Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday- 7am

Michael is up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:20.  I don't see him in the morning.  He once told me that his co-worker's wife gets up and makes his co-worker breakfast every single day.  I patted his back and said, "that's nice".

 My alarm goes off at 6:45.  I need to be out of bed by 7:00 for the morning to go well and to be out the door by 8:00.  It's hard to do.

This is why:

We're a sleeping in kind of family.  Left to our natural state without work, school and alarm clocks I think all 4 of us would naturally rise between 8:30 and 9:00.

By the way, I was between them until I dragged my body out of bed at 7:15.  Then Spencer rolled over and took my spot.  When I took this picture I was seriously considering calling work and cancelling my day, rearranging Spencer's school schedule for the week and then crawling back in. 

I didn't.  I woke them up, we went to work and school and then at 2:00 we all went back to these exact positions for a glorious afternoon nap.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Welcome to the jungle

When we 1st moved into this house 18 months ago, Spencer was close to turning 2.  I took some of his birthday money and bought new bedding for him.  He had never once slept in his room in our previous house and it would be another whole year before he slept in his room here, but I wanted more mature bedding than the nursery set we had, which was this:
That's not his actual baby room, but we did have every single piece you see here.  It's a shame he never used it. 

When I was pregnant I agonized over a farm nursery theme or a jungle nursery theme.  Agonized.  It's so funny, in hindsight, how little it all mattered since he lived in our room for almost 3 years. Anyway I still liked the whole jungle theme but wanted stuff that was more real.  Less baby.

This is what I bought:
I bought that set at Kohl's.  During that same shopping trip I bought a big letter "S" to hang on the wall.
Lately (like the last 3 months) Spencer has been harping on me for not buying him more letters.  He wants letters for all his names- first, middle and last.  He wants his initials.  It's just my luck that Kohl's no longer sells these letters.  So I had several choices.  Find 2 different letters so all 3 are mismatched or buy 3 new letters and do something else with the "S" we already had.

I've been stalking Hobby Lobby for weeks now just AGONIZING over what to do.  The sheer brain power being used to try to figure this out has been ridiculous.  I won't bore you with the details about the 72 different plans I had, but I will show you the final result:
Now every night Spencer tells me I need to buy him ALL the letters for his middle and last names.  Keep dreaming, baby.  I am still mildly obsessed with finding new initials, so I will keep diligently stalking Hobby Lobby.
Want to see what else is hanging on Spencer's walls and learn the detailed history of each piece? 

 I thought you would.

These hang behind his bed.  The animal prints are from Kirkland and were cheap.  The mask is from Michael's brother.  He bought it for Spencer in Djibouti (Africa) when he was living there (he's in the Army).  It is authentic and has character and I sometimes worry that it is a voodoo mask.
This is from Kirkland.  I bought it during their after Christmas sale.  It seemed more realistic than the giraffe, panda, monkey combo being offered.  Honestly.  Giraffes and pandas do not habitate together.  What were the designers at Kirkland thinking?

I bought this bulletin board at a model home that was closing in our old neighborhood.  It is heavy and huge and I spent like $12 on it.  I got a lot of cool stuff from that model home actually.
This cross-eyed alligator hangs above the closet door.  He came from the same after Christmas sale at Kirkland.
This grassland print (without any pandas) hangs above the dresser. I bought it from from Ross.  Michael cursed me when I did, because it doesn't have a center sawtooth hanger.  He hates hanging stuff with hangers on the sides.
There's a lot going on on this wall.  The shelves are from IKEA.  The picture is the one we had people sign at Spencer's 1st birthdy party.  The mirror is from Kirkland and we bought it when we were encouraging Spencer to dress himself.  He can dress himself, but we are bad parents and dress him like 90% of the time because it is faster.  The ribbon board used to hang in my office when I worked at the Senate.  It's covered in tiny baby Spencer pictures.  I don't even remember why we did that.
This is the door.  The animals are from Michael's Arts and Crafts.  I made the sign.
I just googled "jungle picture" and had thousands of images to choose from.  Can you guess why I picked this one?
Let's discuss some details before I tell you why.  First, a camel?  A CAMEL?  In the jungle?  That's worse than the panda.  But I'll forgive the artist because we have bigger issues to deal with: A PIG?  A domesticated farm animal living in the jungle amongst wild creatures.  Really? 

