Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Productive Day

So. I am trying to relax tonight. Which brings me to my current position. Doing laundry and watching Purple Rain. Which I have never seen. When I was a kid we didn't have cable or anything. I have never really been a prince fan. But I figure it's something I should at least attempt to see. LOL.

Today I bought Six Fattycakes Fitted Diapers off Diaperswappers, because the Bum Genius 3.0 One Sizes aren't holding for night anymore. Especially when she is in it for 12-13 hours. Last night she woke up at 1am and had leaked through. Some nights she is fine, but others she leaks, so it's time to upgrade to something that can absorb more. The Fattycake Fitteds by Butterfly Baby and others like in the Inspired Stores... mostly have double soakers for heavy wetters, and seem to really work well. She wore one last night and tonight she is in a goodmama organic Bamboo Velour.

I have been pretty busy today! Ardyn and I met Cari for lunch and then I went to visit some others, particularly my friend and midwife, who delivered Ardyn. Then we ran to Wal-Mart to get some essentials, and I got potting soil and two planters for out front. The two that I have are almost 8 years old, and faded and cracked... so I figured I would splurge the $12 to get two new ones. LOL. After our trip today, we washed the van and then came home. I forced Ardyn to take a nap because she had swimming lessons tonight and I knew if she didn't take a nap it would be a nightmare. She slept for almost a full hour, and was STILL cranky after lessons. It was the last lesson of her two month session. We took tons of pictures, but I can't get them all off the card until I get to Target and return the card reader that quit working after 8 days. While Ardyn napped, I made tags for all of my laundry soap and also decorated a bucket to collect dryer lint for composting. Composting is my newest "Going Green" Goal. The Soilsaver composter and a Norpro stainless steel kitchen bucket, as well as the book "Let It Rot" should be arriving any day now.

Tonight while eating at Subway, I was painfully aware of how many food establishments, and OTHER establishments, don't recycle. It kills me. Tonight at Subway I wanted to take my plastic milk bottle home to recycle it. Then I wanted to start a campaign asking Subway stores why they don't all recycle (I know that each store is independently owned, but still) and the more that I thought about it, the more infuriated I got that more businesses in my area don't provide customers the opportunity to recycle on premises. Of course my wheels are turning now.

I got the schedule for Festival 56 this summer, and plan on attending a few theatre performances. Last year I badly wanted to go, but the one day that my schedule meshed with theirs (I was very pregnant and very much working full time then) It was like 100 degrees outside and I was very dilated and also pretty uncomfortable at the time so we decided against it. I have a lot of friends who house Festival 56 staff and actors over the summer, so I have really been wanting to go. I think Ardyn would enjoy it too, she just loves watching people!

So tomorrow will be an at home day. Lots of laundry to do, as I am cleaning closets and organizing the laundry room to it's fullest potential. I also have a new friend to email tomorrow, I met a mom who is also going green and who wants more info on cloth diapers.... she uses a few at home. I was so excited to connect. Cloth Diapers can certainly be conversation starters! I am making tags for the totes that go on my laundry room shelves, where I keep washing supplies and fabric dyeing supplies, etc. I am messing up the dining room table because my scrapbook table is still 3 feet deep in shit that I brought home from my office at work, and that I haven't found a place to put yet. Argh. Oh well. I have the rest of my life to figure that out. He he.

Once the band gets out of the garage, I plan on starting to haul garage sale stuff out there. I was hoping to do it sooner, but hey... no big deal. It will happen eventually.

I just finished all of Ardyn's laundry, and now I am washing blankets and sheets. I found a couple of sheet sets that I need to get sent over to my sister, we gave her our old Queen Bed and mattress, and all of the bedding for it. I have been holding onto a few queen quilts, and the flannel sheet set, and I am just ready to get rid of the sheet set and considering getting rid of the quilts, although I will probably sell the quilts instead of giving them away. Unless my mom could use them. They aren't really my sister's style, although my mom might be interested for her guest room.

Well, that's all my excitement for the day. It's officially tomorrow, so it's time for me to drink some tea, take my medicines, and go to bed! Have a nice Thursday since I won't be back till it's over!

Stain Removal is the New Crack

Didn't you get the memo? If you are going to be an addict, you might as well pick something that is productive. I am addicted. To stain removal. I realized this as I scrubbed a spot the size of a pinhead, that no one else would EVER notice, from the hem of a pair of Ardyn's $2 resale shop pants. With a nailbrush. At 12:22am.

