Thursday, June 26, 2008

Free Willy

Heh. Literally.

We bought Nathan a pool this week.
We came home from town and filled it up and he wanted in immediately. So we stripped off his diaper, and he got in. The water was freezing, but he loved it! I do have swim diapers for him, but am too cheap to put them on him when he's at home. What's the point anyways? It's not going to catch any pee, and if he happens to poop, it's not like we can't just dump the pool out. Plus - I'm a fan of the skinny dipping myself.
Grandma (Paul's mom) watched him while Paul and I frantically worked in the garden and mowed the yard before the forecasted deluge (which never materialized). I'm not sure how long he played in the pool, but the next time I looked over there, he was conked on the swing in Grandma's arms. (Definitely a recipe for sleeping: naked, sunshine, swing. What more could a baby boy want?)

And I have no idea why the text and photos are lined up like this, but I'm just too lazy to care. I figured you could enjoy the pictures anyways.


Have you ever committed an expulsion of gas so rank and so vile that you had to take a second whiff just to be sure that a stench so foul really could come from a living human body?
You haven't?
Oh. Well..... Neither have I.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swimsuit Shopping

Just when I was starting to feel good about my new mommy figure, I went swimsuit shopping.
It was not to be avoided. My last swimsuit I got when I was a senior in high school. It hasn't fit well for the last couple years, but since I don't swim much, I just wore it anyways.
But now post-Nathan, everything is shaped different. And we're going on a trip this weekend, and staying at a hotel with a pool. Decent swimsuit has become a necessity.
And let me tell you about the selection of swimsuits at Wal Mart. There are three choices. We have the super-trendy: chunky beads, gold chains, and belts. We have the old lady: garish Hawaiian print and huge tent-shaped skirts. We have the cheap: thin fabric and no extra padding (which is necessary not for adding size, but for the "nip guard" factor).
Of all of the one-pieces there were only two that I'd even think about being seen in public in - a dark red one and a black and white one. So I took those two selections into the dressing room where I found out two lessons immediately:
Even though I recently bought a size 12 dress, and size 14 jeans, a swimsuit that says 12/14 isn't guaranteed to fit. I got it up about mid-thigh and thought, "This isn't going to work." But I reminded myself that swimsuits need to be snug, so I writhed and wriggled and got it on up. I got it over my shoulders and looked in the mirror. As I see bits of myself bulging out of every opening, I realized lesson #2. Swimsuits are apparently sized to fit women more in the 5'6" range. The neckline of this thing was residing somewhere decidedly below my neckline. Well below.
I went back to the rack, only to find that this late in the season, there are gaps in the sizes. And the gaps are always the size that I need. I did find the red one in the next two sizes. The next size up still made me a little bulgy on the bottom half, so I put on the next size bigger - do you know what it did to my pride to be trying on size 18/20? Not that there's anything wrong with wearing that size, but I thought I was a size 12/14!
The bigger size fit okay, but I just didn't like how it looked enough to justify spending $30. If I'm going to drop that type of money on clothing, I want to love it, and love how I look in it.
Back to the racks.
Having exhausted the possibilites in one-pieces, I moved on to the two pieces.
I don't know why they make bikinis that fit gals like me. I'm pretty sure the rest of the world doesn't want to see me in a string bikini. I don't want to see me in a sting bikini.
I thought about one of those tankinis, but realized I would still have to wear something so cover the rest of my [wonderfully stretch-marked] belly. Plus, there was only one that didn't have some hideous belt on the bottom. So I looked at the basic bikinis.
Don't picture it too much, but what I settled on was a plain brown bikini, some cute brown swim shorts, and an orange tank. Four pieces that fit me better, and still cost less than that one-piece. And I am happier with this selection, because that means that when Nathan and I are hanging out in our kiddie pool in the backyard, I can just wear the two pieces and get a sort of a tan (as much as you can in the shade).
Because my one-year-old won't judge me for looking hideous in a bikini.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Whole Weekend Is My Birthday

So I'm just pretending my birthday is today.
It isn't.
But that didn't keep me from staying in my pajamas ALL DAY until I got dressed to go out to eat with my family.
What I accomplished today:
  1. Fixing breakfast for myself.
  2. Starting on curtains for Nathan's room. (After 9+ months of having all the materials.)
  3. A two-hour nap.
  4. Gorging myself on a 12-ounce KC Strip with salad and french fries.

And tomorrow I will accomplish more of the same. And then repeat it again Sunday, which is my actual birthday.

Any guesses to how old I'm going to be?

