Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

The last two summers, we've had one of these lovely birds nesting in the huge cedar tree just south of our house.
In January, we had the tree cut down so it wouldn't fall on the house. I realized afterwards that the mockingbird wouldn't be able to roost in it come summer. And I was ECSTATIC!
To hear what a mockingbird sounds like, click here.
Now imagine that racket right outside your window - ALL NIGHT LONG.
I noticed the mockingbird was back this year. But since the cedar tree was gone, I had a smug sense of victory that I'd have no trouble getting to sleep on the nights we have the windows open.
Then I noticed the mockingbird - and it's mate - are building a nest in a bush not four feet outside of our living room window.
Here's hoping Brutus puts on his best attack-cat front for the next few days and stalks them into deciding to build elsewhere.
(If you've ever seen the crazy roommate on Failure to Launch who hasn't slept because of the bird outside of her window.... I can totally relate.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Easy Way to Get a Snake Out of Your Yard

Mr. Snake, meet Mr. Cub Cadet.
(Notice how I even managed to get him outside of the yard into the neighboring cow pasture in one easy step.)
In my defense, for you animal lovers, I had no idea that he was in the grass. I was mowing along then hit what sounded like a good-sized tree branch. I was like, "What the deuce?"
Not that I would have tried to avoid it if I had known it. Pretty sure I would have swerved to be sure I got it. Snakes that size have no business in our yard where a one-year-old plays.

Note to Self:

Butter will melt in bright spring sunshine. And run all over the counter. So don't leave it on top of the microwave anymore.

What is it with mice in this house??

Last week, every once in a while when playing with Nathan on the living room floor, I'd catch a whiff of something dead. It wasn't overpowering, and it would just be a whiff, then it would be gone. I immediately pegged the smell as a dead mouse, but thought it could be a piece of meat that Nathan had dropped behind the chair (even though I did a quick scan for such) or some spilled milk curdling in the sunshine.
Friday, the third day of whiffiness, I decided to do some investigation. I pulled the pantry cabinet forward away from the wall to peek behind it. Nothing. The only other place I could think of was behind the china hutch, which I can't move on my own. The thought did cross my mind that it could be a scrap of food that we'd fed the dog. Since the smell was just a whiff, and not overwhelming, I decided we'd give it a few more days. I started to do some tidying up before I put Nathan down for his nap and left for my cleaning job.
I picked up some blankets and the kitchen rugs that I'd thrown in front of the pantry cabinet early in the week and hadn't gotten around to doing anything with yet. And.... I found the culprit.
Told you I pegged it as a dead mouse.
I didn't investigate it too thoroughly, since Nathan was right there and apparently has a penchant for dead mice. I did what any good wife would do: I threw the rugs back on top of it, wrote a note for Paul to clean it up when he woke up, put Nathan down for his nap, and left.
It was so nice to come home to the floor mopped, the rugs washed, and no hint of dead mouse around.
I'm assuming the cat killed it; I remember hearing him clattering around one night while Paul was at work (freaked me out, because I thought it was someone walking through the dining room). But I'm surprised he didn't leave it in the middle of the living room floor for us to admire, like he usually does.
Highly gross.
I'm about sick of the mice, and I'd like to know how they keep getting in our house. It's spring - shouldn't they be outside?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dangerous Doors at the Doctor's Office

