Monday, September 29, 2008

Random Questions, Fall 08: 2

The Random Questions process
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

Fall 08, #2: Laundry

1. Who does the laundry in your house?

2. Are you/or they a sorter? What's your system?

3. Do you fold at the dryer? Dump on the couch? Not fold at all? (Psst, Karen K, I like your system, do share with the class.)

4. Do you have any "laundry quirks"? Things that *can't* go in the dryer, dry in a specific manner, hung on a specific hanger, only get washed by hand--no matter what the care instructions say?

5. Do you have any great tips for stain removal?!? Please share!


In our house, I'm the laundry-doer. (No shock to most of you who know us.) But I will say that occasionally M will help by moving things from the washer to dryer or carrying the clean clothes up the stairs. (Have I mentioned how much I do NOT like the laundry being in the basement?!?) We have a laundry chute in our new place, so he does like to toss everything down there. At least the keeps the mess downstairs.

I sort, for the most part, unless I have partial loads of mixed stuff that I want to be done. If it's all been washed a zillion times, then I've been known to throw it all together. Towels are always done separately, though. Usually it's lights (white and pale colors) and darks, then towels makes our three compartment sorter work.

I generally dump on the couch, sit down put on a show and fold. If I had a laundry room with counters and such, I'd be all over folding right there, though.

And I have only a few quirks, but honestly most of them have fallen to the wayside in the last couple years. Things that fit well right now don't usually get thrown in the dryer, if I want them to remain that way. Mostly with jeans. BUT I do hate that stand-on-your-own phenomena of air drying/hanging things when no softener has been used in the washer. We call it crunchy jeans.

Oh, and I just can't stand stuff that has to be ironed!! What a hassle. Love those knits!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Miscellaneous morsels

Last night we went to see Fireproof. We're not opening night kind of people generally, in fact, we avoid it on purpose. But this time, we wanted to show our support for a positive movie, so off we went. And though M was constantly amazed at the sold out theaters of the other two showings at our cinema and the way full theater we were in, we did manage to watch the movie and enjoyed it quite a bit. I recommend it for everyone, actually. We all (most of us, anyway) comment often on the negative exports from Hollywood, so I feel like when a positive offering shows up, it's time to put our money where our mouths are and show support. How else will they know what we'd like to see more of?! I identified with several parts of the story personally, but even if you don't find it reminiscent of your story, it's encouraging to see a portrayal of a fight *for* a marriage committment, not just the fights that just end in more fights. And it was pretty funny... M was surprised that the audience really laughed heartily so many times. There is a little action, there's a little drama, alot of humor, and some romance too. I say it's a very encouraging way to spend 2 hours.
On a totally different note, tonight I met my friend Melanie for dinner at a steakhouse. I had my first ever prime rib. I expected it to be awesome. It was ok, not bad, but not any better than a regular old sirloin, in my opinion. Weird how that can be disappointing in a way. But now I know.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Random Questions, Fall 08: 1

Fall 08, #1: Shopping!

The Random Questions process
~Choose one or all of the questions to answer.
~Either respond with a comment to this post with your answer or put up a post on your own blog for a full response.
~Don't forget to include any funny or interesting story to illustrate your answer in action.
~Be sure to leave a comment on this post to let us know where to find your post so we can come check it out!

It's been forever, I know. Some of you are so wonderful to be asking about this coming back. I just got slack in keeping up since we got mired in this moving/baby baking/moving again thing. SO here we go! Get those pencils ready, kids.

This batch of RQ is inspired by some recent trips to the grocery or other retail stores.

1. How do you shop for groceries? Is it a family event? Always the lady of the house? Or is it the guy's job?

2. Women, does your guy go clothing shopping with you? Guys, what's your feeling about it?

3. Does Daddy have any preference about what the kid(s) wear? Hairstyles/hair length?

4. When you get home from the grocery store, do you rotate your canned items or others that you have duplicates of? (Like if you bought green beans but you still have a can in the pantry, do you take the oldest can out to put in the front to be used first?)

5. What about your parents? How do they shop? Do you see a generation difference?

The background... I have seen at least 8 different cases of man-following-woman-with-cart in my last two trips to the grocery store. I wonder why they are there. Did they plan to come to the grocery store? Did the wife just spring it on them after they had been somewhere else? Do they actually care what she's buying? All these that I saw sure didn't look like they wanted to be there. BUT I did see a couple of couples that looked like they were both actually shopping and working together to get the job done quicker. Now THAT would be a good thing to try.

