Monthly Archives: July 2006

An Afternoon at the Pool

I took Adrianna to an indoor public pool this afternoon. I recently discovered that we have a pool and library really close to our house. Only took me 4.5 years to realize that they are only a couple blocks away from the grocery store that we frequent. *shakes head*

Anyways, back to this afternoon. This was Adrianna’s first swimming pool experience. She loves bath time and she loved wading in the lake on our Arkansas vacation, so I knew it had to be a hit. Plus, I really love being in the water myself.

It was a fun trip. Adrianna did love being in the water and making splashes, but she was very timid about the whole water thing and wanted me to hold her for a long time. Eventually we progressed to her standing on her own (we were in the shallow end) but she still kept one hand on me the majority of the time and would often get back into my lap so I could hold her some more. Which was fine with me. My main concern was how tightly her little fist would grab the top of my suit. I was afraid that she would pull it down and expose areas that I would rather keep under wraps when in public. Thankfully no crises to report.

I could tell Adrianna was enjoying herself. She smiled and laughed at everyone, even if they weren’t looking at her. These were huge, joyful baby smiles that encompassed her entire being, to the extent that her sweet little nose would wrinkle up. I think she likes swimming as much as her mommy does.

There was just a couple times where my mommy reflexes weren’t fast enough, and Adrianna did lose her balance and grip on me a couple of times to where her face planted into the water. She was brave though. I picked her up immediately and she didn’t shed a tear even though I could tell it scared her.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon. I am looking forward to spending more time at the pool. I don’t know why I waited so long in the first place.

New Scrapbook Gallery

I am having so much fun with digital scrapbooking that I have decided to create a “gallery” for all the digital pages I create. It is in my navbar up above. Go ahead and click on it. You know you want to.

The nice thing about having a separate gallery is that one can click on the thumbnails to see a larger image of the scrapbook page. I always keep the images that I post on my blog small, with a width of only 300 pixels, so that I have more flexibility to change my blog design without having to worry about resizing all the images that are on my two years worth of posts. Now that I will be posting larger images elsewhere, I will make the pictures I post here on my blog link to the larger image as well.

Reimers in Estes Park

Disclaimer for my mother: Don’t worry, I will blur out or remove any information from the pages that I post that may be considered too personal so that the crazies don’t track us down. 🙂

Pigtails and ‘Pasghetti (Scrapbook Page)

I made this page using (mostly) Adobe Photoshop. It made for an easy way to fit 6 pictures all on one page. The orange background was taken directly from the color of the spaghetti on Adrianna’s face (using the eyedropper tool).
Pigtails and 'Pasghetti

This page is of Karen’s college graduation back in 2004. It was created with the assistance of Scrapbook Factory Deluxe and some free e-cuts that I downloaded from computerscrapbook.com.
Karen's Graduation

Please tell me I heard wrong

So I am just sitting here at my computer like I do most evenings after Adrianna is in bed. My computer sits right next to a window in our upstairs loft, which I have open right now due to the welcomed coolness of the evening night air. All is quiet, peaceful. Crickets are chirping. Greg is reading a book in bed, the dogs are sleeping at my feet.

So when I heard a noise that sounded like water hitting the ground, my first reaction was to look around me in confusion. I quickly got up from my chair to see if Greg was in the bathroom running water, but no, he was still in bed reading Cryptonomicon. (Man, I cannot believe I remembered and spelled that right on the first try. Just don’t ask me to pronounce it.)

It was after I got up from my chair that I realized where the sound was coming from. Outside my opened window. This all happened so fast, so the noise was still going. Then I distinctly heard the shakes. ShakeShake. Well, I didn’t hear the shakes of course, but I heard the results of the shakes.

It was then that I realized it had to be a man peeing outside the window.

Gross, gross, gross!

That has got to be what it was. Nothing else makes sense. Anyone who is a man or is married to one knows about or has overheard the characteristic shake, shake, so I am convinced that is what I heard. I am assuming it is the next door neighbor. Due to the shortness of the event and the late hour, I doubt very much that it was a garden hose.

This is from the same neighbor’s house that provided the bomb scare at 1:45 a.m. back in May.

You may not believe it, but we really do live in a decent neighborhood. Really, we do. So I keep telling myself.

I Have Succumbed

I finally gave in to the MySpace.com pressure and setup a profile for myself last night. I tried resisting, but too many other people that I know have defected already so I decided to go with the flow. I don’t plan on blogging over there or anything, but I am already excited that I have found some old college friends on there already. For this reason, I can see why the site is becoming so popular in spite of all that it lacks in other areas. I have had so much fun tonight looking at pictures and current profiles of friends that I have lost touch with over the past 6 years.