I had my three-month checkup this morning. Paul went with me to hear the heartbeat, so of course Nathan went along as well to charm all the nurses.
On the way into the building where our doctor's offices are, there's an automatic sliding glass door. I've never thought of them being dangerous to kids before. Nathan saw the glass door, so immediately went to bang on the glass, as most toddlers do, but as he touched the glass, the sensor opened the door, pulling his hand in between the sliding panel and the stationary panel. Paul saw what was happening, and grabbed the door frame to slow it down, but it still pulled Nathan's arm in past the elbow and left "rub burns" above his elbow and wrist. You always hear about how dangerous escalators are with kids, but I'd never heard anything of automatic doors.
After that little excitement, which scared Nathan more than hurt him, we had my appointment. I love early appointments (8:30) because the waiting room is always empty. We got to hear the baby's heart beating. Nathan listened to it, too, but I don't think he was as amazed as we were. Some people have told me that the amazement is gone when you have the second one, but I'm still just as amazed. I rub my belly and talk to the baby just as much - possibly more since I'm home more.
Everything seems to be going great. I'm happy to say I haven't gained any weight since my first assessment (where a nurse makes sure you actually are pregnant and asks you a million health history questions). I say I'm happy about this because I gained 10 pounds in the first two weeks of being pregnant, thanks to my insatiable cravings (and the Superbowl party we hosted). I was worried about keeping up the weight gain at that rate.....
I've been feeling the baby move - swimming and fluttering, but no obvious kicks yet. I am about a month behind the first time I felt Nathan kick, so I'm not expecting too much yet. Maybe for Mother's Day?
Well, I have a busy afternoon, with my cleaning job. I feel the need to be lazy for a little while to prepare for it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We Love Spring!

Now that spring has finally gotten here, we love it! But it took until the second half of April to have what I would call normal spring weather. Sure, we'd get a tease now and then, but nothing lasting.
We've been loving the swing Paul built for me our first summer here. It's so relaxing just to kick back and enjoy the gentle breeze (when it's gentle) and the warm sunshine. Nathan crawls up and swings it himself. We've got to get that boy a swingset.
Doesn't Nathan just look like the expert cattleman here, looking over his herd with a discerning eye? When we were working cattle at my grandparents' house the day before Easter, he climbed up on the fence and stood there watching as we worked the calves. He really did great with just watching through the fence and not requiring lots of attention. Soon (too soon, I'm sure) he'll be big enough to be punching them through himself.
Last Saturday, while I was at a baby shower, Paul took Nathan into town especially to buy bubbles. I have no idea why I had never thought of that. So Daddy has moved into "favored parent" status - which I am so ready for! It sounds like they had a blast shopping for bubbles, then going out to Burger King. Mommy was the unnecessary side-kick the rest of the day.
I had to make a special trip into town last week for these (well, I was going into town anyways, but wasn't planning on going shopping). After about the fourteenth time of him wearing his cowboy boots through every puddle in the driveway, I hauled him into WalMart in a last ditch effort to find him some puddle stompers. Everywhere else I'd looked either didn't have small enough sizes or wanted WAY too much for their cutesy galoshes. I still though these were a bit steep for how small they were (they were the same price as the mens' boots), but they are what we needed. Hopefully they'll fit his fat little feet clear through the summer.
Unfortunately, the onset of spring means the onset of dandelions - my nemesis. My friend Carrie brought her kids over this morning for a change of scenery and graciously helped me weed about half of my flower beds. We'll see if I can get up the gumption to finish the task. (I made it a half hour this afternoon before I had to come in - I was breathing like I'd just ran a mile! Pathetic.)
We're making up for our dry winter with soaking rains a couple times each week, but it's making it really hard to get in the garden. Paul got it disked before the rains started, and he's managed to till it a couple times. I'm glad I held off on the planting due to the snow we got. But it's time! If we can avoid the chance of rain tonight, this weekend will be it! I always get antsy to get stuff in the ground.
I am enjoying Paul's new shifts. I haven't gotten to see what it's going to do to his paycheck, but he gets to spend several hours playing with Nathan each day. Daddy plays so much better than Mommy does - I just don't "get" playing with tractors. I can hook them up and drive them back and forth, but as for actually pretending it's planting or harvesting..... I'll leave that up to Daddy and Nathan. Yesterday, Nathan found the model trains up in the extra bedroom, so they spent the afternoon setting those up and playing with them.
I think the tired stage of this pregnancy is almost over. I think I'm out of my first trimester (I lose track what week I'm on), and that's when they say you get your energy back. I still feel worn out come afternoon, but if I take a nap, I wake up at a ridiculous hour of the morning and can't get back to sleep.
It sounds like Nathan is about to wake up. Better get a snack ready.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Typical Family Get-Together