Also, I spent some time this morning at the wonderful kids resale shop where we often find awesome things for Braska. There was a guy in there with the wife and two small kids. He was using the veto for shoes for the little girl and then clothes for the infant boy. I've never seen such a thing! The mom even looked at me while we were all looking at shoes and said, "Gosh, Dad's sure have an opinion, don't they?" I thought to myself, "Nope, not in my house... and not about kids shoes and clothes, no way." But I just smiled and politely laughed.

And finally, I found some cute maternity tops today at the mall, after totally striking out last week at the MATERNITY store. Makes no sense to me. Anyway... I'm weirded out by guys who sit IN the ladies fitting room area by the mirror. What if my outfit looks awful? Or what if it's totally unflattering? What if, what if, what if? There are a bunch of reasons why guys should have to stay outside so that we have the ability to consult our girlfriends for their opinion without worrying about being given the once over by random Mr. Dude.

So there you have it. Let's have a record number of responses/posts to welcome back the weekly Random Questions!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

31 for 21: Preview

It's that time again... almost October. For me, it's always been a fave, as the most wonderful people are born in this month... like me! But it's also Down Syndrome Awareness month. (Or should we say Month for Awareness of Down Syndrome to be PC? Sorry...I'm hardly ever PC.) So as we did last year, many of us are attempting to blog every day in October, focusing at least partially on DS and how it fits in our lives, affects it... or doesn't. There are a bunch--A BUNCH--of great blogs participating in this fun thing that Tricia started last year. So check out the list at her blog and get to know some new people this next month.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

As a preview, I found out about this today and thought it was pretty cool. It's worth checking out. And there are a few pics, but this is my fave...this little girl's face... priceless.

(Fair warning for some of you... every link I could find to this story failed to have people-first language. I looked. I tried to find one that did. It doesn't actually bother me, but I know some of you feel strongly about it. So I wanted you to know that I did try. :o)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not ready for red eye

At 2:51am this morning, just over an hour ago, Braska woke crying. This is rare. She is a pro sleeper, but she's not quite been herself lately (couple days) so it wasn't a huge surprise. But now she's wide awake and playing like it's 2pm. I am SO not ready for this middle of the night thing. I don't know how I survived all that around the clock three-hour schedule we had to do with Braska for so long. I'm going to be a mess later today. I hope to goodness I can get a nap in.

But while we're up, we are praying for safe delivery for my cousin's little girl. Lindsay was "in process" last I heard from her via text at around 10:30pm. I hope all is going well and little Carly has arrived safely by now!

Hope you're all sleeping soundly. Snooze an extra few minutes for me...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alright, you win

That is, IF you chose the following option...

I'll give you the run down of the appointment today, but for now, we'll hold the name. And by the way, it's easy for my MOM to say to hold the name... she already knows it!

So the tech did all her stuff, getting views of the kidneys, legs, arms, measuring all the appropriate bones, and trying to see the heart. Of course, no kid of mine is going to be cooperative in utero. (Braska never did give up good views of anything. But since she's so compliant now, I'm ok with that.) The tech was trying to get heart views and abdominal views to see where the cord connects, since that's important. Pepino was not moving one arm, so it was kind of across where they needed to see the heart. Hence the return in 4 weeks... to get better views of the heart specifically.

We were trying to follow along, and I did recognize the humerus, the femur, the cranium, the kidneys, and a few other items. It's neat to actually know what you're looking at. Then there was just blurry stuff. The tech was seemingly aiming for something, but I couldn't tell what. Then she said...

"Well, I think it's a girl. It's not a great view, but it sure looks more like bumps than boy parts."

M is not satisfied with such a vague comment. With Braska, we were told that the doc thought "it's 99% sure" that she's a girl. But until we got that super clear view at 30 weeks, he wasn't having any of the pink buying and such. So again, he's ok with what we've heard (We have both been hoping for another girl) but he's not banking on it just yet. It's good that we get to look again in 4 weeks...that's doable, as far as a wait goes.

I think it's a girl. I've been calling her by our girl's name for a while, and praying for her with that name. Occasionally I throw a disclaimer in the prayer each night, like "We'll take a boy too, we just would prefer a girl. But you know what's best, so we'll take whatever you give us." I think God laughs at me alot... like I think I'm telling him stuff he doesn't already know, or like I'm giving him *permission* to give us a boy. I'm silly that way. That's ok. It's good for me to remember who's boss!

So Jessie...still got any of those clothes around? And Carole, my favorite mother-in-law, you'll have to keep hoping that the tech is wrong so that I can be shown how boys are better. Ha...I can't believe that for a minute.