We were too lazy to go get the pot of gold.

After yesterday evening's "severe" thunderstorm, I noticed sunlight streaming into our west windows. Since I could still hear rain on the roof, I peeked outside of our east windows to see if there happened to be a rainbow.
And this is what I saw.

Obviously, the photos overlap a bit, but that gives you an idea of the scope of this wonder. And you can't see it in these photographs, but it was a fully double rainbow.
One end of it was in our neighbor's pasture.
The other end was next to the silo at the house around the corner.
Seeing so clearly "the end of the rainbow" made me want to embrace the kid in me, and go chasing the end of that rainbow, to see if there really might be a leprechaun and a pot of gold.
It really was a beautiful evening. It continued to sprinkle while we pranced around taking photos. The sunlight on the raindrops was almost magical. Especially from the south side of the house where we could take it all in without getting wet.

Paul got this great shot of the yucca plant blooming in our front yard. I curse them every time I mow, but they really are kind of pretty when they're in bloom.

Maybe my benevolent attitude toward the rain - which we don't need any more of! - is due to the fact that for the first time in a month, we were able to get in the garden. Carrie and I got all the corn weeded on Wednesday, and Paul got the whole thing tilled yesterday. Now I have a better feeling about it being able to dry out and that we may be gaining ground in our fight against the weeds.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Am So Martha

So according to Carrie (the Friendly Cashier), Wal Mart sells cow tongue, which no one in their right mind would pay money for. However, a clothespin bag, which I'd say at least 50% of households would use, they do not sell.
Go figure.
Chalk it up to another reason I hate that place, yet I have no choice to go there to do my non-grocery shopping, since we live in a small town and they've driven all the other choices out of business. Which makes me hate them even more.
But that's not what this post is about. It's about clothespin bags. That's where I went off.
My clothespin bag has been falling apart. First it was a small tear at the top. The tear got longer and longer and eventually the whole backside was split top to bottom. Fortunately, there were clothespins handy, so I pinned it up and made do.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I got out the sewing machine and made myself one. Yes, I cheated and used a pants leg, but when you have a pants leg lying around, why not do something useful with it?
And I'd like to point out these buttonholes on the back. I made them all by myself. Without "obtaining a buttonhole attachment" or "using the buttonhole setting" as said when I looked up "how to make a button hole". My machine doesn't have that setting. It doesn't even have an instruction manual.
I am so talented.
But before you go getting all jealous of me, because I know all of you are wishing you could be as smart and clever as I am, I will show you the "jenius" occurance of the week:

This is what happens when you assume that you've got enough of a base tan to go and weed in the garden for two hours without sunscreen. Oops.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Addendum to Paul's Rant

So on our way home from Williamsburg on Sunday, we noticed something.
On every one of those arrow signs, there are TWO signs. One for traffic going FROM Williamsburg, one for those traveling TOWARDS Williamsburg. We didn't notice that because a lot of times we'll take the interstate or a country road out, then come back Old 50.
And there were 11 more signs than we originally thought - ones that were on the curve before we started counting. So that's 169 signs total.
So that adds $7200 to the cost of the signs.
And then Paul pointed out that the posts were silver, which were more expensive than the green signs we originally figured. $4 more. So that makes a difference of $676.
For a grand total of: $17,918.
Paul totaled it out to:
14 signs per mile.
$106.02 per sign.
$1518.47 per mile.
29c per foot.
Enjoy the scenic drive.

Yeah, I know this is a bit over the top. But government waste really rankles me. Here a couple years ago, these yellow signs showed up all over the county at railroad crossings. You know, because there were so many trucks with low-boy trailers getting high-centered. Apparently. It's like people are too dumb to realize that the same railroad crossing (or curvy road) has the same "perils" it has for however many years. So they must spend our hard-earned money to put up signs.
Sometimes I wonder if the people that make the decisions to spend money on these retarded projects have to pay taxes. You'd think if they did, they'd think twice about what they spend money on, since it's their money too.
And may I mention AGAIN the shape that the roads are STILL in after the deluge two weeks ago? They can spend almost $20,000 on unnecessary signs, but apparently can't afford to pay a road maintainer to fix the washouts!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Moment of Panic

The last two weeks, my son's up-with-the son schedule and my can't-sleep-when-Paul's-working-nights collided big time. Except for that one morning, when he slept until 9:15. I went to check if he was still breathing. Twice. He has NEVER done that before.

Anyways. It used to be that when he woke up, the first thing he'd want to do is eat, so I'd put him in bed with me and he'd nurse and I'd doze. Then he began crawling, and there was just too much stuff that he needed to explore for him to lay there and do something as menial as eat.