It seems like we can't have a holiday get-together with Paul's family without someone getting sick. It seems like almost every holiday we spend with a part of his extended family someone is sick (the unpleasant barfing kind of sick), or gets sick immediately thereafter. (Not his immediate family - his cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.)
So far, I have avoided this unpleasantness. I attribute it to my iron-clad digestive system.
However, Easter night, I came down with the Bubonic plague (it felt like, anyways).
But this time I can't attribute it to Paul's family, even though that's who we spent Easter Sunday with. SOMEONE (no name) in my family brought it to my parents house, and as a result of spending Friday and Saturday working cattle with my family, I picked up the dread disease.
As did my mother.
And my sister.
And my grandmother.
And my father.
Needless to say, certain disease carriers are heretofore banned from any family gatherings if they have been sick anytime in the last two months, or if there is any current hint of illness.
At first, I blamed my upset stomach on the fact that I ate nonstop from dinner to suppertime, since I felt better after the first upheaval. But after the fourth (seven hours later) I was pretty sure I could no longer blame it on overeating.
But lets just say that this has definitely cured any craving for pickles I've had. I'm not sure I'll be able to eat a pickle again for years.
By Monday night, I thought I felt better, but was scared to eat anything. But my rumbling stomach made me want to throw up (not sure why it works that way), so I had Paul bring home the only thing that sounded good to me: McDonald's french fries.
Apparently the miracle cure-all. I woke up Tuesday morning and didn't feel as if I'd been sick at all.
However, the thought of eating any of the leftovers in the fridge makes me want to throw up again. Maybe it's just me, but whatever I ate right before I get sick, I subconsciously blame as the reason for my getting sick, and therefore cannot eat it after I'm feeling well. So I just put all the leftovers in the freezer for sometime in a month or two when I've forgotten about this horridness. Even the green grapes make me feel green. But the purple grapes I just bought for a baby shower this weekend don't affect me that way.
Weird, I know.
The only problem with this is, the only thing that sounds good is junk food/fast food. Since the McD's fries, I have had: Sonic breakfast burrito, diet limeade (courtesy of my boss), chocolate pudding, Sonic frito chili cheese wrap, scrambled eggs (I did manage to cook this morning), sonic cheddar bites, and sun chips. Which apparently means I'm well, because I'm pretty sure if anything would come up or go through me, this diet would induce it.
I told Paul I'd cook tomorrow. After I find the kitchen. Kitchen=food=gag for two straight days, so..... It's bad.

And that was the highlight of our Easter weekend.

Actually, Easter service was the highlight. This was just the big dimmer that really quelched the glow from Sunday morning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Irrational Demands?

My husband threatened to not come home from work tonight if I didn't shave my legs.
I don't know what the big deal is. It's only been almost three weeks. It's not that bad. It's not curling yet.
But the hair is getting nice and soft. It's not all pokey anymore.
I've had better things to do. Namely: sleep. Or eat. Shaving just isn't high on my list of priorities right now. It's ranking right around housework these days. Except no one sees my legs except me and him, so it actually may rank lower than housework.
He doesn't realize that when it's been this long, it's not a "jump in the shower and do a quick shave." It's a major undertaking that - at this point - will probably cost me two razors.
But I think I may oblige him.
Not because I want to make him happy, but because I want to wear some summery clothes. And I'm tired of wearing pants to church.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Real Update. Maybe.

I'd call it a "baby bump" but that hints at something cute. And I don't really think anything about me qualifies as cute. So we're going to call it the "baby bulge." At least for now. Because I'm at the point where I am definitely showing, but if you didn't know I was preggo, you'd just think I was fat.

These weren't posed. Nathan was playing with his toothbrush, and he apparently thought the belly looked wonderfully jiggly. For this last one, I did tell him to "get my belly" and apparently he thought that meant he should chomp it. I knew it would amuse you all, so I had to put it up, too.

I'm almost done with the first trimester, and everyone promises me my energy will come back when it's over. I hope so! I do great if I have caffeine with lunch, but am pretty much limited to iced tea since I'm trying to cut out excess sugar, and carbonated drinks. (Coffee dehydrates me, since I sip it all morning and don't drink any water, so I've been avoiding that.) But if I have the tea at lunch, I can go all afternoon and not even feel like I need a nap. And then I sleep even better at night. But I just can't make myself stay up without the caffeine boost. I've tried.