Schmoozing

Ann and I went to the work dinner with the divisional personnel on Thursday evening. It was so worth it. By the end, I felt like I got to know a few of my coworkers much better. I am just bummed that they live all over the country so that we don’t get to work together (i.e. same location) even though we work together as a team. But yet Ann and I technically are not a part of that team even though all the work we do is for that team and we love that team and I feel that we really belong there. But for some reason we are still in a different department. Ah, Corporate politics. I don’t think I want to ever play that game nor will I ever fully understand it.

I ordered myself a nice apple sangria. I decided what the heck, this is a fun get-together and even better, the company is paying for it. 🙂 And after the day I’d had, I needed some downtime.

After I got home, I was just abuzz with excitement after my enjoyable evening so I talked Greg’s ear off about everything that went on and different things that were discussed. He says that I was schmoozing my way up in the company. Haha. (That’s really not true.) It really is more that I enjoy their company. Some of us stayed pretty late talking shop and about our families and there were hugs all around when we left. What a great evening.

TV Turnoff Update

I had posted a few weeks ago about Adrianna’s new attraction to buttons, specifically the power button on the TV. A blogging buddy, Nettie, mentioned that one method we could try is leaving the volume on really loud so that when she turns the tv on, it would startle her. This totally worked.

We actually did this a couple days ago, but it was unintentional. And truth be told, Adrianna did it to herself. I can totally claim innocence on this one.

She had been messing with several buttons. I don’t know what she did, but she had gotten the tv to a channel that was all static and had the volume on pretty loud. So when she turned the tv on, it was a loud and sudden static noise. It did startle her, and she ran to me with a quivering lower lip, outreached arms, and a frightened look on her face. I immediately turned off the tv and gathered her up into my lap and all was well. She didn’t touch the tv for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Unfortunately her memory was short, and she was back at it the next day. As a longer-term solution, Greg is creating a small wooden device that will effectively block the power button from being able to be pushed by little fingers, so that we will use the remote for turning it off and on. The bottom part of it slides underneat the tv so that it is solidly in place and cannot be easily moved. Here is a picture of our tv:

TV
Can you see the dust? The bottom 3 or 4 inches are dustfree and covered with little baby handprints, with a few distinct finger marks rising above the rest as if she had really stretched to reach up higher. The remainder of the tv screen that lies above those bottom inches is dusty, but clear of prints. Just a sign of how high Adrianna can reach.

Man, this picture looks so dusty that I feel like I need to physcially wipe off the picture displayed on my screen. I guess it is safe to say that my tv is in dire need of a good dusting.

Just Miscellaneous Thoughts

Adrianna is turning into a little monkey. She loves to climb up on our furniture. She’ll rock in the rocking chair, bounce on the cushions of the couch, and walk around on top of the coffee table.

Adrianna on the coffee table

Adrianna on the coffee table

Adrianna on the coffee table

On the days where I work and Adrianna is in childcare for part of the day, Greg is usually the one responsible for getting her ready and dropping her off at the neighbor’s house. This is really nice for me, because it is so hard for me to have to actually do the dropping off and leaving. Since I went in to work late yesterday because of Adrianna’s eye appointment, I got to be a part of the morning routine and the later dropoff and childcare. It was so tough.

Adrianna has a little game that she plays with Janette when Greg drops her off. Adrianna will smile at Janette but then when Janette reaches for her, Adrianna acts all shy and turns away while holding on to Greg. But she always has a good time at Janette’s and doesn’t really make a fuss when Greg leaves. But yesterday was a little tougher. Since I was there and we were taking her over there later than usual, her schedule was thrown off. She did the usual game with Janette but she would not let me go. It really tugged at my heart. She didn’t cry though and wasn’t upset about being there. She just wanted me to continue holding her. After awhile, Janette coaxed her inside with the other kids by showing her a much loved dollhouse. Then, Mommy and Daddy were completely forgotten in favor of the toy and other children. I was glad to see firsthand just how good a time she has over at Janette’s.

My cuddlebug is now sleeping soundly in her crib with her bears. The first thing she does when we put her in her crib at night is reach for her big bear and give him a big “bear” hug. Her face always lights up at the sight of him.

Adrianna and her bears

Adrianna’s Eye Exam

Adrianna had a routine eye exam today. It was just a follow-up appointment to see how things are going, since the eye doctor had thought she may be just slightly near-sighted at her previous free InfantSEE checkup. The verdict from the doctor is that Adrianna still appears to shy away from things getting near her face or nose and that her eyes aren’t crossing enough. But the doctor said it is slight enough to where there really isn’t a concern other than preventative measures and a followup appointment to make sure any potential near-sightedness hasn’t increased.

