Saturday, May 31, 2008

Meal Planning

OK, two meals left from last "attempt". Goulash and the Polynesian Meatballs. Since "A" didn't pick up necessary ingredients at last trip to store. I am working on the grocery list today and figure we'll through them on next week's menu.

Saturday - frozen pizza
Sunday - Roasted Chicken
Monday - Goulash (will try for a double-batch so I have lots of leftovers for lunch)
Tuesday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
Wednesday - McD's
Thursday - Farmer's Market (whatever looks good on our walk through - most meals for "a" and I are under $5)
Friday - Polynesian Meatballs
Saturday - Mexican Lasagna... try the same recipe as last time only last time I forgot the salsa and "A" has requested that we skip the "white stuff" (cottage cheese).

The Thursday night farmer's market is open again. I skipped the first week as "a" was being a bit bratty (very over-tired) and it was the night before my drive to St Louis... the following week, I took Kyra as "a" was being bad and wasn't being a big boy so didn't get to go. This last week, "a" went and Kyra stayed home (as we were running a little bit late and didn't want to run home to pick her up). They have wonderful options... unfortunately, last week I skipped the mexican place to try the chinese place instead (crabmeat raggoons ---yummmm!). THEN THEY WEREN'T THERE THIS WEEK! GRRR.... if I'd known they weren't going to be there every week, I would have gone to them when I saw them!!! An entire plate filled with enchilladas or tacos for only $4!!! And absolutely devine flavor as well... as they have such awesome food! I'm so depressed that I missed them the following week.

BUT, I have to start "skipping" some of the booths that have become hazards - there's one that makes home-made fudge - their peanut butter fudge is to die for (melt in your mouth yumminess) and they have this incredible vanilla rasberry swirl that is decadent! I've spent $12/week there and really don't need to be eating fudge every night before I go to bed.

Next week, there's a new shop with chorro's - with caramel filling and drizzled with chocolate (can you imagine the flavor?). We were already filled with sugar last week when we found it, so I said no.... but we've got them as our go-to snack trip for this coming week!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Flying Post

Make a list of each room or area in your house then next to it, put one of the following?

Hit by an ATOMIC bomb
Hit by a bomb
Decluttered but not cleaned
Cleaned but not organized
Organized but not detailed
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

If you have a room in blue, work on it first to bring it back to green. Then work on your red rooms and move down the list by colors.

Here is my list:

Master bathroom ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode
Master Bedroom ~
Cleaned but not organized (although I have been working on it!)
Hallway ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode.
a's room ~ Hit by a bomb
Kitchen ~
Organized but not detailed
Front Bath ~
Organized but not detailed
Office area ~
Hit by a bomb
Living Room ~
Hit by a bomb (although a good vaccum is all it really needs)
Dining Room ~
Hit by a bomb
Front Door ~
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

So, some progress, some loss of progress. Kitchen & bedroom are both looking better. The "Office area" is just my desk - which has stuff from head phones to stuffed animals to bird seed just piled on top of it! What a mess. BUT, ideally, I ignore my bomb areas and focus on the BLUE items. So, this week I am going to try to tackle the Kitchen & Front Bath and get them into "
the green". I'm planning on making "A" tackle the vacuuming in the living room which will get it into the "the brown". Wow, can you believe it? AND this while enjoying the start of summer and a new puppy besides! I'm thrilled with the process I've made with really minimal effort. How come this became so hard after "a" was born???

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Almost one-word MEME

NAME? Penny

Four Letter Word? Adam


RESTAURANT: O'Charlies or L'Bamba or Joe's Crab Shack

CITY: Des Moines



OCCUPATION: Computer Geek


FOOD: Meatballs




Kyra's first trip to the vet

She developed a cough last weekend that got worse and worse... and we needed to get her in and checked out anyway. She's got 14 days of antibiotics for the cough. Some ointment for a couple of "bumps" behind her ear that might just be warts, but the vet says she's never seen a puppy get them before. We're to keep the ointment on them and see what they do. If they get really big we might have to do something, otherwise, it'll probably be safe to have them removed when she gets spayed anyway. We've got our first dosages of heart worm meds & flea meds to give by the end of the week. Otherwise, a clean bill of health.

