me. Also, she's not the most reliable sleeper in this world, even though she'll be 18 months old this week. But I know they'll muddle through, and it is only for 2 nights.
I'm really looking forward to 3 days and 2 nights with the LT. We haven't had much "us" time since Cee was born, so this will be fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Help Wanted

MJ over at Note to Self is part of a blogathon (boy, what a world we live in) this Saturday to raise money for HUGS (Helping Uplift Grieving Survivors) which helps families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
She has more details on her blog, including how to donate, so please check her out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We thank Thee for Thy bounty

So said Pa (Charles Ingalls) at the end of The Long Winter when the family sat down to Christmas dinner in May. They were thankful for having enough food after almost starving during the winter.
I really try to remain thankful for everything I've got, even though I've never come close to starving. Cee and I went for a walk this morning, since it was so gorgeous out. I was telling Cee that she was a lucky girl to live in the country where we could take long walks and hear the birds and the bugs and smell the fresh air and not have to worry (much) about our safety.
We're also really lucky that even though gas and food prices are rising, we're still managing to get by on just the LT's salary. I'm spending almost $10 a week just on milk, which is enough to make you want to get your own cow.
We've also got an incredible family on both my and the LT's sides. Cee has great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, dogs, and me and the LT. I hope she never has to wonder if she's loved.
We live in a really nice community with a fantastic school and a great church with our fantastic pastor. Cee is the darling of our congregation, and she runs around our church as if she owns the place.
We have our nice home that we are making various small, inexpensive improvements on, like new flooring, paint, and our sunporch (which was kind of expensive, I guess). Our home owner's policy covered getting a new roof and gutters after a massive hailstorm last August, and we had absolutely no problems with the insurance company.
We always have plenty of food on the table and no one ever comes to our house and goes hungry.
We're very blessed and I hope to always remember to thank God for His bounty.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We're finally getting rid of most of the carpet in our house. I personally don't like carpet. It's really hard to keep clean when you've got 3 dogs, an 18-month-old, and a husband.
The dogs like to eat strange things outside and then cannot properly digest them, and then I have to clean weird brown stains off carpet. And dogs shed. Lots. Even the ones with short hair.
Toddlers spill things. Lots.
The LT is actually fairly good about carpets. He doesn't throw up on them or spill his sippy cup all over. But he also hates cleaning up weird brown stains.
So we're ripping up all the carpet and putting down laminate. And by we, I mean he. I'll help pull up staples and carpet tacks and vacuum up dust and dog hair. But he's installing the flooring. He even watched the video this morning.
I'm actually pretty sure it'll turn out great. The LT is extremely anal and not afraid to call his dad for help, so while it might take awhile, it'll be completely great when it's done.

Also, thanks to MJ of Note to Self for the mention of little ol' me on her blogroll.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One does not love breathing

Ahh, yes, Emily, your Aubrey did blow this thing out of the water.

The Reading List
The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They've come up with this list of the top 100 books, using criteria they don't explain, and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these.
So, we are encouraged to:
1) Look at the list and bold those we have read.
2) Italicize those we intend to read.
3) Underline the books we LOVE
4) Reprint this list in our own blogs

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On the Road- Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So what do you think?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dogs rule and cats drool

Or is it the other way around? I got this in an email from a friend and thought it was just hilarious. Enjoy!
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary
Day 983 of my captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this wo uld strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now..............

Happy Independence Day, Daddy

And to the rest of you too. Thank your favorite soldier today for giving us the chance to celebrate our independence for the 232nd year in a row.
I'm looking forward to taking Cee to the 4th of July fireworks and parades in a couple years, once she's old enough to enjoy it and not be scared of the fireworks. I'm also looking forward to explaining to her that her daddy is one of the brave soldiers (I hate the word "hero", so I don't use it) who helps keep our country safe.
The LT has been in the Army for almost 11 years and so has a little more than 9 to go before he can retire with a pension. He's had 2 deployments, neither of which involved children. At least, not where they were old enough to realize what was happening. But I'm a little nervous about when he gets deployed again. Because we'll have Cee, who will most certainly be old enough to realize that Daddy's gone, even if she doesn't really understand it. She realizes when he's gone now. And we'll probably have a 2nd child by that time, too. I know tons of moms have done this before me, and unfortunately, tons will do it after me, too.
I do believe that our soldiers are keeping our country safe. It's hard when they're overseas, but I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a war fought here, at home. I like knowing that when we go to bed at night, our little home is safe, or at least as safe as it can be. It must be hard raising kids in a place where bombs go off and foreign soldiers, or not foreign soldiers, can just come up to your house and search it.
Ugh. Too much gloom and doom for a happy holiday. Enjoy your fireworks and picnics. And pray for our soldiers, that we can celebrate for 232 years more.