Truth be told this whole scene is a lie: Zebras, giraffes and lions live in the grasslands/plains/savannah of Africa. Camels live in the desert.  Pigs live on farms.  I'll give them the snake, turtle and parrot.  Those animals are jungley.

But I did pick and print it because of the pig.  He's so damn cute.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Alphabet Soup

My aunt and uncle gave Spencer a DVD of William Wegman's Alphabet Soup for Christmas 2 years ago.  He watched it a couple of times, but never showed any real interest in it.  I'm shocked to say this, but Spencer is starting to branch out from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  He's loving Handy Manny and Special Agent Oso.  He has also become completely obsessed with the Alphabet Soup DVD.  It's all he wants to watch in the car.  Over and over and over.

You have to watch this youtube clip before reading the rest.

Spencer has been begging me to make alphabet soup for a week now. The weimaraners make alphabet soup with funky ingredients like a hot dog for "h", sugar for "s" and vinegar for "v", but we assembled a more typical cast of characters: cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions and pasta.
It was special pasta, shaped like mini letters. 
I cooked the veggies and chicken broth separately from the pasta,
so the noodles don't get soggy when we reheat it.
Ginger waited patiently during the whole cooking process.
Alphabet soup success.
Add whole wheat bread and it's dinner!
Spencer spent an hour talking about how much he likes alphabet soup.  Then he ate 3 bites and declared dinner done.  He is currently having a bowl of yogurt before bed because he's soooooo huuuuuuuuungry.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Holiday weekend

Have you left your comment on the 500th post?  I'm missing comments from a few people that I know read this blog.  My mother left a comment, but the other person who contributed to half of my DNA has not.  Hint, hint.  The others  will just have to realize I'm talking about them without such in your face clues.

We had a busy weekend.  It was a holiday weekend, so it stretched from Friday to Monday. 

On Friday Spencer and I met Megan, Hadley and their friend Rachel at the zoo.

Spencer was a cool dude in plaid shorts and shades.

Hadley fell asleep and slept in the wagon.  Such a thing has never, ever happened with my own son so I had to take a picture.

Spencer and Rachel were master carousel riders.
Hadley was a little more cautious on her 1st ever ride.  She settled for a bench with mommy.
Friday night we drove to Tucson.

On Saturday morning I went to visit my friend Elisa.  We had a relaxing morning/afternoon eating and talking and drinking WAY TOO MUCH coffee.  Look at the meal we made.  It was delicious.
We finally exchanged Christmas presents.  We saw each other right before Christmas, but I forgot her gift and then life happened and here we are in almost March giving each other holiday themed stuff.
Saturday night I went out to dinner and to a movie with Laura.  I didn't take any pictures.  Epic fail.

Luckily, Chelsea's daughter Lilly turned 4 on Sunday and Laura and I met up again at Lilly's party.

Little Sara took best dressed at the party.  You can't see them but there are little black leggings under that purple sweater dress. A-dorable.
Spencer was in the running for best dressed, but only because of the beagle.
Lilly had a princess cake that really wasn't a cake at all.
It was cupcakes!
Here's the birthday girl with our gift.
Thank you Hobby Lobby for the "girl aisle" in your store.  Lilly loved her new board and princess dress bow/hair clip keeper.
After Lilly's party we went back to my parent's house and ate turkey.  A totally normal thing to do in late February.