And now I am writing about it. Although I love it when someone else feeds Ardyn so that I can do something else (or the occasional but rare NOTHING else) I also dread it because I KNOW that no matter what bib is put on her, whenever anyone else feeds her, her clothes get stained. It is so entirely annoying. My mom is the only person besides me who has ever fed her and had her come out stain free. It must be hereditary. Or it's our insane perfectionism and attention to detail. I hate stained clothes. I am constantly removing stains from her clothes. Her clothes are worse than her diapers, I swear to you. The utility sink and the soak cycle on the washing machine are my weapons. That and Oxyboost.

On a lighter note. I should be sleeping. So I feel that I will make this as brief as possible. Last night we got the cops called on us. He. Because Evan's band was practicing in the garage. They were 6 feet from Ardyn's bedroom and she was asleep in her crib at 8:30 with both her windows open (boy was it hot) and I walked outside to listen for a while. The guys said "last song, then we pack up" and it was like 8:35 and the county cop pulls up and tells us that someone has complained about the noise. Bummer. Party Poopers. It was Memorial Day. It was only 8:35pm. They were on their last song. Apparently the county doesn't know what the town's noise ordinances are, but we were told that 10pm was the cutoff time. Now we need to investigate that.

What else is new. Hmmm. We love the Roomba. For a couple of days there he seemed really confused. He didn't clean at his scheduled time. He couldn't dock on his own for some reason. One night I came home at 11pm and found him perching between two rooms, stuck on the door jam. But he seems to have gotten his head back, and cleaned as scheduled as well as docked himself for the past two days. Smart little guy. He is the COOLEST thing. I have him scheduled to vacuum each morning at 10am. He drives out, vacuums, and then docks himself again. It's freaking awesome. It's not a gimmick. He cleans better than my Dirt Devil upright does. Ardyn loves to watch him.

I also love my new camera. I got a Nikon D40. It's awesome. I have taken over 2500 photos this month alone. I don't have them all on Flickr quite yet, but I am working on it.

Over the weekend Ardyn and I went to Mom and Dads and went out to the pasture to visit the cattle, and she saw the calves, and got a close-up look of the one that was born that morning. I have about HALF of those pictures uploaded. I have a 4MB SDHC (SD High Capacity) Camera card. Only certain cameras will use this HC Card, and you have to get a special card reader. I bought the card and the reader at Target last week. The reader quit working, so now I have photos that I can't get off the card until I take the reader back and get a replacement. I took some EXCELLENT photos of Ardyn and a daisy.... outside... and have to get them off the card and uploaded still.

I also got to spend some time with Carrie on Sunday, and Angela. That was nice. Carrie sells Scentsy, and I got to look at a catalog for the first time.

Saturday night Lisa and I made a LATE night run to Princeton for ice cream. Ardyn slept in her carseat, she was already there and crashed out from a long day on the farm, and so I figured I might as well get to talk to a friend and eat ice cream before I went home and put us both to sleep.

Besides that, everything is pretty normal. Ardyn is suddenly getting very anti-nap again. She will be just exhausted, and will then only sleep for 20-40 minutes. Like once a day. Today she woke up after about 30 minutes, and I was entirely annoyed because she was still tired and cranky. I spent from 3 till 6pm laying down with her, playing and watching TV, and nursing, and finally getting another 20 minute nap and a 30 minute nap out of her in that time frame. The catch was that I had to nap too. Which isn't bad. I can't complain... except that if I am going to take a nap, it had better be longer than 20 minutes or I will just repeatedly feel like a pile of shit, which is pretty much what I felt like all afternoon and evening.... because I only got two VERY short naps with her. It's better for me to not nap than to take a nap any shorter than an hour. And honestly, two hours is ideal for BOTH of us, but she seems to be La Resistance lately when it comes to naps. My mom says I was horrible that way and that she begged for me to have payback someday. Thanks mom.

So that's it. Pretty exciting. I am loving being home. Loving laundry and stain removal and all that jazz. Tomorrow we meet a friend for lunch, and make a trip to Wal-Mart for a few things we need. And turn in paperwork for my IRA Rollover. And return a big bag of baby clothes to a friend who let us borrow them. And try to get home for the afternoon stocking of hyenacart... and a nap before the last day of swimming lessons.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My New Nikon is Wicked Awesome. And Other Monday Magic.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE and ADORE my new camera. Holy crap. I think I might take it to bed tonight. Today was a nice and busy day. I stayed up WAY to late last night (1:30am- this morning I guess you could say) watching all the TIVO Episodes that I missed since I was gone over the weekend. Holy COW on the 2 hour Desperate Housewives Finale! Jeez! I cried twice! When Susan cried over Julie going to college I almost freaked out thinking about Ardyn going to college someday! I mean, the kid isn't even a year old and I am already panicked about her moving out? Whoa. I also uploaded all of the photos from the Chicago trip and also the hundreds (seriously) of photos that I have already taken with my new camera. I took another two hundred today (seriously) and have to upload them.... hopefully tomorrow.