I am not fully convinced that there is anything wrong. One sign the eye doctor looks for when looking for near-sightedness in a child is to move a small object closer and closer to the child’s face and nose. If the child looks in another direction, it is thought that it may be because they are unable to focus on things up close, so it overwhelms them and they look away. So, I think there is the possibility that it may appear that Adrianna is nearsighted because she isn’t herself at the doctor’s office and tends to look away when overwhelmed by people she doesn’t know.

But no matter what, Greg and I are going to keep an “eye” on things and do some little eye exercises with her to help her focus on small objects as they get nearer and nearer to her face. Better safe than sorry. Just in case there is something going on, I want to be sure that we take all preventative measures to help stave off complications or learning delays in the future.

Team Member Meet-up

Today was an exciting day at work for me. Some of my favorite coworkers, even though we’d never met face to face before this afternoon, are here in Colorado. Our company flew in about 30 people from our divisional offices all over the states. Many of these people I have been working with during my entire time with the company. A few I have met before. I have worked and talked to these coworkers so often through the years, so I was really excited to meet them and to finally be able to put a face to each of their names and voices. The meeting was everything I had hoped for. It was almost like meeting up with old friends after many years or perhaps meeting a pen pal for the first time. There were even hugs from a few of the ladies that I have worked more closely with over the past year or two.

We were told that there was to be a dinner on Thursday for all these team members who had flown in, so we asked their manager (another person whom we deal closely and have a good relationship with) if we could go too so we could get to know our coworkers better outside of work. He absolutely agreed without hesitation, so Ann and I are anticipating that dinner in a couple of days. I feel a little silly about how giddy I am about this, but I guess it is just because these people are such a great team to work with and I am pleased to be a part of it all.

Digital Scrapbooking

I tried out my brand new printer tonight for a real dose of digital scrapbooking. I had tried my hand at digital scrapbooking before, but I prefer my scrapbooks to be in the 12″x12″ format rather than the standard paper size of 8.5″x11″.

Enter my new Epson printer. This amazing piece of equipment can print up to 13 inches wide! I love this thing. It did a fantastic job and I wasn’t even using photo paper, so I am thrilled to pieces.

Here is the layout I completed tonight. It is of Cindy’s highschool graduation from back in 2004.

Cindy's Highschool Graduation

A Little Lesson on What NOT to Say

I have a large birthmark on my right arm that extends from my right shoulder all the way down my arm and onto my hand, thumb, and pointer finger. This particular type of birthmark is aptly named a “port-wine stain” due to its reddish purple color. (It turns more bluish purple when I am cold.) You can see a portion of it in this picture below.

Amber and Adrianna

I guess one benefit of having a birthmark on my right arm and hand is that I have never, ever had a problem determining left from right like so many children (and adults) do. I always knew that my birthmark arm was the right arm, and so I learned right from left that way until it became completely natural to where I don’t even need to think about it.

Having lived with it my entire life, it has become such a part of who I am that I hardly even notice my birthmark anymore. Except when people make comments or ask questions without thinking first about how their questions may sound to the recipient, namely me.

So, here is a little lesson on what NOT to say if you notice someone has an unusual mark on their body. These are all based on my personal experience:

  1. Is that a rash? (I hate this one. It makes me feel contagious or something. Yes, sir. I just shook your hand with my contagious rash. Let me rub my right arm all over you to make it worse and so you can catch it too.)
  2. Is that psoriasis? (Considering the fact that psoriasis is a skin-disease, this is another one I hate as bad as the rash one.)
  3. Is that a burn?
  4. Is that cancer?
  5. Is that a hickie? (Yeah, my husband got a little extra amorous last night.)
  6. What is that? What’d you do? or What happened to you? (These questions really don’t bother me at all, but I am sure some people in my situation could be bothered by them.)

This little post is prompted by something that happened to me in church today. At the end of the service, everyone was shaking hands with the people around them. I had just shaken an older gentleman’s hands when he asked me question #3, “Is that a burn?” So I explained that no, it was a birthmark. Then he said, “You can cover that up you know.”

WHA???

That’s a new one. I did not know what to say back to that. The last thing I want to do is wear a turtleneck with long sleeves and a glove to cover this thing up. It is 106 degrees out there today and it is also the year 2006 where such “flaws” do not need to be a thing of shame and hidden away. And like I said, I don’t even notice it anymore until I receive stupid, inane comments.

