Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I survived...and even enjoyed it!

We are back from our 4-day-weekend Tour De Iowa.

Stop number one was on Friday in my hometown of Red Oak. We enjoyed dinner with my dad, stepmom, and one of my old BFF's--Jill. Then Jill, my hubby, and I went to my 15-year class reunion. Jill came along because she was in our class but moved to Houston in 9th grade. So it was really her class too. Anyways.... if you saw the previous post, I was a little nervous about it-- but ended up having a GREAT time.
It was a small turnout but it was fabulous getting to see old friends. I got to see Chris-whom I usually refer to in conversation with my husband as "vegas guy" because that's where he lives. I got to see my matron of honor and her husband, Erin and Philip. I got to see, besides Erin and Jill, another one of my oldest dearest friends, Marcy. It was great to give a big hug to everyone. Other attendees included Aaron, whom I had a crush on in 7th grade and whom Jill dated in about 9th grade; Jeff Sallach who was a wrestler in high school and on weigh in days spent the day in a sauna suit spitting into a cup to get rid of any water weight-and then he'd chow down on junk after weigh-in; Benji Maxell who claims to have no recollection of how mean he was in junior high but has turned out nice after all, Bill Price whom I was friends with when we were little, and when he moved back I claimed I certainly never would have played with him... but our dads were friends and I think Bill is one of those ones who will always be a friend of mine too. Eileen, Kristina, Richie, Sandy, Jeremy, Pat, Shane, Jed, Audra, Lisa and Joe were there too. There was an additional function on Saturday night but I didn't get to attend that one.

My two dates for the night:

Jill, Marcy, and I. We were BFF's in junior high, tho we spent a lot of time in Mr Ray's office crying/fighting about something.

Some of the boys, Benji the one who turned nice, Jeff the wrestler, Philip-who is married to my oldest friend Erin (oldest as in longest!), and Jeremy-one of the nicest guys ever. Philip, his wife, and I were even in the same Kg class.

I considered almost everyone in my class of 90-or-so people my friend. That's the way I am. Or that's the way small town life is. I'd be happy to run into almost all of them. Except for about five people who shall remain nameless.

Anyways, it was so great seeing those who turned out for the Friday night "drinks at the Barn Door" gathering. Some looked just the same, some actually looked better, and some...well... I think I'm doing pretty good compared to some...haha. We had a fun time chatting, catching up, reminiscing about old times, and enjoying each other's company. It made me think "I should have gone to the 5 and 10 year reunion after all" and it also made me think "I wish this happened more than every 5 years."

Aaron and Bill. and part of Pat

I would have to say that Facebook made a big difference I think. Most of us who were there had already reconnected via Facebook in recent months, so it wasn't like it was the first contact we'd had with each other in 15 years. That made it, I think, more comfortable.

Matt stayed down at the Lounge with us for about 2 hours and then he went back to our hotel suite to relieve the babysitters (dad and diane). Jill and I went back around 11, did some more chatting together, and then I went to bed about midnight. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but Matt didn't want a tired crabby wife for the next day.

On Saturday we had breakfast at Dad and Diane's with my brother and his wife, and then we met Jill down at the Junction Days Parade. It was the girls' first parade. Brooke got about 20 lbs of candy. She was loving it. Hannah was tired. And I got to see more old friends and spend some additional time with Erin, and meet her girls. That was fun but it is a long parade. Not all that entertaining. I was entertained by the socializing and watching Brooke.

After lunch we headed up to my mom and stepdad's house in Indianola. That was about a 2.5 hour drive. We hung out at their house, went to Pete's Pizza for dinner, figured out sleeping arrangements, and hung out some more. Sunday we had a relaxing morning at their house. The weather was gorgeous and we spent most of the time on their back deck with the girls playing. Hannah woke up that morning saying "Roo" which is their dog's name. It was cute.

Roo the furball is hard to see in this picture, but Hannah is petting her and giggling like crazy.She loves dogs. Seriously.

Sunday afternoon we drove to Great Wolf Lodge in KC and met Matt's parents. We did dinner at the over-priced and slowly served Lonestar, then did some swimming. After we got Hannah to sleep, Matt and I took Brooke to the arcade. We got lucky on some tickets (a machine didn't give Matt his tickets so we had the operator fix it and we apparently got all our tickets and several other previous winners' as well!). Monday morning we swam some more, hit Oak Park Mall (since our Disney store closed, we had to stop there!), and headed home in the afternoon. Here is an indication of how much time and money I used to spend at our Disney store; the manager from here had transferred to OakPark, and she remembered me!