She weighs an even 6 pounds. We asked about how big the vet would estimate that she'll get as the foster mom estimated she would stay under 15 pounds, but she's got really big paws a sure sign that she won't stay terribly small. The vet's rough estimate is 15-18 pounds which sounds great to me.

She gets more shots in 3 weeks, and again about two weeks after that. Then she's kosher until she's six months for her spay visit. Interestingly the micro-chip identification system is only about $40 at the vet (I don't know why I thought it would be at least twice that) ... so we'll likely do that at the same trip.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the house training progress and how rarely she barks. She only barks a little (or whines a lot) if she's trying to get something she can't reach or is in her kennel (and she's getting better in the kennel). She's a very quiet dog which is part of the reason I really wanted a cockapoo since I'd heard they weren't very "barky" for being smaller dogs.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Figured you'd be up to a non-puppy post

The guy at work that I was totally crushing on? Ummm. Not interested anymore. He stopped by at my new desk after we moved. He's still funny. He's still smart and fun to talk to. But looks? Ummm not even a third of the way on the scale that I was daydreaming all about. Not sure what's up with me? But, I'm cured now.

Kyra - I think?

LOL - boy, it's taking us forever to come up with a name! I like Kyra, it was "A"s idea, and now he's coming up with more new names. But, it's Kyra (I think!).

She's doing REALLY well with her potty training. We're really only having accidents a couple of times at night (which is our fault). She's going on her walks reliably and has been coming to us to let her out during the day when she needs to go. But, at night (she's sleeping with me now), she can sneak off the bed without waking me and goes potty out by the door. We really should kennel her at night (I know we should)... but she has a whine that can split ear drums! And we're being selfish by making her sleep with us. So, it's going to take a lot longer to train her if we don't get her used to her kennel and sleeping in it until she's fully potty trained.

Friday, May 23, 2008

More on the puppy with no name!

OK, for some reason, she wanted to sleep with me last night. But "A" had to admit, that this time he was jealous and twice he almost came in to steal her. Unfortunately, she had figured out how to get down from the bed on her own. So, I think I only woke up to her coming back to bed after a potty "somewhere she's not supposed to" trip. And then, when the alarm went off this morning, she had no urgent need to wake me up, now did she?

Good news is that as I worked from home this morning - we had four successful "potty time" trips outside and no inside accidents. Now, to keep this up all the time.

And on the name front... Zena "Warrier Princess" isn't cutting it. "A" has suggested "Kitty" - and backed it up with the mom's name on That 70's Show as a name that is more than a nickname for the cat in our life. I think it can be funny calling "here kitty, kitty, kitty" at the dog park! But, other than that, I think it will just seriously confuse our cat. He's already frustrated we brought a dog into the house... so calling him and meaning the dog? I think he'd be super resentful!

So, puppy is still nameless. Puppy did go to farmers market last night with me. "a" did not get to go because he's starting to have dirty pants accidents and only big boys get to go with mommy to the market. Puppy charmed everyone who was there and only got a little scared... she was shaking at one point, so I wrapped her up tightly in the side of my jacket and we went off by ourselves. But, she loved the attention and handled things pretty well from my arms (safer anyway with all those people walking around). Little girls and little boys who wanted to pet her often got kisses. Single women kept trying to take her away from me. So, she stole everyone's hearts!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jealousy Much?

So, I proposed the time-share plan to "A" about getting the puppy to help me wake up in the morning. He agreed (after some consideration)... but we forgot the one thing that would keep us from being able to do it. Free will of the puppy - two seconds... it took her two seconds to decide that if I was asleep she'd way rather sleep with "A". So, he's officially her favorite. I'm so jealous!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Adult Film Star Name

Your Adult Film Star Name Is...