I also had cleaning people coming today, so I had a bit of tidying up to do, and about 5 thousand dirty cloth diapers since we were away from home from a while, so I did laundry and unpacked, and all that jazz. All this after we got HOME at almost midnight the night before and slept in as late as we could (although the phone started ringing at 9am and didn't stop until noon.) I need to learn to use my vonage to my advantage and turn the voicemail on in the morning and force all calls to voicemail until we wake up for the day. Ardyn and I were BOTH Exhausted from the long trip and we would BOTH have slept longer if that phone hadn't rang so much yesterday morning.

Today Ardyn and I went out and about. This morning I loaded the dishwasher and tidied up the kitchen, and put away Ardyn's clean diapers and such. The new Roomba iRobot vacuum came and I have to say that the entire world would own one if they knew how awesome they are and how they really DO work. It's not a scam. They pick up everything. It's amazing. I will dedicate a whole new post on that later. Tonight I taught it how to clean once a day without my assistance, and set up the virtual lighthouses to guide it from room to room. Totally simple. Came fully assembled and with spare parts and filters. I love it. It might be the best thing I have bought in a long time for this household.

We picked up my mom this afternoon and went to Kewanee. I had three braided rugs to pick up at the dry cleaners and we also went to the kids resale shop, where I found an Incrediblock, which I have been wanting since last December and I wanted someone to get Ardyn for Christmas. It was only like $27, and it retails new for $50 plus shipping as you can only get it online from Fisher Price. It even came with 23 blocks, which I am sterilizing right now in the Germ Guardian. Then we ran to Wal-Mart and Aldi's for my mom and then to Sunnyfield Greenhouse for some annuals for our planters. Then we got Ice Cream at Dairy Queen and met my sister at her work for a little after-work chat. Then Ardyn and I ate supper at my parents and played with the new toys (used toys) that mom got for her house, including the fisher price piggy bank and a winnie the pooh rocking "horse" that was actually a big stuffed pooh bear that plays music when you press his ears (tons of pictures of that!) Then we spent about an hour trying to coax Ardyn into crawling. She got closer than I have ever seen her before (pics of that too!) We watched some of the NEMO read along CD/Computer Book that we got at the resale shop (Ardyn LOVES Nemo for some reason, and she has never even seen him on TV.)

I was counting today, and realized that Ardyn has Five Swimsuits and Two Swim Diapers in various sizes. She had a 12 month size pink bikini but we can't keep the top down during lessons, so I grabbed an elmo one-piece at the resale shop today. Evan and I saw an adorable suit at the beginning of the season and bought it in next year's size. Then a friend gave mom three bags of clothes to pick through and we grabbed what we wanted (tons) and paid her for what we took, and inside that was a nemo swimsuit and coverup (imagine the irony of that!) and a stars n stripes suit that will fit her probably this summer and then over the fall and winter (as we intend to continue taking her to swim inside.) She has SO many swimsuits! Good thing she likes to swim!

I also got her a few more pair of shorts that will work well as play clothes and were like $1 each at the resale shop, and 4 pair of lightweight pants for the summer, as she only has one pair of jeans for a cool day and has outgrown everything else. She has lots of shorts and dresses and skorts, but for cool nights and rainy days, she still needs pants to wear. That's Illinois for you!

Our electronic stimulus check from the government finally arrived last Friday, TWO WEEKS LATE. Ugh. I was so frustrated. But I am glad it is here and now I can pay off our furniture loan completely, and about half of the hospital bill that's left from Ardyn's birth. That will be fabulous. I just paid off a HUGE Power bill (the last of the high winter bills that we will see this year) and also paid my first Van payment! Woot! I almost forgot to pay the van payment because it has been so long since I have HAD a car payment it almost slipped my mind.

The van was awesome for our day out today, I was able to carry everything we needed, and pick up the rugs, and everything my mom and I got at the resale shop, at the stores she visited, and at the greenhouse. Plus the stroller and the baby and all her usual supplies. I am loving that she is getting so much more comfortable sleeping on the go. I have discovered that sometimes she won't nap in the stroller (sometimes she will) but she will always nap in the babyhawk if she is tired. She took two naps in the babyhawk at the Green Expo, and one today at the greenhouse in the babyhawk. That carrier is the ONLY one that I can stand to wear without getting a horrible back strain. One shoulder slings and hotslings are great for little babies, but once she got older I couldn't take that twisting and one shoulder wearing anymore. I vow to break out the ring sling and test it again, but the babyhawk works so well, I haven't really had the desire to try the ring sling again. I just don't want to test it and perhaps be in pain for a couple of days if she is too heavy for me to carry on one shoulder.