I will have to say here that Hannah really threw us off kilter for sleeping this weekend. When we put her to bed in the hotel on friday in her Pack-N-Play, she freaked out and screamed and would not go to sleep in it. I don't get it. She had NO PROBLEM at all going to sleep in one on the cruise. Diane ended up laying with her on the air mattress we'd prepared for Brooke, and she slept on that. Same thing for Saturday night. And yes again for Sunday night. What a turkey. That means that on Friday night, Brooke slept with daddy and I slept on the sofa bed in the other room. On Saturday night, she slept on a sofa while I slept on another air mattress on the floor and daddy slept on the bed in the room where Hannah was on the air mattress. And on Sunday, Hannah was on the air mattress in Gma and Gpa's room, Brooke was in bed with me, and Matt finally got a bed to himself for the night. Never have we been so glad to get home to our own beds. I'm not anxious for my baby to not be a baby anymore, but I'm ready for Hannah to be big enough that we can make the girls sleep together on vacations!

This pretty much summed up Hannah's weekend. With her pack-n-play strike and our schedule, all of her naps took place right here, in her carseat. I just planned that every afternoon after lunch would be our travel time to the next spot, and hoped she'd fall asleep!! On the 5.5 hour drive to Iowa she only slept about 30 minutes...but on the trips to Indianola, Kansas City, and back home we got about 1.5 hrs worth of napping in each time. When we left to drive to Indianola, she was asleep in her carseat before we'd driven the mile to the McDonald's drive thru. It was unreal!

To steal a little blurb from my cousin-in-law Kacy; some people don't know how to leave comments on here. So I'm gonna tell ya-- below each post there is the word comments in small print, I think it's blue. Click on that word and it will take you to the comments screen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How do you clean?!

I just spent 3 hrs cleaning like a madwoman in my jammies. For months, we've had piles of clothes here, there, everywhere upstairs needing a home. The clothes that Brooke had just outgrown. The winter clothes that I needed to move temporarily that might fit her in the fall. The winter clothes Hannah outgrew, and the ones that might fit her in the fall. The summer clothes that hopefully Hannah will grow into before the summer is over.

Having a four year gap between girls has a lot of advantages, but keeping track of and storing all those clothes is a huge task. I hate it.

It's bad enough that laundry is such a big task. Not quantity wise per se....grandma likes to shop so both girls usually have at least 2 weeks worth of clothes before I have to do laundry- and that's just when the basket is too full or Brooke runs out of jammies or panties. But getting it put away...sorting thru the huge pile of clean clothes...it's a lot of work. Then you get behind on the stuff mentioned in the first paragraph, and all the sudden your house is a disaster!

But it's not a task that I can just tackle easily. None of it is. I can't work on Hannah's stuff while she's napping. It's hard to work on the big clothes switch-aroo when she's awake... everything is upstairs and she's all over the place and we certainly don't need (another) dive down the stairs! So basically, such cleaning/organization, etc has to happen when Matt is home and can spend the hours entertaining the girls and I can just go to town upstairs, running between rooms, moving bins around, vacuuming, folding, etc.

I mean...I always say it is not cleanliness that is our problem- it is clutter. This morning I got tired of looking at the clutter. I wish I had time to tackle this main level of our house too but time ran short. I told a friend/acquaintance of mine the other day- who is a clean freak - that she would run screaming from my house. I don't really want it to be "that" bad...!

So how do you clean? Those of you with clean, organized all the time houses....how do you do it? Those of you with housekeepers can "talk to the hand." lol... I would love one to do all the CLEANING stuff....but they're not going to file papers, put away clothes, etc. I'd still have to stay on top of that so the cleaner could actually clean. By the time I get that far I might as well do it myself.

Or so I say! Anyways..... do you just always find yourself cleaning? Do you do it at night when the kids go to bed? Is there anyone else out there that just kind of deals with clutter like I do? Am I the only one with a house this messy?

On Thursday evening I thought "I haven't gotten much done around the house this week." When I thought about it, it was because I chose to spend the mornings doing things with the girls, swimming, playing, etc. The afternoons are nap time, so I can't do all the stuff that needs to be done then--there is a certain level of quiet that needs to be maintained. In the evenings, we get thru dinner, usually take the girls outside, then it's bath time and put them to bed time. We tend to do all that together, because it's our "family time." But I'm also not one of those moms/wives who will spend hours after the kids go to bed cleaning. I'm just not programmed that way. I might bake because I love doing that. I always try to at least not have dirty dishes in the sink when we go to bed. But I don't go around and de-clutter. I sit down and see what's in the DVR. I surf the net, I read, I blog, I paint my nails. I figure I deserve some down-time too.

Though I do take probably more downtime in the afternoon during nap than I should. What can I say. I have a minor facebook addiction.

So-- what do you do to your house?

If I'm going to solicit ideas I thought I should share one too.... when I fold sheets, I fold the fitted, the flat, and one pillowcase. Then I stack them, slide them into the other pillowcase, fold it over, and stick it on the shelf. So the sets of sheets are tumbling over when I open the door, because they're each in their own little case.

What a boring post- huh? CLEANING! I mean really..... well--hopefully a more exciting one next time! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Upcoming Reunion

Next weekend, I am going to be attending my 15-year class reunion.

