Monthly Archives: June 2006

TV Turnoffs

Not too long ago, Adrianna discovered the power button on our TV. Now we have a difficult time keeping her away from it. She enjoys turning the TV off and on, over and over again. This is especially frustrating when we are in the middle of actually watching a TV show. Thank goodness for tivo, so at least we can see what we miss when she turns it off.

Telling her, “NO!” only seems to encourage her. Distraction doesn’t work. She quickly toddles back to the TV, her pointer-finger at the ready. When we see her finger reaching for the power button, we have tried lightly smacking her hand while saying, “NO.” This also doesn’t work. When I was trying this today, she actually started holding out her other hand for me so I could smack it, knowing what was coming. Hmmm… Little punk. I think we are just going to invest in one of those clear, plastic covers that you can place over the TV panel to keep little fingers away.

Works for Me Wednesday – Clean vs. Dirty Dishes

My Works for Me Wednesday tip is another one that originally comes from my Momma.

Growing up in a family of six, there were always plenty of dishes that needed to be rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher or, after being cleansed, unloaded from the dishwasher. As we got older, us kids were tasked with helping out with the dishes. We were always asking my mom, “Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?”

It should be noted that I was taught that dishes should be rinsed off well before loading into the dishwasher, which makes it difficult to tell if they are clean or dirty since no leftover food particles are present.

To alleviate any confusion, my mom created two simple magnets. One said “Clean” and one said “Dirty.” You can just buy a small package of flexible magnetic tape and leave the white paper on it (that covers the adhesive) and write “Clean” or “Dirty” right on the paper since the adhesive is not needed. You can get a small package of this magnetic tape for around a $1. Or, you can get fancier if desired and have special magnets made.

When the dishes had not yet been run through the cleansing cycle, the Dirty magnet was stuck to the front of the dishwasher door. This way, there was no question as to the cleanliness of the dishes in the dishwasher, and we could continue to load our dishes after meals until it was full later in the day and ready to be started up.

As soon as the cleansing cycle was started, the Dirty magnet was replaced with the Clean magnet. The Clean magnet would remain in place until the now cleansed dishes were unloaded and put away. As soon as the dishwasher is emptied , put the Dirty magnet back on in preparation for dirty dishes to be loaded back in.

Whatever magnet is NOT in use on the dishwasher can just be stuck on the side of the refrigerator or some other nearby and handy metal surface.

I know this seems like a simple process and some dishwashers now have a light indicating if they are clean or not. But if you do not have one of those new-fangled contraptions with the light (which must have been invented by a woman, in my opinion) and you have children helping you with the chores, this is a simple way to keep track of what needs to be done with the dishes.

Random Observations

To the teenage boys who drove by me as I walked on the sidewalk near my house this evening: If I can smell your cologne wafting out your car window as you drive by, it might be time to think about taking a shower and easing up on the smelly stuff in the future.

If you are a part of the WIC program*, please, please, please read the requirements of the items you are receiving before getting to the grocery checkout. If it says store brand cheese only, Kraft doesn’t cut it (pun intended). The people standing in line behind you might be in a hurry to get home after working an 8 hour day and having to wait for the checker to get you the proper item isn’t my idea of fun.

If the grocery cart dropoff is two stalls away from your car, use it. (Unless of course you are shopping alone with a baby or small child or are handicapped. Then all is forgiven.)

*Please note that I do not have anything against WIC. I think it is a great government assistance program. I also appreciate the fact that people can only buy healthy food items on WIC such as milk, cheese, and juice. If only food stamps were as well-mandated.

Pictures finally posted

I have finally gotten our photo gallery updated so that it is current and has all of pictures from June so far, including our vacation.

Here is a small preview of what you will find on our photo gallery.

Adrianna

Adrianna

At the Promised Land Petting Zoo

At the Promised Land Petting Zoo

Playing with the rocks in the lake

Adrianna and Amber

Reimer Family Picture

Reimer Family

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

This weekend we drove up to Wyoming to visit my family and to pick up my little doggies, whom I have missed very much. Chloe and Molly were thrilled to see us and I was equally as excited to see them again.

Cindy’s belly is getting nice and round. She makes a cute pregnant lady. We got to see the babies move. Ah, babies.

On Saturday, Karen and I did some scrapbooking. I will have to post pictures of my pages later. I completed three and am pleased with the way they turned out.

