Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you, Daniel and Trish!

I am very proud to know two authors who are about to embark on their first book tours, so I wanted to give them both a plug this week. (And a big thank you to both of them for giving me something to post about!)

Daniel is the younger brother of one of the most amazing, wonderful people in the whole world, my friend Emily. That's how I met Daniel, but he's pretty wonderful in his own right. :-) He's incredibly funny and has such an interesting perspective. He has just published his second book, which is based on his experience working for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation (thus, the book's title, DMR). He's going on a book tour of the U.S. via minivan, and he'll be chronicling his adventures at his new blog.

Many of you already know (and love!) Trish, but just in case you don't yet, she has just published her first book, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After and is embarking on her book tour this week. My copy is on its way to me now via Amazon, and I can't wait to read it! I met Trish through my friend Lynette and instantly knew why they had become such great friends. Trish is smart, funny, beautiful, and very inspiring. I feel blessed that our paths have crossed because she's such an uplifting, encouraging friend. She even went with me to see the David Crowder Band last fall even though she wasn't a fan (as I found out later)! :-)

Congratulations to Daniel and Trish!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My brain is mush

I'm having the hardest time trying to come up with something to write about, so this is going to be pretty random. My mom's visit was absolutely wonderful, and we all miss her tons already. She is the best grandma and R loved spending every moment with her. Everything just seems easier when my mom is around.

R turned four this week, and I have to admit that it made me a little sad. My baby is four! Ack! I love how much fun he is and how silly he can be and I love watching him grow physically and mentally and socially every day. I'm really enjoying helping him learn to read and seeing how proud he is of himself when he can figure out words. On Friday, he was beaming with pride because he put his jammies on all by himself and voluntarily set the table and did a great job. :-)

I just feel like I didn't treasure the time leading up to this enough. I didn't take enough pictures and I don't remember enough about his infant and toddler years. It slipped by so quickly, just as everyone said it would. In another couple of weeks, R will graduate to the final classroom at his school, where he'll be until kindergarten. He is so ready for it, especially because most of his friends are a little older than him and are already in that classroom. But I'm not quite ready. He's been at his school since he was four months old. Everyone there is like family to us. It's hard to believe that in another year or so, it won't be a part of our lives.

In other news, we all went shopping today to look at toilets and tubs and faucets and tile and vanities and medicine cabinets. It was a little helpful, but I feel overwhelmed by it all. Especially because everything A and I like is crazy expensive. But we'll figure it out.

We found out this week that our work is going to send A to a class in California for a few days in May. I'm so excited for A, but we're both a little nervous because this is A's first trip away from us. Not to mention that A and I have only spent one night apart in the last 11 years, and that was long before R was born. I know we'll all be fine, but it will definitely be a big change. I'll have R by myself for four nights and three full days. I have a feeling that I'm going to appreciate A on a whole new level during his trip. :-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm back!

Just wanted to post really quick because it's been a long time! We had a wonderful visit with my mom, the weather was beautiful the whole time, we spent lots of time outside, and R had a very nice birthday. We're still talking to contractors about our bathroom, but we should be getting started on the work soon - if A and I can agree on what we want to have done. :-)

Gotta run to a meeting, but I'll post tonight with pictures. Happy Friday!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Where's number three?

First, someone sideswiped A and R in the car while they were on the highway and drove away. So, we had to pay the deductible for our car repairs (which are extensive) because we don't have any information on the other driver.

Then, last night, R was in the bathtub taking his bath when he grabbed onto the soap dish/handle thingy. I've been warning him not to do that because other pieces of the tilework have come off (e.g., the towel rod) because our house is from the 50s and the bathroom is falling apart. And, it was this horrible slow motion sequence of events: I saw him grab the handle, watched the caulk that A had used to seal around it start to pull away, and while I yelled at R to let go, the whole thing pulled off the wall, along with several other tiles, and fell into the water. Unfortunately, as I've suspected for a long time, water has apparently been getting behind the tiles, so along with the tiles, huge chunks of black yuck fell into the tub as well. R was hysterical and crying and begging me not to tell A. I pulled him out, wrapped a towel around him, and yelled for help from A. When I finally got R to calm down, I realized (1) that he thought we were mad at him and that it was his fault (he apologized over and over again and was so sad - the poor guy) and (2) that the big chunk of wall had actually bumped his toe and he was bleeding.