I swear I've felt the baby move, even though all experts say it's way too early. But I think when you've been pregnant before, and you know what it feels like, it's easier to distinguish. My friends agree with me on this.

And speaking of friends, I would just like to get it in writing that I think my best friend Brooke will have a girl. She's due in August, so we'll see. (Although I was positive that my niece Mackenzie was a boy, and was obviously wrong there.) Brooke and I were pregnant together last time, but with these babies, hers will be older - by just about as much as Nathan is older than Glenna.

I'm getting the spring time itch. It's almost time to plant the garden. I'm glad I held off, since we had a really hard freeze last weekend. I'll wait 'til after the Easter weekend craziness and probably get out there next week, weather permitting.

Nathan is finally getting back to sleeping through the night. He was doing really good until I found out I was pregnant. I swear he sensed something, and he started waking up 3-4 times a night and being really clingy and fussy. I'm glad we're over that. But I am realistic: I am prepared for it to happen all over again when New Baby comes home. That's why we're not even going to think about potty training until afterward.

Nathan's started saying, "Ow." It's actually really cute, because he only uses it for little hurts: bumping his head when he stands up, pinching a finger in a toy, stubbing a toe. He comes to me rubbing whatever hurts, and as soon as I kiss the spot, he's happy. See why I think it's cute?

We're still working on him saying "Mommy". Sigh. I know he knows I want him to say it. He's said it a few more times this week - for my mom, Paul, and he said it to me when I asked him "who's that?" in a picture of me and Paul. Paul and my mom are really pushing him to say it, pointing at me and saying "Who's that?" or "Where's MOMMY?" But he's a little turd and knows it will make me happy, so he doesn't.

Speaking of my wonderful husband, he's started calling me "cranky". He only does this for my reaction, which goes something like, "I AM NOT CRANKY!!!!!!" Which makes him laugh.

Paul has been hard to sleep with this pregnancy. It is advised that pregnant women sleep on their left side for circulation reasons. Which would be fine, except about the time I got pregnant, Paul started sleeping on his right side, so now we're all knees and feet into each other all night. (Which still wouldn't be a big deal if Paul didn't twitch and jerk in his sleep.) He has also taken up the habit of stealing the pillow I put between my knees when I get up to pee. I have to jerk it out from between his knees to get myself re-situated. He also steals my "snuggle pillow" that I use for support in other areas. So far this is the only "sympathy symptoms" he's had, so I can deal with it. I guess.

Paul's hours got cut at work. The "regular crew" got cut a month or two ago down to 36 hour weeks, but since Paul's a supervisor, he kept the same schedule. But now they've put everyone onto 32-hour weeks - Monday through Thursday, 8-hour shifts. They laid off 30-some men last week. Paul had to be the one to tell the 9 on his shift that were laid off, which he was really stressed about. There was also another supervisor who was let go, and I think Paul felt very awkward about that, since he was the supervisor with the least experience (less than a year).

I know the economy is in really bad shape right now, but I still have a peace about Paul's job. I don't know if it's a peace that things will pick up and he'll keep his job, or if it's just confidence that God knows what's going on and He's going to provide for us. I thought with the "stimulus initiative" that our President signed that would make new jobs, including really ramping up the solar energy production, it would help out Paul's company, since they have one of the best processes for making TCO, the glass used for solar panels. But I have no faith in our government anymore - they're probably ordering the materials from China. And paying Mexicans to do the work.

That was really catty. Sorry.

Well, it's almost naptime for Nathan. I had McDonalds for lunch, with iced tea, so I'm going to try to get some housework done. However, it's cloudy, damp, and windy.... Really more of a day for curling up with a book........

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I thought once I spilled the news about the pregnancy, I'd be free to blab on the blog again. But it's just not coming to me.
But in other news: Who is ready for Spring? I'm so tired of these ups and downs! It's in the 70s for three days, then down to 30 with 45 mph winds for three days, then up, then down.....
But it's obviously been warm enough for the grass to need mowing. Figures.