Tomorrow I will be doing LAUNDRY. Don't try to stop me. It has to get done since I have tons of clothes from the trip and haven't been able to get any washed since last Wednesday. I generally do 1-2 loads a day as part of my schedule, and therefore I am like 7 loads behind or something. Plus I try to do an extra load on Sundays to wash bedding and such, but I was too wiped to do that. So I have some catching up to do. I am hoping for great weather so I can get some things out on the line, but since it is raining tonight I am not holding my breath.

Being at home I am a weather channel addict. I watch it every night and every morning, and sometimes even in between if I am curious as to the forecast. Ardyn and I plan our activities and outings, our wardrobes, and our laundry schedule by it. Sometimes people try to tell me the forecast and I argue with them because I KNOW it by heart and see the most updated. My mom might say "last night they said" and I will say "Oh, that's OLD. This morning they said (this) and at lunch they said (that.)" She finds it exasperating. Damn me and my "know-it-all-ness."

Well, that's all if I want to be in bed before midnight tonight! It's already 11:30 and I still have some peek-a-blocks to sanitize and a few more things to do before I crash. Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chicago Green Expo

Ardyn and I are home from the Chicago Green Expo. We left Friday just after noon and drove to Woodridge to meet Angela and pick her up from work. Then we went into the city and to our Hotel. We stayed at Hotel 71, right on the river, just a few blocks from the lake and 1 block from Michigan Avenue. The new Trump building was going up right across the river from us and was right outside our hotel room. Ardyn did okay traveling, but she did cry enough on the way up that I had to pull over about halfway there to nurse her and comfort her. The van is a godsend. I can't imaginging traveling any other way. I can just pull over, walk right into the back, and sit down on a spare seat and nurse her or change her on the floor where I have a seat stowed. It's awesome. I can easily hold all of our luggage and the stroller and supplies, and toys for Ardyn to play with.

We hit a little bit of traffic on the way into the City on 90/94, but it wasn't half bad. The hotel was really nice, and was Angela's treat, so I really have to thank her for that. What was amazing was the "complimentary valet service" that was linked to the "$43 a night parking in the hotel garage." Um. Yeah. Valet service should be complimentary. I do have to say though, that I am the kind of girl who better travels a few levels down on the luxury scale. It bugs me to have strangers handling my bags and having to tip them when I really am not comfortable with them helping me. I feel much better doing it myself or letting Evan handle it. I don't like being at the mercy of calling someone else for "help" to check in or check out. I find it annoying, not luxurious.And of course, being a small town girl, I am also always annoyed with the fast pace of everything in the city. I am a fast paced person, but one day in Chicago makes me feel like I NEED a vacation, not like I have just been on one. When I was trying to unload and unfold the stroller, and get Ardyn's things situated in the stroller, and unbuckle her and crawl across the van (because the driver's side was on a busy street, I was unloading onto the sidewalk from the passenger side) and get her in the stroller and comfortable.... the valet guy was standing over me hovering, and he said "Can I take your van ma'am?" and I remember being exasperated, turning to look at him, and saying "Right now I really need to concentrate on getting my daughter out of the seat and situated in her stroller, but as soon as I am finished, you can have the van. But PLEASE just give me a few minutes so that I can get this accomplished first." I think he was taken aback because I assume that he is praised for promptness, and while I can appreciate promptness, I can also appreciate wanting to feel relaxed and leisurely, not pressured and rushed.

Ardyn loved the view from the hotel room. She spent lots of time squealing and talking out the window at the cars, boats, people, and buildings below.

Friday evening we walked the Magnificent mile and out to Navy Pier. Then we walked over to the lake. We walked quite a while and then we came back to a neat little Italian restaurant next to our hotel. We sat out on the patio to eat and had wine and cheesecake, and pasta and pizza. Ardyn and I had our first Chicago Style Pizza, Stuffed Spinach and Mushroom. It was delicious. Although I have to say that I adore Maria's or Angelo's Stuffed Pizza just as much. The dinner was fabulous and I ended up nursing Ardyn on the patio too. Then we went back to the hotel next door and got settled in for the night. It was especially nice to have wireless internet included in the hotel room. Angie did some online planning for our next day.

We got up on Saturday and got ready, and ordered rooms ervice for breakfast. Angie had oatmeal and I had special K with Skim Milk, and we split a fruit tray that Ardyn enjoyed too. Then we packed up, checked out, and drove to Navy Pier for the expo.