Venus Vegas

What's Your Adult Film Star Name?

OK - Venus or Vegas might even work for the puppy... doubt I can swing it past "A", who by the way is completely, totally in love with the puppy. (Well, ok the whole family is.) But, it was "A" who was positively sure that I was completely insane for wanting a puppy and it was going to ruin his life if I did... ha! Now, it's a fight over who gets to sleep with the puppy! I'm hoping to talk him into a time-share tonight. Puppy can cuddle and play with him until he's ready to go to bed - then he puts the puppy in bed with me at night. Puppy helps me wake up in the morning (as she doesn't understand the word "snooze")... I take her outside, feed her, take her outside again... "a" wears her out... when I get ready to leave for work, I put the puppy in bed with the boy who sleeps until noon. See... time-sharing. We both get to spend time with the puppy at night.

Flying Post

Make a list of each room or area in your house then next to it, put one of the following?

Hit by an ATOMIC bomb
Hit by a bomb
Decluttered but not cleaned
Cleaned but not organized
Organized but not detailed
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

If you have a room in blue, work on it first to bring it back to green. Then work on your red rooms and move down the list by colors.

Here is my list:

Master bathroom ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode
Master Bedroom ~
Cleaned but not organized
Hallway ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode.
a's room ~ Hit by a bomb
Kitchen ~
Cleaned but not organized
Front Bath ~
Cleaned but not organized
Office area ~
Cleaned but not organized
Living Room ~
Hit by a bomb
Dining Room ~
Hit by a bomb
Front Door ~
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

Actually - had to do one a step backwards - Living Room is now "Hit by a bomb" -- there was progress by "A" on the weekend (he had a girl come over); and then "a" spent today making a bit of a mess, and we didn't get it tackled to clean it today. Will work on it after work tomorrow.

This weekend, on Saturday I hope to tackle laundry, Living & Dining Room as well as maintenance on all the other rooms. If I get time or can work on "A" - we can work on "a"s room. For his room, we need to take some things into storage and re-arrange some of furniture... and we seriously need to throw away his rug, clean his carpet and pick up another rug to protect the carpet from further issues. Not sure I can tackle all of that this weekend, but we can make a dent in some of it. Then I can enjoy Sunday & Monday and just relax.

What Color is Your Heart?

Your Heart Is Blue

Love is a doing word for you. You know it's love when you treat each other well.

You are a giving lover, but you don't give too much. You expect something in return.

Your flirting style: Friendly

Your lucky first date: Lunch at an outdoor cafe

Your dream lover: Is both generous and selfish

What you bring to relationships: Loyalty

Meal Planning

hurrump... last time's menus didn't work out very well... and it wasn't even well planned.

  • Leftovers Casserole
  • Alfredo Chicken
  • Best Homemade Chicken Soup
We had Alfredo Chicken - made with low-fat low-calorie Alfredo sauce. Hmmm - edible, but not good.

So, this week, starting tonight:

  • Wednesday night - McD's
  • Thursday night - Leftovers Casserole
  • Friday Night - Pasta at Pizza Hut
  • Saturday - Chicken Soup
  • Sunday - Pork Chops
  • Monday - Goulash
  • Tuesday - Polynesian-Glazed Meatballs
  • Wednesday - McD's again
  • Thursday - Mexican Lasagna
  • Friday - Frozen Pizza
Now, "A" is frustrated that we're out of groceries (and we are)... because I've been almost two weeks since making a grocery list. So, I've asked him what he'd like to see on this list, and he's got nothing... can't come up with anything. Lot of help, he is. So, even though I'm officially "up to" going shopping. He gets to do it again. As that way, if he sees something he'd like to bring home, he can pick it up. So we're good.

I'll post my flying progress later. Not too bad, even while potty-training the puppy! No real improvement, but we're not amid the clutter either. Since I was out of town all weekend, I really didn't have any time to tackle tasks. So, this weekend will be my catch-up.