Since I've only gotten 4-ish hours of sleep, I'd put him on the floor in the living room, and block off the doorway with the dining room chairs, then lay down on the couch and doze in and out.

Well apparently this morning I dozed out for longer than I thought. I had been half asleep and knew I could hear Nathan, but then realized he wasn't in the living room. He had crawled under the chairs and escaped! But I could hear him banging on something, and being happy. But he wasn't in the dining room or kitchen. So I figured he was in the bathroom playing with his bath toys. No.... I didn't see him, but I could still hear him, so I checked the back porch. (With visions of him in the cat box - gag.) No..... Then I turned around, and what do I see?

Yeah, he'd climbed the stairs. All 15 of them. And he was as pleased as punch with himself.

Previous attempts at stairs-climbing have proved disastrous. Just last week he made it up three or four while I was in the bathroom (I though he stayed in the kitchen), and fell. And screamed. He gets up there a ways, then decides to take a break and sit down, but they aren't wide enough, so he tumbles off.

Needless to say, my heart was in my throat when I saw him up there. But it really didn't need to be, since he was already up there.

So I guess I can kiss goodbye to my gradual-waking mornings. Ulgh. I need a coffee.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Just in It for the Stuff

My friend Carrie writes these things called "Letters from Your Friendly Cashier". They're her insights as night cashier at the local Market. And her encounters with the locals. She's published them into two books (volumes 1 and 2), and is GIVING THEM AWAY. (Ooh, getting all jiggy with the link-overs.)
Needless to say, I want my own copies, so I'm telling you on my blog about her give-away. And I'd like you to win them, really I would, but the more people that sign up, the less chance I have at winning, so how 'bout you just let me win, and I'll let you look at the books afterwards?

A Rant for Paul

It's 8:30, and for the first time EVER, I think, Nathan's still asleep. He did get to bed late, but usually that doesn't matter.... He's up with the sun.
That being the case, I'll post Paul's carefully-researched rant while I enjoy my breakfast burrito (with jalepenos!) and coffee.
Now don't get me wrong - this is a rant I'd usually go off about, too, but he did all of the research.
I don't know if any of you get on the stretch of Old Highway 50 between Williamsburg and Ottawa that often, but on our way home last night, we noticed they'd made an addition. I think we noticed it last time we drove that stretch, but at night it's glaringly obvious. And I do mean glaring.
See, Old 50 is a curving road. It meanders it's way through the county like so many old highways. The curves have been there for years, ever since that highway was constructed, like almost 80 years ago (at least). They're not something new. And we're not talking switchbacks here, folks. Just gentle, meandering curves! But apparently the county decided that folks weren't aware of the curves, and that they needed to put up a bunch of these signs to make folks aware that there are curves in the road.
And by a bunch of signs, I mean 158. In 12 miles.
We first noticed them on the long curve just as you leave Williamsburg. You can't help but notice them. They have placed at least 25 of these signs along that curve. That's what started the whole counting spree. We're not usually that obsessive. Even me.
We discussed the "why" between countings. Which gave us like 30 seconds of speculation between each curve. There were no less than 5 posted at any slight bend in the road. Have there been that many accidents along 50 recently? Do people leaving the rib joint need that much help realizing there are curves in the road? Even if they are a little sloshed, it's not like you can't see them if you're going at a normal amount of speed with your headlights on. But just in case, we now have 160 Golden Beacons for Franklin County drunks!
We did notice that for over half of the trip, the signs were all stationed in multiples of 5: 5, 10, or 15 at every curve. Then all the sudden there was only 9 at one.... Then 14.... Then 8... Which lead to speculation: maybe the workers putting them up took some ribs and beer to go?
When we got home, Paul went right to the research. This is what he found.
Signs: $40 each
Posts: $18 each
Bolts: $1 for two (two per sign)
So we're looking at $59 per sign. And let me remind you, there were 158 signs. Do you want me to do the math? That's $9,322. Just for the signs.
Let's say it took 3 guys to do the job. And lets say it took 3 days. Yes, I know, it would take one good ol' farm boy one day to do the job. But these are county workers.... Two have to lean on shovels making sure the third is doing the job correctly. And then lets not forget the possibility of ribs to go..... I'm sorry, I digress.
And let's say they get paid $10 an hour. I'm sure it's a lot more than that, but lets just say it. Mainly because I can figure $10 in my head much easier than $17.86.
So 3 guys, 3 8-hour days, at $10 an hour..... $720.
For a grand total of: $10,042.
For curve signs.
On a curvy road.
That everyone already knew was curvy.
Now here's the rant: If they have that type of money to spend on unnecessary road signs, then WHY THE DEUCE can't they keep roads at our end of the county properly maintained? The roads are in a constant state of washout, due to the fact that they have not maintained the ditches - so water runs down the road every time it rains, carrying off all the gravel.
And our taxes went up again this year. Looking at this one example (I'm sure there's others) of what I would call completely unnecessary spending, again I say.....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rachel's Recipes

I've had something similar at a restaurant, so decided to try it myself.