The expo was great. The parking was $23 for the day at the pier, and they had a good food court there and awesome ice cream everywhere. The hardest part of the day was FINDING the expo in the pier, it was WAY down at the end, which we knew. But it was also difficult finding an elevator. Out of all the Expo staff and volunteers that we asked, only one person actually knew where the elevators were. One woman looked right at me with the stroller and then pointed out the stairs and escalator. Angie was exasperated with this, and we really had to search ourselves to find the elevator. So when we finally found the elevator, we had to walk DOWN to the elevator, go up a level, then walk all the way back to the one expo entrance. Then we discovered that you didn't buy your tickets at the entrance, but we had to go all the way back and PAST the elevators to the end of the pier to get our tickets. So we did. And we grumbled about how poorly it was marked (it wasn't) and how we had to walk clear down to the end of the pier to get our tickets and then walk BACK to the entrance. Ugh. So we got our passes and then had to walk back to the door. I was kinda confused how there was only once entrance to use, yet all you had to do was walk through it with a pass around your neck. Couldn't they have had a few more entrances if all they had to provide was a person at the door to see if you had a pass around your neck? I know, I just like to tell you how it was. the expo itself was awesome. We didn't listen to any speakers. They were in the same room as the vendor booths, which we thought was kinda strange and unexpected. We thought it would be much more conducive (not to mention polite) to have them in a quieter room. There were so many excellent vendors there. I got tons of literature and lots of activist and organic clothing. Ahhh. I took pictures of all our loot. I have LOTS of websites to visit and things to think about.

The highlight of the day for me was seeing the ONE cloth Diaper vendor that thought it was worth their time to attend the expo. BUM GENIUS! Good for them. I was highly disappointed to not see more cloth diapering vendors at the expo. G Diapers was there also, but I honestly don't know that I can consider that cloth diapering at it's fullest extend. I think they are actually more work than cloth, AND more expensive because you still have to buy the liners. Plus you have to flush each one, and let it disintegrate (poop AND pee)- and they aren't approved for home septic systems to my knowledge. I took photos of a few things that I wanted to remember. I was interested in the kitchen composting- and since I have been thinking of composting at home and wondered how I would do it with not much yard space, it was interesting. But I am wondering if composting is a necessity for me since I use a garbage disposal and what is organic (food scraps, etc) goes back into the sewer system. I need to do some research.

I bought a pair of simple shoes that are so comfy, and two pair of the most AWESOME organic cotton pants that I have ever touched. I put one pair on in the parking garage for the ride home and I am wearing them again today and am not sure when anyone will be able to pry them off me. As a matter of fact, I liked them so much that I practically took my shorts off in the middle of the parking garage to put them on, when I realized that this IS Chicago and I would likely get arrested for being in a parking garage with no pants on. So I came to my senses an changed pants inside the van. I brought home their card so that I could get more if I liked them, and boy do I ever. I bought them from B Green Apparel ( I bought an awesome headband from the Hemp Queen ( and she had some other awesome clothes that I adored. I was pleased to see a few companies that I purchase from regularly, like Herb Pharm, Reusable Bags, and Nordic Naturals. And most of all was pleased to see Dr. Bronner's and laughed to see that they were GIVING AWAY the coexist bumper stickers that I have on the van. Damn. But they convinced me to take a free one and I gave it to Evan. Dr. Bronner's had two new scents. A rose and a citrus... and the citrus was TO DIE FOR yummy. I also enjoyed the booths of Toys with Integrity (, and Barefoot Books ( If I didn't have reusable bags already, I would have purchased the entire set from - those bags are adorably perfect! There was also a great wool yarn and felting booth by Esthers Place ( and a home cleaning product booth that I intend to look into more (

There were some other very cool clothing booths, several of which I adored but found to be WAY overpriced. A few that I thought I might actually purchase from in the future included (adorable but expensive. Neat baby clothes), (high priced), &

I bought Ardyn a bunch of stuff from Happy Green Bee ( which I had always seen advertised in my Mothering Magazine. I also got her some shirts (and one for myself) from Green Label Organic ( and they had some really nice shirts and somewhat reasonable prices. They had specials for the expo, but I am not sure that otherwise I would have spent that much.... but their sale prices were good. I also liked the shirts from but I only bought one because they all were so similar and their prices weren't to die for. Also enjoyed and (which was one of my favorite booths and the ladies there were SO nice and informative.)

So that was the expo.

Now about last week. Last week I sold my car. And I bought an iRobot (Roomba) and I also got a new digital camera. A Nikon D40. Which I took to Chicago. And I am learning to use. It is awesome. The Roomba should be here this Monday (tomorrow) and I can't wait to program it.