For church on Sunday, my Dad was scheduled to sing the special music. So he asked Karen and I to sing with him and Greg to accompany us on the guitar. We decided to sing Just a Closer Walk With Thee. Karen took soprano, I took alto, and Dad took tenor. It was such a sweet time. We haven’t had an opportunity to sing together in a long time. I know I sure felt blessed by it and I had tears streaming down my face the entire time we were up in front of the church singing.

After church, we watched some old home movies. I had specifically requested to see some videos of me when I was around a year old, which is Adrianna’s current age. Most of the videos didn’t have sound from those early years, but I still really enjoyed seeing myself at her age. I am so thankful for all the videos my parents took of us kids as we were growing up. There are boxes and boxes of them. More than we could watch in one afternoon, so I look forward to another visit where we can watch some more.

An Ode to Poo

I would like to share a small part of my afternoon with you. By song.

To be sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smoky (aka On Top of Spaghetti).

As I changed baby’s diaper
I saw some poo
So I grabbed me some wipies
To clean up the doo.

And right at that moment
Baby became bored
Which made her decide
To squirm some more

And so that nice poopie
And all its galore
Rolled out of the diaper
And onto the floor

Movie Starlet

Future’s so bright…
She's gotta wear shades

She’s gotta wear shades…

Future's so Bright

In the picture above, I was saying “YAY” to Adrianna because she was just so darn cute in her sunglasses, so she started clapping her hands. She still always claps her hands whenever we say “Yay” or when she hears clapping on tv or a live music recording.

Of Bears and Bras

I don’t know why Adrianna finds my bras so much fun to play with. Whenever she happens across one, she will immediately pick it up and start walking around with it. This last time she started playing with them, she even tried to put them on. I think she needs an anatomy lesson though, as she tried to put them on her head like a hat. Hmmm…

Adrianna

Her Mommy has nightmares about bears when she sleeps (REAL bears though), but Miss Banana doesn’t seem to have inherited that fear. She loves her bears. Here she is, snoozing with Pooh and Mr. Bear.
Adrianna and her bears

My baby is 14 months old today. How can this be?

We spent some time at Walmart, picking up groceries since our cupboards were bare after our vacation. Adrianna’s new thing is saying “Hi” or “Hey” or a word that sounds like a combo of the two. She started saying it to Greg on our way home from Kansas yesterday whenever he would open up her van door. Today, she started saying it to people at Walmart. I think that she is proud of the new word acquired and then further encouraged when folks smile and say “Hi” back to her. She was all grins and giggles this afternoon.

The Rest of our Arkansas Trip

Aww, let’s see. Where was I in talking about our Arkansas trip? Oh yes, on to Saturday.

I woke up with much pain, due to my stupid sunburn. I wasn’t alone in this affliction, as many of us had one. But we all have them in different places, which is kinda funny. Kristi’s burn is on her arms, Jeff’s is his legs, Jess has hers on her arms, legs, and upper back, and mine is my upper back and shoulders. I was so careful with Adrianna’s sunscreen lotion, making her wear a hat, and keeping her in the shade for much of the day. Today, she has a light, healthy tan. Too bad I wasn’t as careful with my own health, but I don’t imagine that I will be as careless about spending so much time in the sun sans suncreen in the future! I don’t think I have had a burn this bad since 1998, when I went on a Florida vacation.

Anyways, back to Saturday. It was rainy and overcast most of the day, so we lazed around the cabin for awhile. Reading our books and relaxing. I am reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (again) and am really enjoying it. I cannot wait to go home and watch the movie again, even though I have seen it many, many times.

Saturday afternoon, we drove to Fayetteville and browsed at a great used bookstore. I bought What to Expect – the Toddler Years. I am hoping it will give me some good insights and ideas on how to deal with Adrianna’s little shrieking fits she has from time to time. They usually show up on long car rides or when we are eating at a restaurant. I am pretty sure they are always because she is demanding our attention or from boredom. We were disciplining her for them at first, but you cannot easily do that in public and it also seemed to be giving her the attention (albeit negative) that she was looking for. A couple times she even laughed at me. ARGH. Toddlers are frustrating.

So now we are trying to ignore the bad behaviour, which seems to be working a little better. By ignoring, I mean that we make it obvious that she is being ignored when she behaves that way. The downer to this approach though is all the annoyed stares from other people. You can read it in their eyes, which seem to imply, “Can’t these people control their child?!”