Monday found us at Phoenix Children's hospital for Spencer's yearly dermatology check-up.  He was seen by his doctor and 2 residents.  His eczema is doing great.  He still has tell-tale signs on his skin-these little white bumps that I forget the name of- but no really bad spots.  The doctor said we don't need to come back for any more check-ups, unless there is a flare-up.  We can just get prescription refills through the pediatrician.  That is very good news.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Falling Apart

Michael and I have been married for 9 years, 1 month and 22 days.  Up until now everything has been going great.  In the last month, though, things have started falling apart.  No, not our marriage.....our wedding presents.  Things are literally falling apart and breaking.

It's actually amazing that we haven't had much of anything break before this point, considering we got married in Tucson and had to take all of our stuff to Tempe, then moved to Colorado, moved back from Colorado into an apartment, then moved twice more into two different houses.  Plus we live with a 3 year old (who used to be 2 and 1).  In all those moves the only thing that broke was a champagne flute (and it didn't shatter- the top separated from the bottom and my dad glued them back together.)  I do have mad packing skills though.  In all of our day to day life I think we've broken 1 wine glass, 1 bowl and 1 water glass.  Oh, and the glass lid of a skillet.  That was a bad day.  Then I cut the hell out of my foot on a shard of that glass.

These are the recent victims:

#1.  This glass pitcher
Cracked- see it down by the handle?
#2.  This glass pitcher
Cracked- all the way down and across the bottom
#3. My whisk- the top part just fell out of the handle.  Michael shoved it back in and then it fell apart again.

Truth be told it was really my fault that the pitchers cracked.  I made iced coffee for Joni's shower and I was rushing too much and poured too hot coffee in them.  Had I let the coffee cool just a wee bit more they wouldn't have cracked.  I take no blame for the whisk unless you want to blame excessive whisking over the last 9 years.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to buy new stuff.  Poor me.  You know how much I hate buying dishes of any sort.  It's not like I've looked longingly at glass pitchers over the last 7ish years and wished I could buy them but didn't because I already had 2 perfectly fine glass pitchers.

Oh darn.  Guess I'll head to Pier 1.

P.S. Though technially not broken, our coffee maker has seen better days.  It was a wedding shower gift, so it's older than the other stuff by 2 months.  Guess I will also be burdened with a trip to Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The one after 500

Thanks for the comments everyone!  If you haven't left one yet,  #1-why not? and #2- please leave a comment on the 500th post, not this one.  I'm really just trying to gauge how many people are reading my blog.  Again, if you want to remain anonymous, that's cool, I'd just like to know you were here.  If you did leave a comment on the 500th post, I'm proud of you.  Keep up the good work.

Guess what I want to talk about.  More humidifiers!  It's such a fascinating topic.  No, really I just wanted to respond to some questions and comments in the comments.

  • I concur with those of you saying I should get the pig.  I did find it on amazon and I can get free shipping.
  • Cleaning:  The directions recommend that you clean it after every use.  We have ours going pretty continuously, so I try to do it once a week.  I empty the water tank and then fill it half full with water and 1/3 cup of vinegar.  I shake it and let it sit for 20 minutes.  While it's sitting I fill the water basin with water and another 1/3 cup of vinegar and let that sit.  Then I rinse them out.  Then I do the same thing with bleach.  Then I rinse until I can't smell vinegar and bleach.
While I was looking at amazon I came across a couple more humidifers that I feel I must own. 

He would look awesome in the animal print bathroom, especially next to the new cheetah print lamp with feather edge.
He could be Ginger's personal humidifer.  They could be twins if Ginger dyed her ears black.
Because this guy wants a cat and Tiger is as close as he's going to get while married to and living with me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's my 500th post.

I realized about a month ago that this was going to be happening.  Ever since then I've been thinking that I should write something poignant for my 500th.  Something heartfelt.  Something moving.