This week I have a breastfeeding group to attend, swim lessons, and Evan and I are going on a date. I am also going to start preparing for a yard sale, taking stuff out to the garage and pricing it as I go through closets and things. I am overwhelmed with the amount of things I need to go through, but I told myself that there is no reason to have to go through everything this summer before the sale in June, but that I can get through whatever I can this summer and have another one in the fall for whatever I couldn't get through this spring. No pressure, I have some time on my hands. But amongst all that, we are also supposed to try to get together with CB, my sister, go to Kewanee to pick up our rugs, and also visit and deliver mother's day gifts to TWO of Ardyn's great grandmas. I am not sure that we can accomplish all that (nor that we want to accomplish all that in one week.)

What amazes me the most about being home, is that people literally think that Ardyn and I have nothing to do. It never fails that people always are "stopping by" when I am trying to get out of the house and go somewhere. I have to admit that this frustrates me. While I do like the occasional surprise visitor, I don't like them before 10am, and I really do appreciate people who call in advance. Ardyn and I frequently spend our mornings leisurely, in comfy clothes or pajamas, eating our breakfast, playing, singing songs, doing laundry, and taking baths and getting ready for our day. Sometimes we tidy the kitchen, sometimes we vacuum, sometimes we do nothing. Sometimes we lay in bed or on the couch and giggle and clap and try to say new words. Sometimes we read a book. Or three. Nothing is worse then a knock on the door when your hair is sticking up on end and you have mascara rings under your eyes and Ardyn is wearing a diaper with no cover and her shirt has applesauce or rice rusk goop on it. Of course, sometimes we will get the knock on the door while we are in the bathtub, or 10 seconds after we have gotten out of the bathtub and are wearing towels. And I know that people say they don't care if we aren't "presentable" but I have to say that I do care, and it bugs me. It's not that I don't want to see anyone, but I like to have my teeth brushed and my pants on! Part of the fun of being home is that Ardyn and I operate on our own schedule and don't have to answer to anyone. If we want to go out and about for a day, we do. If we want to stay home, we stay home and be relaxed.

Here's to a relaxing week. Ardyn and I will be unpacking, relaxing, and recuperating. And you will probably find us in our underwear. Or me wearing my comfy organic cotton pants and a hemp headband. Here's to hippies. They were the nicest people at the expo, and I loved talking to them and laughing with them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pure Enjoyment

I feel like a kid who just did something very very wrong. And who might get their ass beat if they get caught. This is all my father's fault. He always raised me to think that it is WRONG to put a sticker anywhere on a vehicle. Anywhere. However I do recall that he had a bumper sticker on two of his cars. I think that he was trying to instill in me that once you stick it on, it's hard to remove. But he put the fear of god in me. I did put a sticker on my first car. Just one sticker. But the car cost $1000 so it probably wasn't a big deal. I also put a cool sun sticker on my second car. And I sold it with the sticker still on it, so... I guess no big deal. But my last car, was all shiny and cost me more than 10 thousand dollars, so I was always scared to put a sticker on it. I remember once after 9-11 that I had a flag magnet on my gas cap area, but it was mickey mouse behind the flag. I thought my dad was going to have a coronary when he thought it was a sticker. Mind you I of course paid for the car myself, was 22 years old, and also lived in my own house by then. But I will never forget the anger when he thought I had stuck the sticker on my car. So. Tonight I snuck outside, into my own garage, as a 29 year old mom and wife, and put two brand spanking new stickers on my brand new (to me) van. I have to admit that I kept looking over my shoulder to see if I was going to be caught. I lowered the garage door and thought with the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach "who is going to yell at me first, my husband or my dad?" and I agonized for the entire day about whether or not to actually put them on... and then WHERE to put them on. And then "should I put them BOTH on or just one?" Jeez. Why do I let other people cause me stress? One sticker is a white square that says "One Less SUV" and is a nod to the pollution that I am not causing by driving a van over another SUV. The other is the word "Coexist" made up of various religious symbols, which is the icon that I use in my signature to all my online message boards. So now I am making the statements that I want to make. I just hope I don't get grounded when they find out.

So what else is new? Hmmm. I am in the process of selling my car. YAY! I had two calls and one test drive yesterday and another person drop in today. A relative has decided to buy it and I hope that it is all taken care of by the end of the week.

The "schedule" that I want to keep up on has been going really well, up until this past weekend when I had places to be and the house got pretty crazy. I should be picking up tonight, but I am just fine with not picking up. I did load the dishwasher and clean up in the kitchen. I also did some laundry today.