I soothed R and his toe and then took a look at the mess on the wall. It looks really bad. The wall board has disintegrated into little pebbles, there is black mold (I assume) everywhere (it looks like it has roots! blech!), and I *think* I can see through to the siding on the outside of the house (is that possible?!?). I took a picture, but then I decided not to make you all nauseous along with me.

So, I've already called two very highly recommended contractors, and one of them is coming in a few minutes to assess the work. Needless to say, A and I were not planning on renovating the bathroom this year. We need the work to be done fast because we've only got one bathroom, and we need to take showers. Or else I'll be working from home until it's done. And, of course, MY MOM IS COMING THIS WEEKEND. The timing is impeccable. :-)

That's number two. So, I'm wondering what #3 (of "things always come in threes") is going to be. I'm guessing it's going to be either our washing machine or our stove because they're both about 35 years old.

I'm trying not to get too stressed about everything because I know that things will work out and we'll be fine. But it was interesting praying last night to give my worry over to God: "Lord, take my bathroom."


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


The opening ceremonies to the Red Sox home opener yesterday made me - and a lot of other people - cry. I've always felt so badly for Bill Buckner because people up here held him responsible for the 1986 Red Sox loss of the World Series.

Yesterday, all was forgiven.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday catch-up

The weekend was fun. We took R to see "Horton Hears a Who" on Saturday because it was rainy outside. The movie was just okay (although much better than the other recent Seuss movies), but R did enjoy his first movie theater experience, especially the popcorn and the folding seat.

Later that day, the sun came out and it was BEAUTIFUL! R and I spent hours outside in the yard, playing hide-n-seek, sliding down his slide, and practicing hitting balls with a bat. And, A repainted our patio set to cover up the rust. Yay!

Sunday was our IKEA trip. It was again gray and drippy and miserable outside, so it wasn't like R was missing out on a great time at the park, but he was super restless and kept running away from us in the store. Overall, though, it was a good trip. We got there early, had breakfast (two plates of eggs, sausage, home fries, french toast sticks, and drinks for less than $5!), and then shopped. We were supposed to get new pillows and some frames for R's artwork. We ended up with those, plus two new lamps and shades (which we've talked about getting for a long time now), a new armchair (to replace the ancient hand-me-down Barcalounger that has been disintegrating in our living room), a flat sheet for R's bed ($2!), some clip magnets (R picked those out), and "melty beads" (those little plastic beads you lay down on a plastic form and then iron to melt them together - R's friend spends hours doing them and R seemed interested, so we grabbed 'em - I never mind buying crafty/project stuff). Oh, and two bags of Bilar (extremely addictive marshmallow candy cars - my sister introduced these to me when she studied in Sweden, darn her!), one of which we scarfed down while waiting to pick up the new chair. (Note to said sister: IKEA has princess cakes now! I am kicking myself for not buying one!)

Monday has been good so far. I let R go to school dressed like "Batman":

(That's the Barcalounger on the sidewalk behind R - he wanted to say goodbye to it before the garbage guys come to pick it up.)

I framed one of R's masterpieces last night and hung it up in our hallway today:

And, I hung up Wanda's apple blossoms print, which A had framed for me as a Christmas present, and we just got it back last weekend. It's in my bedroom, and it's the first thing I see when I wake up. Unfortunately, my camera doesn't do it justice (plus, you can see my reflection in it) - but the colors are wonderful and warm, and it is a lovely, constant reminder to me of spring and beauty and of what a kind and loving person Wanda is. God bless her!

OK, I have to share my proud mama moment from the weekend: On Sunday afternoon, R and A went to R's friend's house for a little while. At one point, R and his friend were talking about shooting and guns. After a few minutes, R said, "Let's talk about something else because guns hurt people, and I don't like them." Yay, R!!!