Afterwards, Greg leaned over and whispered into my ear, “I apologize on behalf of that older, thoughtless gentleman.”

I am not really taking offense to this incident though. The guy was like 80 years old, so it makes it less of an offense in my mind. Grandparent-types and little kids can be easily forgiven for not thinking before speaking. Too bad they only make up a portion of the population who asks me questions without thinking their words through first.

A Toy Story

While I don’t want Adrianna to grow up because I am enjoying this age so much, there will be a few nice things about her getting older. No more diapers, better communication, and a new one I am adding to my list: the toys!

At the risk of sounding like a bad mom, sometimes I get bored when I am home for too long. I do enjoy playing with Adrianna, but there are only so many times I can name the same pictures in the same books over and over before going crazy out of my mind. And putting shapes through the shape sorter is just too easy for me. But there is hope in sight. As Adrianna gets older, the toys get more fun!

Greg and I visited Toys ‘R Us last night and browsed through almost every aisle. Well, he skipped over the little girl toys and I skipped over the little boy toys. But as I was looking at so many of the toys, I started getting excited for the day when Adrianna will want to play with some of them. For me it was Kitchen Sets, Lincoln Logs, and My Little Pony. For Greg, Legos.

While we are on the subject of Legos, we discovered that they have a new set of legos out called Lego Quatro. They are for kids ages 1-3. The great thing about these new legos is that, even though they are eight times larger than the Lego Duplo bricks (which are larger than regular legos), they can all still be used together. So as she gets older, she can still use the Lego Quatro bricks that we bought her with Lego Duplo and regular legos. Hooray! I guess this means that we are stuck buying the brand name building blocks. Kudos to a good marketing ploy, Lego Company.

I cannot wait to get Adrianna a little kitchen set. I had one growing up, and I remember that I loved it. I enjoyed making “meals” with the fake foods that came with it and enjoyed playing house. The kitchen sets they make today are much more complex than the one I had growing up. They are so fancy; much fancier than my real kitchen, that is for sure.

When I was telling Greg how excited I was to buy a kitchen set for Adrianna because of how much fun I had with mine growing up, he said with a smirk, “Sure didn’t do YOU much good though, did it?” Touch. You got me; I don’t like to cook. And speaking of cooking, my stomach is growling so I need to go make dinner now.

Fort

Daddy made a little fort for Miss Banana tonight out of a large box. It was an instant hit.

Adrianna and her fort

Adrianna and her fort

Adrianna and Chloe in the fort

Can you see her eyes peeking out the little window?
Daddy and Adrianna

A Day at the Zoo

Today Adrianna and I spent the afternoon at the Denver Zoo with Janette and the other kids in her childcare. Another mom went along too. And let me tell you, I am exhausted. It was hot today and we walked all over the place and also had to walk several blocks from our parking spot just to get into the zoo since it was so busy. As Greg would say, “My dogs are barkin'”

Besides us three adults, we had quite a few kids along: a three year old, a two year old, Adrianna (at 14 months), an 11 month old, and two five year olds. What a troop! Also along were Janette’s two older sons (12 and 11) and one of their friends who is also 11. The three older boys were such a help to us, offering to pull the wagon or push the two strollers and also helping to keep an eye on the younger children, who are prone to wander as most children are.

This was my first trip to the Denver Zoo since I was a little girl. It is a pretty nice zoo and we enjoyed our time there. I don’t think we hit half of the exhibits and such, but I bought a membership which means that I don’t have to pay admission for a year for our family. So I hope to go back with Adrianna a few more times before that year is up.
Today we saw:

  1. Flamingos (Flamingoes?)
  2. Elephants
  3. Black Bears
  4. A Grizzly Bear (Scary!)
  5. Kangaroos
  6. Zebras
  7. Giraffes (including a small baby one that was adorable)
  8. Gorillas (including a baby one that is the same age as Adrianna – 14 months)
  9. Cheetahs
  10. Penguins
  11. Sea Lions
  12. Polar Bears (I think these were Adrianna’s favorite – she kept proclaiming “Da! Da!” whenever she saw one.)

I am sure there are more animals that we saw too, but those were the main highlights for today.

For our trip, I went out and purchased a little red wagon. It worked out great. Adrianna seemed to enjoy riding in it, and we were also able to let the other children hitch a ride with her when they got tired.

Adrianna at the Zoo

Speaking of tired, after I put Adrianna into her carseat in the van, she was asleep before we even left the parking lot. She slept all the way home and then, after I moved her to her crib, she slept for another hour and a half.