Friday, October 29, 2010

Little Bits of Randomness from my Week

Mommy's Idea

To read more Friday Fragments, visit Half Past Kissin Time, a fun blog where you'll have a good time! Here are my bits of randomness from the week:

*The wind in the Midwest has been crazy-strong for the last few days. I'm not sure that I've ever seen wind this fierce. My 13-month-old Sam has been sick with a fever this week so we've stayed in as much as we can and watched and listened to the wind howl and blow. I'm glad I took some pictures of the fall foliage before this because a lot of it has now blown away!

*I get alumni e-newsletters from my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Sometimes these newsletters and the pictures they include make me feel very nostalgic for those days. I love my life now but I loved it then too and sometimes I really miss it!
This statue of Benjamin Franklin sits in the center of campus. (Ben is the founder of Penn.)

*We got invited to our first tailgating party! This feels like a special rite of passage since we're newcomers to the area, which is home to the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, a Big Ten football team. Everyone around here is crazy about this team. Similar to the wind in Iowa, I've never seen anything quite like the intense "fan-dom" of a college football team here. Tailgating is practically a sport in and of itself. I've never really understood tailgating; I guess maybe I finally will from living here! 

*Our Invisible Pet Fence was installed on Wednesday, and a trainer is coming for six sessions over the next week to teach the dogs and I how to use it. This is going to make life so much easier in so many ways, for them and for us! Pretty much every day since we got the dogs three weeks ago I've been saying, "I can't wait to get the fence." (Speaking of the dogs, they're doing well. They still need lots of training, but we're getting there!)

*My favorite thing I read in the blogosphere this week was this true ghost story from a blog I follow. Click here to read what happened to this family. I think it's cool! (I'm a long-time believer in ghosts. What? I am!) 

*I came across this picture recently when searching the internet for something. Pretty classy, huh? I know it's totally irreverent, but I think it's funny. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Storm Fronts

One of the things I like about living here in Iowa is how open and expressive the sky is. I find the storm fronts that pass through to be fascinating to watch (not to mention helpful in telling what's coming our way).

I took these photos of the field and woods next to our house when a late summer storm was rolling in. Almost as soon as I got back into the house, the clouds opened up and the rain came pouring down.

The sky is still relatively light compared with what's coming.

The threat grows and so does the darkness, and a lone bird flies across the sky.

And here are the warning messenger clouds of a storm last month that was bigger and stronger than the first one.

Our house is the one in the bottom left corner. Look out, house! You're about to get soaked.

All I can say is, Mother Nature is amazing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sam's House

Our new house is sized just right for a baby who is learning to pull himself up, walk, and climb. This is a little tour from Sam's perspective of the most important places in the house!

The living room has tall windows with low ledges that are the perfect height for Sam to pull himself up to and look out the windows. He really loved that when we first moved in and is still enjoying it now.



The front door has this long skinny window next to it that he likes to stand up against and look out of. I'm not a big fan of the window because it's not all that private but at least Sam enjoys it!

The living room windows have these long maroon drapes that we inherited from the previous owners. On a breezy day when the windows are open, Sam has a blast playing in the drapes as they blow out and in. Now that's entertainment--for him and for me!


Catch that curtain!

We got a new washer and dryer when we moved in and they're more fun than our old set. These ones have windows! You can see the water and the clothes spinning around! Fascinating.


The last thing that Sam has really liked is the stairs...yikes! These stairs are actually pretty well-designed for the climbing baby because they're carpeted and they have landings so that in case of falls, baby doesn't fall down the whole flight (thereby relieving some of my guilt when he had two falls). Much of my August was spent monitoring him on the stairs because that was his favorite thing to do. Who needs toys when you have stairs?

He's grinning because I'm coming after him. It's a game, see?


I like how he looks down once he's at the top, like "Wow, look what I did!"
Behind bars.

The biggest source of entertainment in the house--literally.
I hope you've enjoyed this pint-sized tour through Sam's perspective. Babies really know how to have fun and make things their own, don't they?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

*We got our two new dogs last weekend. Their names are Yogi and Boo Boo, they're mostly black labs, about 1-1/2 years old, and they're brothers. They're rambunctious and untrained but they're fun and friendly and they'll be good family dogs. Training them and giving them what they need is going to be a lot more work than I realized and I've been overwhelmed by it this week. All I can say is, I can't wait to get barking collars tomorrow, and the invisible pet fence is going to be a sanity saver once it gets installed! (Which is not for another ten days. Aaaagh!)  

This is their picture from the shelter's website. I'll post my own pictures of them soon.
*The mystery of the ladybug invasion that I've mentioned for the past three weeks has been solved! I forgot, this is Iowa. When the corn crops are cut down in fall, the bugs that were living there migrate to the outsides of people's houses, and the lucky ones get in. Awesome.
 *Speaking of Iowa...Iowa City was ranked the 7th best place to live in the country for LDS (Mormon) families. It is indeed a very family-friendly place and we like it a lot. Another Iowa town (Ames) was ranked 5th. Click here if you'd like to see the article along with the rankings.

*My blog-friend Cheryl sent me a "pay it forward" handmade gift this week. It totally made my day! I'm so impressed by her talent in making things like this. We'll really enjoy using this with our boys at Christmastime. Thank you so much Cheryl! (Would anyone like to participate in doing this? I send you a gift made by me (I'm not crafty and I don't sew so it won't be anything fancy like Cheryl's, but I'll do my best!), and you send something that you make on to someone else, and so on? Let me know if you're interested!)

*I met our new pediatrician this week when I took Sam in for his 12-month check-up and I really like her. I think she'll be great for my kids. Yay!

*My mom is coming out for a week at Thanksgiving! Double yay!!