The best solution is, of course, trying to distract and prevent the behaviour before it starts. This, unfortunately, is not always possible though. With a toddler, sometimes a tantrum cannot be checked or it comes without warning. But we are learning to bring cheerios and crackers with us or to ask the waitress to bring us some, and Pronto!

Okay, off of that bunny trail and back onto our time in Fayetteville.

While we were downtown, Greg decided to do a good deed, but it came back and bit him in the butt, so to speak. He saw an empty Funyuns bag on the ground so, being the good citizen that he is, he bent over to pick it up with the intention of discarding it into a nearby trash can.

***RIP***

He tore his britches. He ended up with a HUGE hole in the butt of his jeans. You could see his boxer briefs and his upper thigh, it was so large.

Now here is something that I just love about my husband. He is so laid back and calm. He didn’t seem to mind much about having to walk all over the downtown area of Fayetteville with his rear hanging out for everyone to see. He basically said, “What else can I do?” We were about an hour away from our cabin so he didn’t have a change of clothes handy. So he just went with it. And he didn’t seem too perturbed that Kristi and I busted a gut laughing for at least two blocks afterwards.

After our little shopping excursion, we went to an evening church service at a church that was familiar to Dave and Marilyn. The service was nice and I enjoyed the music. Adrianna cried when we dropped her off at the nursery. I think it was because she was handed off to a man, and men she doesn’t know scare her. So we explained that and he gave her to his wife who was also working in the nursery, while Greg and I watched through a window to make sure Adrianna was going to be okay. She settled down after she was placed into the woman’s lap so we left, even though I was still torn up a little about leaving her. When we went back to pick Adrianna up, we peaked through the window and saw that she was sleeping. Still sitting in the woman’s lap. We were told that she pretty much stayed in her lap the entire service, but that she did fine and the woman enjoyed how loving and cuddly Adrianna was. I am glad that she did okay, but my poor sweet baby. I couldn’t wait to sweep her up and cuddle and love on her myself.

Today, which is Sunday, we packed up our stuff and cleaned up the cabin so that it was left in perfect order, as it was when we arrived. Greg cooked pancakes for brunch. Not long before we left, Greg took me for a ride on one of the four-wheelers. I really enjoyed the ride. Any excuse to sit close to Greg and wrap my arms tightly around him is fun for me! After returning to the cabin and snapping a family photo, we headed back to Kansas.

We went to Montana Mike’s for dinner. As circumstance would have it, the kind couple that lent us their cabin for the week was also dining there. So we all had dinner together.
Once we arrived at the home of my in-laws and unloaded the vans, everyone jumped on the available computers to check email. Oh, the bliss of fast internet service again! And so here I am, updating my blog and enjoying the cable connection at my in-laws.

Oh, I should give an update on the whole story of the stolen cash that I blogged about yesterday. So Friday night, after Dave had picked up his wallet (that had been lost and found the previous day – Thursday) and discovered his cash to be missing, he got a call from the convenience store owner. They found a wad of cash stuffed under the jerky display near the cash register. It wasn’t the full amount of what had been taken, but it was close. The owner had balanced their register and was convinced that it hadn’t fallen out of the register. The way and also the place that the cash was found seemed to look as if perhaps the person who had taken it originally had a change of heart and returned it, but just hadn’t wanted to turn themselves in by actually handing it off to an employee there. The owner was sure it belonged to Dave and wanted to give it to him. Since the amount was a little less (i.e. not the exact amount that was lost), Dave told the owner to hold on to it until the day we were to leave town, just in case another patron came in with a plausible story of having lost that amount of cash. No one claimed it, so we got the money today on our way out of Arkansas. How crazy is that? It was such a nice relief to have the majority of the cash returned. A nice way to end our wonderfully fun, family vacation.

Ice Cream Preferences

A few days ago, we stopped at a Dairy Queen for an ice cream treat. I ordered a yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard. We were all eating outside, it being a nice day and all. And, being the nice mommy that I am, I was letting Adrianna share little bites of it.

As I was preparing to share another bite of my treat, I noticed that Adrianna was still rolling a bite around in her mouth, even though it had been a minute or two since her last bite. So I opened her mouth and saw a small, brown object that I assumed to be a chocolate chip. A bit later, she was still munching on this chocolate chip. I started to get suspicious and opened her mouth again and reached my finger in to pull the chocolate chip out.

It wasn’t a chocolate chip.