I'm about....75% excited...15% nervous, and 10% dreading it.

I'm excited to see old friends and classmates, see how life is treating them, what they've been up to. I'm excited to let some of my current life mingle with my past life (hubby and classmates). I'm excited to show off (at least pictures of) my gorgeous girls. I'm excited to share the time with my old "bff" from junior high. she didn't graduate with us but she's coming to attend the reunion with me so she can catch up with folks too.

I'm nervous (and therefore dreading) it....because my tummy is not the size I'd like it to be. My ass is not the size I'd like it to be. I mean, it could be worse. And I'm alright. I don't want people thinking "angie looks like crap!". I'd like them to think "wow she hasn't changed" or something fabulous like that. But you always wonder if you can suck that gut in just enough to not have people making fun of you later that night with their spouse ;) There are those girls who will look just as fabulous or more so than when we graduated. I'm probably not one of them! (I've never been in the "gorgeous" or "fabulous" category anyways). I found an old friend from elementary on facebook--she moved --gee--in about 4th grade maybe? She's Gorgeous!

But I guess one can hope that we're all way past that kind of stuff now. Everyone should be a little nicer than they were, a little happy to see you, a little past all the crap that goes along with junior high and high school. I remember running into an old friend/classmate at my brother's wedding and I was nothing but THRILLLLLEDDD to see him and give him a hug and chat for awhile. I'm hoping this reunion is just that same feeling multiplied by all the different people we're going to get to see!!!

Since our road trip to Iowa last weekend got cancelled because Brooke got sick, the whole family is going with me for this trip. So it'll be great to have Matt along, it'll be great for the girls to see Papa Terry and Grandma Diane, and hopefully get to meet some of my old friends. Then we're going to drive to Grandma Jenn and Pap a Brad's house for a night. So the girls will get to see all their grandparents...and we are going to snag a night at Great Wolf lodge on the way home.

So I guess...I'm excited for the weekend as whole. Hope all goes well, everyone stays healthy, everyone's happy to see each other. We're mostly just going to the Friday night get together, so I can certainly suck up enough self confidence for a couple of hours, right?!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thru the eyes of a five-year-old

For Brooke's 5th birthday-in April-we got her a little digital camera. She's just like mommy and loves taking pictures, always asking to use my camera. Finally-the other day, I downloaded what she had taken. I made a folder on the computer entitled "brooke's pictures".

So far it appears that her favorite subjects are her fish-Tony, her stuffed animals, her sister, and herself. She had lots of "self portraits." When I downloaded the pics from MY camera from our vacation, I found she had gotten her hands on the camera once and had taken about 3 self-portraits.
I thought I'd share some of her pictures with you....so you can see our world thru the eyes of my five year old:
Do not attempt to adjust your computer screen.... or your eyes... the blurriness is part of the art.
Tony the fish. There was about a dozen pics of this:

This is Max, her beloved dog from Build-A-Bear. She went
and got him out of her bed to pose on the couch for a mini
photo session. We had about 10 pics of Max.
Papa-- taken at Olive Garden on her bday about 2 hrs after
she got the camera.
Daddy had no idea she was taking pics of him here:
We had several self portraits- here's some of my favorites:
We were going to let her take her camera on the trip, but I was already taking my "big camera", my "little camera" and the video camera. I didn't want one more to keep track of. It would've been interesting to see what she got though!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Garage Sales Suck

Greetings to you on this beautiful day from my friends' garage. We are having a garage sale and I am sticking to my original thoughts that I hate them!!

I've been married 10 years and this is my first garage sale. I venture to say it will be many more years till I have one again. I think they suck.

Thankfully Debbi brought out the laptop for me to entertain myself with as I babysit the sale by myself for awhile...since there's pretty much no shoppers. Where is everyone? I thought this town was full of garage sale nuts.

I have never been a fan of garage sales. They make me impulse by random stuff that other people don't find worthy to have anymore. I know a lot of people really like them and find some great deals. We actually have great deals sitting here right now too! I just don't have the patience for them.

And this little bit doesn't make a bit of sense to me: People will try to nickel and dime you on things that are dirt cheap already..."will you take a quarter for this 50cent item?" but yet they aren't even making offers on some of the "bigger" stuff. We have some pieces of furniture here, many lookers, commenters, etc...but no one has looked up and said "will you take ____ for it?"...and that's the stuff you WANT offers on!!! Hello? Make an offer on something where your offer is going to save you more than a buck! Geewhiz.

And I'm not a charity! The baby clothes I'm not really that worried about... I think I can take them home and craigslist them or consign them for more than I probably have them listed for here right now.... but I don't want to drag the other stuff home. Some stuff might get driven directly to Goodwill. geez.

I've even actually, as I'm sitting here, posted some things on craigslist so that I'm being productive in SOMEway. It's just such a bummer to have worked so hard to get all this stuff ready, and to have it going so slow!? Weird I tell ya.

Oh well such is life....
And how is YOUR Friday going?