*I'm going to be taking a break from blogging next week. With the addition of the two dogs to our family and lots of other things that need to get done, my life is descending into chaos and I have to get things organized and taken care of. I'll be back in a week or so. Don't miss me too much in the meantime. :-)

To see what other people have unloaded from their week, go to Half Past Kissin Time. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Housewife by Any Other Name...

I've always liked using the thesaurus because I'm nerdy like that and also because one of my biggest weaknesses in writing is that I tend to use the same words repeatedly, sometimes in sentence after sentence. Even though I'm a trained copyeditor I don't even notice myself doing it sometimes until I go back and read over what I've written. Hence, the need for and love of the thesaurus. When I was using it recently I happened to come across the word "housewife" and its amusing synonyms. According to Webster's, they are:

lady of the house
home economist
family manager
wife and mother

Those sounds pretty accurate to me! A housewife certainly has a lot of significant work to do each day. I used to be a little skeptical of that until I became one. My personal favorite is "lady of the house."

And just picture the scintillating conversation you could have with someone:
..."So, what do you do?"
"I'm the lady of the house. You could also call me the mistress." :-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

*This week I found out that my husband Peter has to fly to New York City on Halloween for a conference. Needless to say, I'm not happy about could they plan a conference to start the day after Halloween?! Many parents are going to miss out on taking their kids trick-or-treating, including Peter, who doesn't like it either. Stupid conference!

*We're having an Indian Summer here in Iowa. The nights and early mornings are cold but the days are mild, sunny, and and in the 70s. As a summer-lover I can't complain, but I wouldn't mind some rain and storms. I know the Northeast has been getting drenched lately and I want some of that!

*The ladybug invasion from last week continues, and this week it's been even heavier. They're all over the window screens. Many of them are getting inside and they crawl around up on the ceilings. It feels like invasion of the ladybugs.

*We're going to meet the two dogs tomorrow that we might adopt. If it goes well they might even be coming home with us. I'm a little nervous about having two new dogs but I'm excited too!

*Have you heard about the big Fisher-Price recall that was issued last week? I found out that our high chair (the "Healthy Care High Chair") is part of the recall. We bought it over five years ago for John and now Sam is using it. We've had no problems with it over the years so I don't plan on getting rid of it. Recalls don't really get me panicked. I know they're necessary, but I think a lot of the time they happen so that the company can cover all of its bases and not get hit by lawsuits. I plan on getting rid of the high chair once Sam is done with it, but I'd been planning on doing that before the recall anyway.

*My favorite thing I saw on TV this week was Oprah's interview with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. I was so impressed with her. She is poised and lovely, articulate and smart, kind and down-to-earth, despite her tremendous success and becoming the world's first-ever self-made author billionaire. I think she's very well-deserving of all of the success she's received.

*My favorite quote I read this week: "Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country." --Margaret Thatcher

To read more Friday Fragments go to Half Past Kissin' Time. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Little Bits of Randomness

Mommy's Idea

*I'm so happy that it's now October, one of the most magical and fun months of the year. I really need to start decorating soon to get my new house into the "spirit" of things (ha!).

*This week a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to a U.S. Religious Knowledge quiz. I took the quiz and somehow I got all of the questions right, scoring better than 99% of the public! The quiz is short (15 questions) and easy (but only if you're smart like me. Ha ha.):

*Speaking of religions, if you don't know mine, I'm Mormon, and this weekend is General Conference, which is a semi-annual broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah featuring inspiring talks by church leaders and beautiful music mostly from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I love General Conference. It's really uplifting, comforting, and motivating. And I like having the BYU Channel so that we can watch it from the comfort of our home!

*We've decided that we're ready to adopt two dogs from an animal shelter. My beloved dog Christy of almost 15 years passed away in May before we moved and I still miss her so much. She'll always be my favorite dog ever. I'm ready to honor her memory by opening my heart and home to two sweet dogs in need. It's been fun to look at the listings for the dogs. We've narrowed it down to a pair of black labs who are brothers that have a very strong bond with each other. I can't wait to go and meet them next Saturday! 

*For fellow Dancing With the Stars fans: I was a little scandalized by "Boo-gate" this week. I think Sarah Palin got booed, not the judges, even after seeing the clip they showed on Tuesday's show trying to explain what happened. And I couldn't believe how bad Michael Bolton's jive was. Talk about embarrassing! It should have been him to go last week, not The Hoff. Bummer!

*This week there have been lots of little ladybugs crawling around on the window screens. I don't know why there are so many of them all of a sudden. But if there's going to be a bug infestation, I'll take ladybugs over just about any other insect!

*My father is here visiting us this weekend on his way back to Massachusetts after spending the last month-and-a-half in Utah, California, and Las Vegas. I'm trying to get my mother to come out for Thanksgiving. If I fail in this endeavor I will be very disappointed in myself!

*My baby Sam has another cold this week, courtesy of his big brother John, who I'm sure got it at school. I'm seeing an unfortunate pattern for the coming school year: John brings home a bug, gets mildly affected by it, and Sam gets hammered by it. Fortunately I have a little weapon to help when colds strike. Have you heard of Boogie Wipes? Boogie Wipes are the best! They're wonderful for wiping stuffy, runny little noses with. They're super-soft and they're not made with yucky chemicals, and they can dissolve stubborn little boogies like nobody's business. Ironically, one of the things I like most about them is their (pre-boogie) scent, which is surprisingly pleasant and fresh. No, this isn't an advertisement, but I do highly endorse Boogie Wipes! You can use them for your own nose too. I do!

I hope you've had a good week! For more Friday Fragments go to Half Past Kissin Time. Happy Friday!