2 slices bread (Texas toast is best.)
2 slices cheese
1 thin slice tomato
several slices of bacon (I used packaged "real bacon" bacon bits. I'm lazy.)

You all know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, I'm sure. For this recipe, simply put the bacon and tomato on between the two slices of cheese. Grill it until it's nice and toasty and melted.
If you want lettuce or spinach or other "greenery", put it on after it's cooked, else it will get all floppy and limp and gross. (I learned this the hard way.)
The only thing it's missing is a mayonaise, but I couldn't figure out how to cook it with the mayo without having it fall apart.
Quite scrumptuous. I'm pretty sure I'll will never have a grilled cheese without tomato from now on.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

6 Quirky Things About Me

Finally getting around to Carrie's tag. Then off of her tag, I was tagged again by Lurenda and Justin.

* Link to the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules in your blog.
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
* Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking to them.

1. I can't cook a real meal unless the kitchen is clean. Like dishes washed, counters wiped, faucets shining. And I hate HATE H-A-T-E cleaning the kitchen. So we eat a lot of grilled cheese, quesadillas, etc. - the types of meals that don't require any prep.
2. I am double-jointed in my thumbs.
3. I have an abnormal amount of gray hair for a 25-year-old. Am I 25? Or is it 26? Let's see... 1982.... That makes me.... Okay, I'm turning 26 here in two weeks. But still. I have a lot of gray hairs.
4. I'm obsessed with peeling skin on sunburns. The one on my back is peeling and it's driving me crazy because I can't see it.
5. I am completely obsessed with weather reports. I will watch 3 hours of crap morning show "news" (complete drivel) just to see if anything changes when they do the short 30-second weather clips every 15 minutes. And I watched two solid hours of non-stop severe weather coverage the other night (no commercials even), even though the storm was 100 miles away and not effecting us at all yet.
6. You can "air tickle" (the tickling motion, without actually touching the skin) my feet and I will still twitch and squirm and maybe even squeal.

And I don't have 6 people to tag that haven't already been tagged and filled it out. So I'll tag those I know that read this blog, and have their own: JC, Tiffany, Sam, Rachel, Elizabeth (post it on your MySpace) and Carlsie (I don't have a link for her, but I'm with Lurenda - get yourself a blog already!).

I'll Get to It Soon, I Promise

I know I have some tags to answer to. And I will.
Our internet has been pretty sketchy since the big storm on Monday. They say it's working, but they're still waiting on parts. It's only worked half of Thursday, and then just now this morning.
So when things are a bit more stable with that, and my life slows down a bit, I'll get on the posting.
I promise.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where I've Been the Last Two Days

Well, it hasn't been anywhere exciting. I haven't even been gone. But I felt kinda bad, because I redirected everyone over here, then kind of left you all hanging.

We got a "helluva" storm on Monday. And it knocked out our internet. I thought I was going to die without my connection to the outside world. Okay, not really, but it did force me to find something worthwhile to do with my time.
Monday at lunchtime, this was the view to the northwest. The colors are pretty true to how they really looked. The weather radio had been going off all morning - there was a storm headed our way that had produced softball sized hail in Manhattan. Granted, Manhattan's a good hour and a half away, but this storm was still packing a pretty serious punch. We battened down the hatches, and hunkered down inside to wait for it to blow through. And by hunkering, I mean we were hanging out the sliding glass door taking pictures the whole time. Which - I must admit - is unusual for me, as I tend to get freaked out with any storms involving wind. Maybe it was since it was during the day, and Paul was home, and I could actually see what was going on outside, rather than hovering in front of the television in the middle of the night, trusting the weatherman to tell me what's going on outside......

When the storm hit, the whole house creaked and popped. The trees started whipping around. At one point, it was raining so hard you couldn't even see the pear tree out by the garden, which is less than 50 yards from the house. The official report was 80 mph winds, 2 inches of rain in 1/2 hour, and golf ball sized hail. Yep, we saw all of it. Paul thinks it actually rained more than that, since "you can't measure the rain very accurately when it's coming in sideways." And we couldn't measure it at all, because apparently golf-ball sized hail and glass rain guages don't go well together.