Oh, and it's still Pepino. Not Pepina. I know it's not grammatically correct, but tough. It's our tummy baby, we can call it what we want!

More on the real name(s) in 4 weeks... thanks for playing!

The verdict.... unsure. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I can hear you all saying it right now in disappointment. But would I leave you totally hanging?? Here's the thing... The tech gave us a "probably" with some degree of certainty, but there was a shadow and therefore she wasn't willing to give us a sure-thing gender. She did mark it one way, though.

So to continue the interactive blogging fun... would you share this info with the disclaimer as above? Would you keep it to yourself until a definite (as much as is possible) is given in 4 weeks when they look again? Would you share the gender and keep the name secret? Or would you lay it all out there and deal with it in 4 weeks with new info if it's different then?

We have names for both boy and girl. I haven't been sharing them to this point, but had planned on doing so when we announced the gender... so there's the dilemna. Weigh in, my friends!

I've gotta go sit at the DMV for a while, so I'll check in when I get back and see what looks like the way to go via the majority. Not promising I'll go with the majority, but I'll take it into consideration.

Pink or blue?

Today at 2pm I'm scheduled for an anatomy ultrasound to check out all Pepino's organs and hopefully determine what the name for this little wiggler will be. (No, Pepino is not the baby's name. It's what we call him/her until we get specifics. It's a Veggie Tales thing.)

So if we get a firm answer, I'll let you know. Anyone wanna make a guess?

Monday, September 15, 2008

What did you do all day?

Program note: Thanks to you all for your comments on the Taking a Stand: Part 1. I appreciate that they were civil and generally respectful. Part 2 will be along soon, just to kind of summarize some of my thoughts on the discussion.

In alot of TV shows or jokes, and maybe for real, the husband walks into the house at the end of his work day and looks at the frazzled housewife with the kids running around her and says, "Gosh, what did you do all day? It's a mess in here!" I really hope that doesn't actually happen, but who knows. Thank goodness I don't have that in my house. It's a blessing sometimes that my husband really doesn't care too much about the state of the neatness of the house. But it also allows me to get slack. I've not felt well the last week or so, just aches and pains that I can't explain, so we're not much ahead of where we were at move-in a few weeks ago. Thank goodness for the basement storage area, for sure.

Today, though, Braska got up at about 8am and I brought her into my room after M had gone to work, because she likes to play in the covers and be silly in the morning while I'm trying to wake up. This time she decided it was so darn comfy that she'd go back to sleep, so I joined her. It was very nice that we didn't have anywhere to be today, so we could take advantage of the extra sleep. We got up just before 10!! That NEVER happens. She's usually up for her morning playtime by 7:45am at the latest. I needed the sleep badly, so it was wonderful.

When we got up, I felt pretty good, and after breakfast, we jumped into getting the house together. First it was the living room. It's the easiest to do because it has the least stuff in it and has been kept up the best. But it is still nice when everything is in it's place. (At least it's current place...there will no doubt be alot of changes still to come.) And remember, there's no decorating here, just functionality and the ability to live within this set-up. We're doing well adjusting to the tiny spaces, but I haven't even thought about decorating yet. So plain is the way for now. This is the view from the hall on the left, and the view from behind the recliner on the right.

Then we attacked Braska's room. It was looking pretty scary having not been dealt with since we moved in. We could do what we had to but that was it. Things are not perfect, but they're much better. Again, decorating is nonexistent right now, but she isn't picky, and I don't have the energy to worry about it til who knows when. The view from the doorway, then the dressing area (closet doors removed for a bit more openness, still lots of work to be done in the closet--can't believe I'm posting pics before I coordinate her hanging clothes in categories like usual), and finally the crib and books/toys corner. She LOVES the book and toy shelves. Emptied them out at least 4 times today.

The bathroom also got a cleaning before it was time for lunch when M came home. After he went back to work, we attacked the kitchen/eating corner. By that time, I was getting sore and having trouble taking steps (weird low back and hip nerve issues going on) so it was time for some feet-up in the recliner while Braska napped. Tonight after dinner, I got all the laundry FINALLY put away in our bedroom and the floor cleared. The room has like less than 2 feet on the sides to walk around the bed, so we really can't afford junk on the floor. No pics of that one though...just forgot. Maybe another time. Pepino's room is the only one on the main floor that didn't get dealt with. It's a much bigger job, so it'll wait for now.