Mom and I took Ardyn to Hornbaker Gardens today and I got a few dwarf plants and a Big Daddy Hosta. I have been after a big daddy for YEARS. 5 of them to be precise. And I haven't bought one yet. But now I have decided to just do it since I want one so badly. I just think they are awesome. We ate lunch at Townsend Coffee House and then went to Wal-Mart for a few things. We took TONS of adorable pictures at Hornbakers, they are all in my flickr photos, and there are some posted here too.
Last Friday we started making our Mother's Day gifts. We used Crayola Air Dry Clay to make Heart shaped handprints and then painted them and strung ribbons and fibers onto them. We made 8 of them, for each grandma, great grandma, and for Aunt Liz. Saturday I was up at 6:30 with Ardyn and when she fell back to sleep I couldn't, so I got up and painted the hearts while she slept. Then that afternoon she and I went to my parents house to setup a wireless network and that night we had them over, along with my sister, to celebrate mother's day with spaghetti pizza and garlic bread, followed by Ice Cream Waffle Bowls from Dairy Queen and then we watched the movie Juno, which I loved. Sunday we took a nap from 10-12noon and then went to Evan's grandma's house for Mother's day. We delivered hydrangeas for Mother's Day to Ardyn's grandmas in addition to the finished handprints.

This week I am getting a haircut, going to TWO computer meetings, Ardyn's swimming lessons, and packing for the Chicago Green Expo with Ardyn and Angela. And hopefully cleaning the house, working in the yard, mailing a few packages, finishing Dotty Owl for Ardyn, and gathering estimates to fence in the front yard very shortly. I also need to get 27 dresses watched so I can return it to my sister, and hopefully also trim Hadley's nails.

One pair of Ardyn's custom shorties (wool) arrived today. They are adorable, but they look small. I measured her and I HOPE they fit perfectly. They are SUPER stretchy. I hope that they work out for us and need to try them on tomorrow before she starts knitting the second pair. The pair I received are purples and greens and have adorable ruffled bottoms. The next pair will be pink/orange/yellows.

So there you have it. I am sure there is tons more, but we have been busy around here and I forget what we did yesterday sometimes. Good thing I am taking lots of pictures! Sunday morning we woke up and noticed that the stop sign in front of our house was snapped off from the wind we were having. It is crazy! Today I called the county highway department to report it. Evan dug a hole and propped it up temporarily after he saw two people blow it today and almost get into an accident. I also met with a guy who measured for our first fencing estimate. AND we mowed, trimmed some things in the flower bed, swept off the sidewalks, etc.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Shiva is the only person I know with enough arms to apply diaper ointment to an 8 month old.

I am loving. Staying at home. I have so much that I could type here, but I still have several things to do before bed so I will make it short and sweet.

I have been hella busy. I have barely been online *gasp* and that's okay. Evan took pieces from his computer and put them into my computer, doubling the memory and adding another hard drive and a DVD Burner. We reformatted the machine and I am in the process of installing new software, the Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) and Microsoft Office 2007.

This past weekend we had alot going on. I don't know that I checked my email at all until briefly Sunday night. We were without power for 4 hours on Saturday, and I spent the time picking up the house and playing with Ardyn. I had the dryer going, the washing machine, the dishwasher, had JUST put the baby down for her nap and was going to sit down and pay bills online, and vacuum the house, when the power went out. That was a bummer. Saturday night Evan's band (Driftwood) had a gig and my sister and I went to watch. I was busy clear up until the moment I walked out the door that night and didn't get home till 2:30 in the morning Sunday, and then was up with the baby at 5:45 again, and at 7:30. Sunday I was pretty much zombie- and Evan worked in the yard (mowing, etc) and I did more laundry and washed diapers, cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher twice, made my grocery list for the week, picked up Ardyn's room, and then Ardyn and I took a late bath together. She stayed up until 10pm (stinker) so I was up until 1:30 am because I had so much to accomplish before today. I had cleaning people coming, and because we had already been so busy, and I brought home everything from my office, and unloaded everything from my car when we bought the van, AND had the computer tore apart and software and hardware strewn all over.... I really needed to clean up. I felt like if I could make it through this weekend with all the things I needed to have done by Monday, then I would survive.

Today I woke up and cleaned more (this place was really a wreck) and Ardyn and I got dressed and packed the van up for a grocery trip. We ate lunch and I did lots of preparing for errands, packages to mail, stops to make on the way to get groceries, etc. I needed to refill all my perfume at Good Scents and make an appointment for a haircut. I wanted to wash the van and open Ardyn's savings account at the bank. I needed to get the mail (software for the computer had arrived) and drop off a UPS package. Then we had to get groceries. And get home in time for making supper and seeing Evan before he went off to band practice. I also had to call the Dr.'s office and get a prescription for Ardyn (she got a yeast infection diaper rash right before leaving daycare, that miconazole wouldn't clear up, so we needed Nystatin) and then had to pick up the prescription.