I'm not sure exactly how long the entire storm lasted, but it didn't seem long at all. The only time Paul freaked out is when a bolt of lighting struck what felt (and sounded) like it was right on top of us. But when I saw this sight, I almost cried:
Between the fence and the tree is my garden. Under all that water. When the rain had mostly stopped, we stepped outside to survey the damage......

Water, water - everywhere.

We lost a few limbs - nothing big. We lost an old shed out behind the shop. Which was probably a blessing, as Paul has wanted to tear it town or burn it ever since we moved in. (Secretly, I think he just wanted to exert some manliness on it, but that's just my opinion.)

The big damage was to my garden. I thought I lost all of it. But today, after two days of sunshine, it looks like some of the plants may be rallying. I'll give it another week or two. Then who knows - if it's all gone we might till the whole thing up and plant it all to sweet corn. (If it ever dries out.) The peas are completely done for. This shows the sum total of our pea harvest. And none of them edible, as they all have holes in them from the hail.

Then last night, another round of storms brewed up. Even though it thundered and lightninged something fierce, we didn't get any rain here at home. But where Paul works, they got rain. And hail. And his truck got damaged. Not really bad, but still - it's there. And apparently tomorrow night we're supposed to get even another round of severe weather - even worse than earlier this week. I guess that's what Kansas is all about.

There's no place like home!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Welcome, readers!
You are now at the NEW official home of "A New Mommy's Blog."
I changed over from Spaces because I wasn't completely happy with it.... How you could post pictures within the actual blog posting was very limited, and - the main reason - everyone told me how hard it was to leave comments - they'd have it all typed up and push "publish" (or whatever) and then it would disappear and all the sudden they'd be on a different page.
Hopefully you won't have that trouble here.... My friends Lurenda, Sam, Carrie, and Tiffany all have blogs on this server, and I have never had trouble leaving comments - and you don't even have to make an account! So, now that it's easier, I expect some serious commenting, folks!
I will continue to add photo slideshows to the old blog - that is one thing I wish this service had. So for the latest and greatest Nathan pics, click on the link in the sidebar.
The first couple postings I did on here are very lame - my apologies. I was trying to figure things out, and new I'd be the only one reading them, so didn't want to put a whole lot of effort into them.
Hopefully my summer blogging won't lack, but I see it's already starting to.... Lately every nap Nathan takes I've been working outside instead of vegging on the computer.

What a Sunday!

Nathan is right at 8 1/2 months, and yesterday, for the first time since he was born, he stayed upstairs for the whole church service. He fell asleep against Paul's chest while we had praise and worship, and stayed completely cashed out the entire sermon and communion, then woke up after the final hymn.
Now, we have a nursery at church. And I put him in there almost every week - I try to get him at least through announcements before we go down. But when he's down there and I'm upstairs, I'm always wondering if he's pitching a fit and can't get calmed down. He's kind of a momma's boy when he's upset. And he never takes his morning nap when we're at church, so he's always on the verge of crankiness. And then add to that that sometimes there's 10 kids down there and only two workers, and if one of the workers is 80 years old.....
I'd like my kids to know how to sit still for church. They can be in the nursery through age three, then at age four they can start going to children's church. So if you do that, then they're 10 years old and have never had to sit and be quiet for a church service.
I know it's weird, but that's just me.
Yesterday when Nathan was asleep, he kind of fidgited and leaned over and then rolled onto his belly. So he ended up stretched across Paul's lap with one cheek on his pocket. It was so cute.
We skipped out on the fellowship dinner for the first time ever, I think. We didn't have to, it's just we were having company for supper, and I wanted a nap. Didn't get it, but at least I had the option. I did lay down with Nathan for maybe 45 minutes.
We had my friend Carrie and her husband Charlie and their kids out for supper. I was an hour later having supper ready than I said I'd be (as usual for company - Paul and I usually have one or two-dish meals, so cooking a full meal - let alone a meal for 8 - I always misjudge my timing). But it was good times - they've gone to our church for two or three years now, and we're just finally getting to know them. I'm so bad at things like that.
Nathan is teething. He got a new tooth on bottom (his third) last week, and I think the other top tooth broke through just yesterday. That makes for extra crankiness, plus a fever last night.
Well, the babysitting boys just got here, so I should probably pay attention.