The other thing I did lately that I was pleased about was making dessert on Saturday night. We went to some friends' house for dinner and I took dessert. I did the dump cake recipe that I saw on Motherhood Unscripted and it was yummy. Way simple!! I've had this before, but didn't realize how easy it was to do. M says I should stop telling people how easy it is to do and just accept the praise for the goodies. Maybe so...

Here's the before (before baking, that is), and the after, when it was cooling.

I'm so serious....go pick up the 3 simple items you need (besides butter which you probably have in the fridge) and make this. You'll be SO glad you did.

What did YOU do all day?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Taking a stand: Part 1

Ok, if you're still around and waiting for the aforementioned GREAT post... grab your coffee or Diet Coke and have a sit-down.

I've been wanting to write a great preface to this, to somehow add to it, further clarify, etc. I will have to do that as a Part 2 instead, because I'm just plain not finding the time or mental capacity lately to properly manage good writing. There are a few more things I want to say about this, so stay with me.

My hesitation with this was only that this will most definitely not sit well with some of my faithful readers...if this is the last post you read, know that I have really enjoyed you being around! (And I hope that's not going to be what happens.) What I need you all to understand is that this is not a new thing for me. This is not a knee-jerk reaction to recent issues or elections or candidates, except that I have felt very strongly lately that it's time for me to speak up for those that can't. And I don't want anyone to mistake my silence for being afraid to state my convictions. This is something I have felt strongly about for close to 20 years. This is not just about DS.

The topic is abortion. Oh, I see you cringe. I feel you head for that X in the corner of the reader window or the browser window. Hang with me. No matter what your view, I'd appreciate your consideration.

I generally don't hit big hot button issues, or at least I haven't to this point, NOT because I don't have core values and strong beliefs, but because I don't like to do a half-way job of things. I don't want to misrepresent myself or a cause due to my quick posting of thoughts that aren't dealt with appropriately.

I want to state one thing up front... I am not angry, pounding anything, or cursing those that have chosen abortion. I do feel for those that have given up those gifts granted them. It boils down to this for me, though it may be seen as oversimplified... No one's "right" outweighs the life of a baby.

This piece is by Heidi, it's long, but with good references and a great tone of information and conviction without condemnation. I agree with her perspective, and I appreciate how it's written. It's not all pretty to read, but I think it's very important to know, no matter which side you stand on.

Thanks for getting this far. I take that as a showing of respect, and I appreciate it.

Click here to go to Heidi's post.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pictorial snack to hold you over

No, I haven't forgotten about the post I promised...I've been debating it, trying to formulate my preface for the link, and honestly wondering if it would do any good. No, it's not about voting or candidates, at least not directly, I suppose. Anyway.....

I'm on my way out of town in 20 mins to see some friends for the weekend. We'll get to see a few, actually, the ones who are the actual destination, and a few others who just happen to be nearby this weekend. We'll be making our first appearance at a DS "meet-up" with a bunch of bloggers/forum buddies, most of whom I don't actually know at all, 2 of whom are my buds from C-U (yay!), and two of whom are new buds from here (yay again!). I'm nervous about it, although I'm not sure why. I don't have the right stuff to wear and I didn't lose those 100 lbs (well, give or take 10 or 50) that I wanted to. I'm quite a bit more intimidated by this whole deal than I figured... we'll see.

Just in case you don't have 50 other blogs to keep you busy (ha!) I'll post a few house pics since they're quick. Next week I will get to the meaty stuff, I promise.

Today our new front door was installed. Left=old door/frame. Right=new door/frame. It shuts now, and that's always good with a front door. Ya know. Functionality is good. The new one will have to be painted, but then I have to decide the color first. (Yeah, and that icky oak switch plate is getting ditched too. Just haven't put the new one on yet.)

The kitchen is slowly coming together. The cabinets are getting close to being done and final in their placement of everything.
There were no door or drawer pulls, as you might notice above. We kept reaching for the wrong corner of the cabinets to open them, and it drove me nuts. So we ran right out and fixed the problem. Brushed nickel. Simple, but nice.

M was nice enough to install some under-cabinet lighting for me last week. Very handy. And it's hard to take a picture of it, we learned.

Have a good weekend. Us midwesterners are having a cool one, so enjoy it! (Yes, I know, Mom, it should be "we" midwesterners...but it loses something in the dialect that way.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

We're back online

It's gonna be a busy week, but I'm going to try to get caught up with pics and updates and such. And I have one really GREAT post, though possibly controversial among my readers, to link to. But I want to properly preface it, so it'll have to wait til at least tomorrow. So stay tuned, kids!