So we made it to everywhere we needed to be today, and also had an oreo blizzard and got $216 worth of groceries. It made me sad, but I had to buy my second pack of disposable diapers this week, because the creams and treatments we are using on her would ruin her cloth diapers. I feel terribly guilty about that. I know that I can use lay in liners for the diapers but they always seem to "move" in there, and I also want to eliminate the possibility that the yeast could be growing in her diapers (which I proved that it isn't, I was pretty confident in my very strict and efficient washing routine, not to mention my soap and oxyboost) She wears disposables 4 times a day and overnight when I put the cream on, but wears her cloth diapers for the rest of the day. She also has been going naked as much as possible to help clear it up.... she was naked for 3 hours straight on Saturday.

My milk supply is way up now since I don't have to pump all day. When she goes to bed at night, I pump once before I sleep and I am getting more than twice what I was getting when I was working full time. Wonderful. Building up my freezer supply feels good, although I feel like I might never need it! It should help me out when it comes time to wean though.

I am also really enjoying NOT washing pump parts and bottles every night. What a pain in the ass! The dogs are thrilled because instead of being in the kennel all day long, they have been out laying in the sun in the yard. They are enjoying it thoroughly.

I was able to get some jeans out on the line last Friday, which was awesome. I am working on carrying Ardyn AND a laundry basket outside with me. It's not hard when the basket is empty. I put her in the carrier that Amy bought me, because she loves to face forwards and look around, and it's the only carrier I have (out of 5) that allows her to face out. then I sit her in the grass and she plays and watches and grazes (ha) while I hang things on the line. She has been especially grabby lately. She can get into anything within 3 feet of her body in like .3 seconds. Today when I was getting groceries, she was trying to unload the cart as fast as I was loading it. She threw (literally threw) a tub of hummus (my favorite red roasted pepper) onto the floor and it went like 5 feet from the cart and broke open all over the floor at the end of the aisle. I looked around for a salesperson to help me, and per usual, when you WANT one there aren't any (damn *Mart*) so I just ran like hell. Does that make me a bad parent? Probably. But after I waited 50 minutes for my daughter's prescription to be filled and then 10 more in line with 9 other people while she screamed and fussed and kicked at me.... just to finally pick it up.... and 20 more minutes in the checkout line and then put everything onto the conveyor one-handed while she whined in my ear.... I didn't give a rats ass about that hummus anymore.

She was hungry because she hadn't eaten since like 1pm and it was 4pm, and she had skipped her naps because she refused to sleep when I put her down for her regular nap, and although I have breastfed while walking the aisle of Wal-Mart before, I am not able to do it when I am alone because I can't feed her AND push the cart at the same time. Today (while changing a diaper, holding two kicking legs up with my left arm and two flailing hands out of her crotch with my left hand, holding the diaper down flat under her with the other arm while I used the right hand to squeeze out ointment onto my index finger AND apply it) I asked my husband what kind of cruel sense of humor God must have to give us moms only two arms. Honestly. Shiva has 8, and that bitch is wicked awesome. (I say bitch because I am referring to Shiva in the form of Ardhanarishvara, half man-half woman. And I don't mean bitch to be derogatory here. AND I should also clarify that Shiva can be depicted with anywhere from 2-8 arms, but usually at least 4. Wiki it if you are not sure what I am referring to.) Are 8 arms to much to ask? Octo-Mommy sounds pretty cool to me. I mean, wouldn't they go well with those eyes we get in the back of our heads?

So as I write this I have finished my night. I have put away all the groceries. Made Spaghetti and Garlic Bread with Cheese for supper. Fed the baby and myself and my husband. Rinsed the dinner dishes and loaded them into the dishwasher. Nursed my daughter and put her to bed. Helped my sister shop online for a doghouse for Arnie. Washed two more loads of clothes. Taken the tags off Ardyn's 4 new pair of summer shortie pajamas. AND checked my email and decided that I have time to either blog or respons to emails, but not both. I bought the remaining supplies to make Dotty the Owl... and hoped to do that tonight, but at this point in time, it's already 10pm and I still have to unload stuff from the bed, put away laundry, make my list for tomorrow, read the book on how to set the water softener, let the dogs out one more time, brush my teeth, take my medicine, and go to sleep. AND probably pump and switch the laundry one more time. So, Dotty will have to wait. Another day.

I hope everyone is enjoying their spring. I know that I am!
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