As it would turn out, she was chewing on a small, brown pebble. I guess Adrianna prefers “Rocky Road” over Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Vacationing in Arkansas

This week we are on vacation in the beautiful Ozarks in Arkansas. We only have dial-up internet at our cabin that we are staying at, so I haven’t been spending much time online. Actually, it should be said that the cabin we are staying in is actually a second home for some friends of my in-laws, so it is complete with all the comforts of home and we are quite comfortable here. The house is right on Beaver Lake, and it is so peaceful. There are several whitetail deer that have been spending their time in our front yard, and we can recognize at least one young buck by sight now. Whenever he sees us, he comes near and stares at us with his big brown eyes, waiting for one of us to run some corn out to a birdbath where the deer are accustomed to being fed. We have been pointing out the deer to Adrianna, and she enjoys watching them. One afternoon, she was even the first to spot them and pointed out her little finger out into the yard and said excitedly, “Da!”

So to back up, we left Denver on Saturday and drove to Kansas, where we met up with Greg’s parents and his sister, Kristi. On Monday, Kristi and I had a productive afternoon full of shopping. I got myself two new swim suits, one of which I am especially fond of. Surprising, since it IS, after all, a swim suit. Later on Monday, Jeff and Jess joined us. We left for Arkansas on Tuesday afternoon, arriving at the cabin in Arkansas in the late evening.

On Wednesday, we did some touristy sight-seeing, visiting the War Eagle Mill and spending some time at the river that runs by the mill. Adrianna enjoyed playing with the sand and rocks along the banks of the river, and got herself thoroughly muddy. We then spent the evening playing Trivial Pursuit late into the night. Kristi won.

Thursday found us visiting the Promised Land. Not the real Promised Land, but a drive-through park and petting zoo. We all enjoyed feeding and petting the animals. My favorites were the donkeys, the pony, the little pig, and the deer. Adrianna also enjoyed the donkeys. She even tried to cuddle and hug one of the donkeys through the fence by laying her head against the fence as close as she could get it. She had a huge smile on her face. After the Promised Land, we walked around downtown Eureka Springs, but were disappointed that the shops were all closing down, even though it was only 5:00 p.m. and a very fine evening for strolling and window shopping. So after dinner, we came back to our cabin and watched Ice Age.

On Friday, we rented a pontoon boat and took it out on Beaver Lake for the afternoon. Adrianna was not fond of the boat ride. Between the wind in her face and the life jacket that she was forced to wear, she was not a happy camper and let us all know it by crying quite loudly and she would hardly be comforted at all. After eating a picnic lunch on the boat, we found the perfect little cove, so we stopped the boat and swam. By this point, Adrianna also started to enjoy herself. Her lifejacket was able to come off, and she had fun sitting on the shore playing with all the little, smooth rocks and splashing in the water. I love being in the water, and this lake is so clear and relatively warm. I could have spent all day in the water. Which is probably why I have a very painful sunburn at the moment that feels like a million little needles sticking into my back.

Adrianna cried again on the boat ride back to the docks, but finally we were able to comfort her so that she fell asleep for most of the ride back.

For dinner on Friday, we went to Monte Ne Inn chicken. I can see why you need reservations to get into this place – the food was de-li-cious! They only have one meal on the menu, and they serve it family style. Soup, bread, the best fried chicken ever, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, seasoned green beans, and coleslaw. Did I mention that it was delicious? I was also quite pleased with their thoughtfulness towards young children. When we made our reservation, we of course mentioned that we had one baby with us. When we got there, Adrianna had her own place setting, complete with crackers to munch on while we waited on our meal. Her place setting consisted of plastic dishes (read: unbreakable) and only a spoon (no fork or knife like the adults) and paper napkins (instead of the nice cloth ones we had). I thought that was great. They even had a diaper changing station in the bathroom, which always makes me very happy to see when we are out with Adrianna.

After filling ourselves with this amazing, homecooked meal, we stuffed ourselves even more with some dessert: peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler, or in my case, a delectable piece of warm, chocolate cake served with ice cream. YUM.

One downer on the trip was the loss of my father-in-law’s wallet on Thursday. He is on crutches following an extensive surgery on his ankle, so it is easy to see how it accidently got left behind after paying for some water at a nearby gas station. Friday morning, he went back to the gas station and thankfully his wallet had been turned in with his driver’s license and credit cards intact. But his large amount of cash, reserved for our pontoon boat rental, was gone. We thought about canceling the pontoon boat portion of our vacation, but then we decided that we were all looking forward to it and decided to pool the fee amongst all of us. But when we got to the docks to pick up our boat, we found out that the people who are letting us borrow their cabin had already paid for the boat for us as a gift. (They did not know about the lost cash; they are just very giving people.) We feel so blessed and are so glad we didn’t cancel the boat after all!