But really, 98.4% of this blog is sarcasm and sass. Why stop now?  There's really no reason to go all mushy on you just because I've written more than 499 posts.  So today, friends, we're talking:

We live in the desert.  It's dry.  Freakin' dry.  I'll tell you a funny story.  I grew up in Tucson. My friend Krista (of the blog From Colfax to Xela) grew up in Pennsylvania.  My friend Sarah grew up in Midland, Texas.  We all met in graduate school in Greeley, Colorado.  One summer day Sarah and I (Texas and Arizona, remember) were sitting in the student room fanning ourselves, trying to get some relief from the sweltering, oppressive humidity.   Krista (Pennsylvania) at this exact same time was commenting on how dry Colorado was.  Sarah and I pointed out that 40% humidity was nothing- it was like a sauna compared to our homes.  Krista wanted us to define "dry".  We told her to try 10% or less and then we'd talk. 

Moving on.  Every single time that it has gotten cold this winter Spencer's asthma has spun out of control.  Cold in Phoenix means cold, dry air.  Then the heat comes on and dries out the air even more.  The news reported once that the relative humidity in December was 4%.  4 %!

After Spencer's last asthma attack (when we almost took him to the ER at 2 am) we decided we needed more humidifers.  We've had one in his room and one in our room, but we thought it would be wise to humidify more of the house. 

So, here now, for my 500th post: A tour of the humidifiers in our house.

Meet Elephant in Spencer's room.  We keep this thing cranking.
Meet Penguin in the hallway.  Yes, we're making moist air in the hallway.
Meet Elephant 2 in our room.  He doesn't have a boo boo.  The red light on the on switch is annoying at night and a band-aid does a nice job of dimming it.
Meet Frog in the dining room.  He's a happy little guy.
Meet Duck in the family room.
When we started, the humidity in the family room was 14%.  We got it to 38% after 4 days.  It took 8 days of running all these animals 24 hours a day to get the humidity to 52%.  Optimal humidity is between 40 and 50%.
If we leave the door closed to Spencer's room and leave Elephant on all day we can get it up to 80%. We aim for 60% though.  It takes the heat coming on one time to suck 20% out of the air.

This is Pig.  Pig is not in our home because  Pig is not available in the store. Pig can be ordered and shipped, with shipping costs.  I love Pig.  I hate paying for shipping.  I do long to introduce Pig to the living room.

I am happy to report that all this humidity seems to be helping.  I think the cold, dry air was way worse for Spencer's asthma than his dog allergy.  It's a good thing too, because all this humidifying is work. In addition to being parents, spouses and having jobs, Michael and I now have the responsibility of keeping 5 humidifers filled, running, and clean.  It takes about 55% of our leisure time every week.

Meet 1 Gallon Bottle of Bleach.  He sterilizes all 5 humidifiers.

Meet 1 Gallon Bottle of White Vinegar.  He cuts through the hard water build up.
Do you know about the hard water in Arizona?  It's ridiculous.  You could fill a glass with water,
let it sit and evaporate and in about a week you'd be left with this. 
  I'm now dusting our furniture like 6 times a week because it's covered in the soft, powdery white film that comes from minerals in the water vapor.

In summary:
  • I need the pig humidifier.
  • If you'd like to experience the tropics in Arizona, come to our house.  It's pretty misty.
  • If you need me and I'm not answering the phone I am filling or cleaning a humidifier or dusting.
  • Thanks for reading my blog.  Are you ready for the next 500?
P.S. Want to just make my day?  If you read this, leave me a comment.  You don't need to sign up for anything.  You don't need to log in.  You don't have to leave your name.  You can just select "anonymous" after you click on "# comments".  You don't have to say anything of substance.  Just say "I read this" or "hi" or "I was here" or "Kilroy was here".  Even if you're reading this months from now.  I'll get the email alert.   Pretty please?  It'll take less than 1 minute.  Probably less than 30 seconds. Do it in honor of my 500th post. 

P.P.S  Yes- I was talking to you.  And you.  And you too.  And my parents.  And my in-laws.