And, then, just to record this hilarious moment for all time: R and I were both in the bathroom this morning (we only have one, so we have to share), and I needed to pee. I was preparing to use the facilities when R announced, "I need to poop!" He basically pushed me out of the way and sat down. When I protested and asked if I could just take care of my business quickly before he proceeded, he explained in a very authoritative tone, "It's too late to discuss it, Mommy."

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, April 4, 2008


I've been feeling kind of blah this week, and I don't have much to write about (although, as you can see, that doesn't stop me). Plus, it's pouring rain and gray and cold outside right now, which I'm sure doesn't help my mood.

I did get all of R's party invitations out, and we already have our first RSVP. R is very excited, although it's hard for him to understand that he still has a month to go before the big party. But Grandma will be here in two weeks - woohoo! And his real birthday is less than three weeks away now.

This week, I've been having some crazy and vivid dreams. I hardly ever remember my dreams, so it's been strange for me. One night I dreamed that my friend who's pregnant with twins was actually pregnant with triplets. When she freaked out about it in my dream, I offered to take the third baby off of her hands. I'm definitely having trouble dealing with wanting another baby. :-(

Then, on Wednesday night, I had a very clear dream that I was going to be laid off at work sometime this year. When I woke up, I asked God for some reassurance, and what I heard in my head was "Be prepared." Honestly, if that happened, I would of course freak out, but the prospect is interesting to me, too, because maybe it would be an opportunity. I've been at my job for 8+ years, and I admit that I am frequently nervous because I've become a manager of people. I don't "do" the work really anymore, so I don't feel as necessary. I enjoy my job, but I miss doing the work because I'm actually good at that. I do okay as a manager, but I think that's mostly because I have good people who work for me. They make it easy. But, anyway, maybe I'm just freaking out, but all this stuff about recession in the news has made me nervous recently. I know that God will take care of me and my family, so I trust in that. In the meantime, I'm trying to sock away as much money as possible just in case. [Edited to add: I had this same fear/feeling/nightmare of being laid off a year ago, and yet I'm still at my company, so maybe it is just paranoia...]

Yesterday, A dropped off our car to be fixed and picked up our rental car, I mean tank. (Our car was side-swiped on the highway, and the person just drove off!) Apparently, the Hertz guy was waiting for A at the body shop when he got there - with a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. They upgraded us, and since the Hertz place was 20 minutes away from the body shop, A didn't protest. The thing is HUGE to us. It's very luxurious, with wood trim and XM radio and GPS and lots of room. R LOVES it. He hasn't stopped talking about how much he likes it, how he likes it better than our car (which is only a year old!). He hasn't given us any grief about getting ready to go out because he is excited to ride in the car. But A and I actually want to wear dark glasses and disguises while we're driving. The thing is only getting 18.2 MPG and the whole SUV thing just goes against everything I believe in. There are only three of us, we don't haul big stuff around, and we don't live in the woods. We have no need for an SUV, and I absolutely hate driving something that feels so wasteful. Plus, I'm nervous about the GPS because our neighbor's windshield was smashed when someone stole his GPS - his car was in his own driveway! (I am, however, becoming attached to the XM radio because of the Christian stations. We only have one or two Christian stations up here in Boston, and they're mostly scary talk shows.) We have the stupid thing for at least two weeks because our car needs so much work. Boo. (And, note to drivers in the New England area: Pay attention! Please stop using our vehicle as target practice! Being rear-ended and/or side-swiped for the seventh time in four years is a bit much. Most of those times have been when A or I have been sitting at a red light or stop sign - no stopping fast or anything like that. Just sitting there waiting for the light to change, when WHAM! some inattentive person slams into us. I am very, very thankful that we've never been hurt - especially because R has been in the car every single time.)

Sorry for the crankiness! I'm going to go find some chocolate now.

(p.s. The purple chicken turned out fine. Well, it was pretty dry, but when we shredded it and doused it with some good BBQ sauce, it was delicious! Even R ate it!)