We have been taking pictures which I will post after we get back to Colorado.

The Cow Says Bvoo

Adrianna has been really good about repeating words back to me when I say them to her. She can also recognize many words and act on that word recognition, such as when we ask her,”Where’s your bear?” She talks all the time, baby gibberish, and I have been wondering how much of it is actual words that we just haven’t been observant enough to recognize. I received my answer on Saturday.

We were outside, near a large wheat field, when a bird flew by. Adrianna pointed to the bird and said, “Buh!” If I hadn’t also seen the bird, I may not have realized that she was referring to a bird and just attributed it to more of her babytalking that she so often does.

Also on Saturday, I handed her one of her toy cows. Usually when we play with this cow, she will make a cow noise back to me after I make the “moo” sound first. This time though, she made her cow sound, “Bvoo” without any prompting. I was SO excited.

She also now makes a low, throat-clearing noise for her duck (Quack) and pig (Oink) toys. So either Adrianna has made a break-through in associating and making sounds with words that she already knew (without needing some prompting first), or Mommy has started paying more attention to the subtle noises that are beginning to be real words.

Our Corolla is Now Officially Ours

Hooray – our 2002 Toyota Corolla is paid off! We got the title in the mail today. I am SO thrilled. I have been doubling up on the payments for the past few months, which enabled us to pay it off six months early. It is such a relief to have one less debt to our name. I love our Corolla too. Other than routine maintenance, oil changes, and one trip to the auto shop to fix a tire (because I hit a curb-oopsie!), we have never had to take it in for fixing in the 4.5 years we have had it. I love this little, reliable car.

Now that the car is paid off, I am hoping to apply that extra money each month to double up on payments for our minivan or my last remaining student loan. My goal is to not have any outstanding debt outside of a mortage payment in maybe 2 years. How freeing would that be? Of course, then we will have to start thinking about Adrianna’s schooling, since we have already decided that she will not be attending the public schools in our district (based on trustworthy recommendations from another mom with school-aged children). *sigh* I guess there is always something that pulls on the pursestrings.

To Wax or Not to Wax – That Seems to be the Question

This evening, I met a couple girlfriends for dinner at CB&Potts while Greg stayed home with Adrianna. It was so nice to have some girl time. We were there for two and a half hours, chatting about life and griping about work. How fun. I feel so good tonight though. My shoulders have been tight all week but right now they are feeling pretty darn good and relaxed. I think I just needed some time to unwind.

After dinner, I drove around looking for a nail place that was open. It seems that most of them close at 7 or 7:30. I finally found one that was open, but I think the only reason they were open late was because they were having a special promotion.

I really like this new place. The people were very friendly and my pedicure looks fantastic. I don’t get pedicures often; in fact, I think this is only the 4th one that I have ever gotten one. But the last two of the four times I have gone for one, I have been asked the same question. The question is not, “Are you going to get your fingernails done too?” but, “Are you going to get your eyebrows waxed too?” Tonight, two separate people actually asked me that question. Both the lady who did my pedicure and the girl at the counter. Keep in mind that this was my first time at this new nail place. So that makes three separate ladies at two separate nail salons. Hmmmm…

So I have thick eyebrows. I will be the first to admit that I really don’t do anything with them. No plucking, no shaping, no waxing. I have never really felt the need. I am sure they need a little work and there are a couple places where maybe they look a little crazy, but overall I think they are okay. Plus, once you start down the road of plucking or waxing, you pretty much have to keep it up. So, unless I start growing a unibrow, I don’t expect that I will take any action on my eyebrows.

Something is Missing

My parents are dog-sitting for us for a couple weeks. They took the dogs home with them yesterday, and I have been missing those sweet pups since the moment they left. Everything I do now is a little different without them. No jingling (from their collars) following me from room to room in the house. No Molly May sleeping at my feet as I spend time on the computer. No little warm bodies sleeping at my feet in our bed during the night. No little companions content to sit in my lap or near me as I watch tv. No vacuum cleaners to eat the food thrown on the floor by Adrianna during mealtimes. I sure miss those little dogs. They are such a part of our lives. I feel like a family member is missing.