Puppy Name - another idea

Have to laugh... I took Phil's advice, and got my porn star name.

Penni Kittens

What's with the "kitten" bit that keeps it coming up? LOL, I figured that was worth a post!

Of course, we could make it an acronym as well... PK doesn't sound that much better than DK... but will keep trying.

Puppy Name settled

We think, anyway.

I was looking for a "tough girl" name since she's this little sweet fluffy dog. Like big guys named tiny. I swear - I did not realize at the time that this is exactly what our neighbors had done. They have a chihuahua with the coloring of a doberman (very cute btw)... named "Brutus"... LOL

Only realized it last night when I heard them outside calling him... so I swear, I didn't steal the idea from them.

But, we struggled... "Bertha"... "Isis".... "Zena, Warrior Princess"... none of them were taking.

I keep accidentally saying things like "good kitty" and "here kitty" to her - think I've been around cats too long?

Anyway - "A"s girlfriend has a gamer nickname she mentioned might work for a name "Doom Kitten"... but I'm not keen on calling a dog a "kitten" other than accidentally (obviously). But, we're thinking "DK" will work. It's not too "girly" which is the issue I had initially with some of the names I kept coming up with. It's not "cutsie" which is the second set of names that kept coming to mind.... which "A" hated. The biggest issue is that we might end up having to explain it constantly... and even if we explain it, we'll probably get weird looks.

So, it's "DK" for now... but ? who knows?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More four yr old funnies

  • I've got Good News and Bad News... Bad News: "Owies", Good News: "Toys"

  • "Don't forget your book" as he hands "A"s new girlfriend a magazine.... that's "A"s playboy!

ROFLMAO... too, too funny!

Monday, May 19, 2008

And now - puppy pics

Posing was next to impossible - add puppy energy & little boy energy to each other and this is what we get:

Finally starting to wear out the puppy!

And now - the puppy is resting... with "A"s new girlfriend.

First - the gorgeous views of the Mississippi

They are experiencing heavy rains and heavy flooding - you can almost tell by looking at the far shoreline how high the water is in the trees.

This is a barge... the reason it looks so very small is because we are about 200 feet above the river... They see a lot of eagles in fact, "from above the eagles"... VERY COOL.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Four Yr Old Funnies

  • ONE minute after taking benadryl for our allergies -- "But mom, the medicine doesn't work!"
  • "Mom, you're soo cute!"
  • Yelling at the top of his lungs out on the balcony "It's MY money and I want it NOW!" -- repeated endlessly to ensure that all family members got to hear and enjoy -- and probably the entire apartment complex - well, to hear - probably not enjoy.
  • Upon receiving two dimes ... "I GOT MY MONEY ... IT WORKS!"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Can't live with them - can't kill them

Well, as we all knew it would happen.

The frustration levels with "A" are mounting again.

He hasn't done squat all week,

except play online computer games.

I've given him a list of chores every day



He's done two things - both poorly

1) He did half of the first chore on the list and then stopped and whined about it

2) He picked up "a" at daycare yesterday. I had to call to remind him to go; then he went but forgot to take a car seat with him; so he had to make two trips... and I'm being charged $20 late pick-up fee as a result that he forgot the seat.

Today, I called him repeatedly to try to get him "up" while I was at work.

He got up out of bed at 4:00 PM.... yes, that is late afternoon, to the rest of the world.

He finally returned my call, I asked him to help me search for a phone number I need.

He asked why I needed it - I said because we're going to St Louis tomorrow. Then I asked if he had gotten permission to drive to St Louis or not yet... he said no because he didn't know yet what day. He needs a day in advance.

Well, ok... that's fine - we can just stay in Iowa City tomorrow and get permission to drive to St Louis on Saturday instead.

No, we can't... why not?

Because he never asked permission to drive to Iowa City on Friday & Sunday.

Why not? I told him weeks ago that we needed to go to Iowa City... and I wrote in on the calendar so he couldn't forget.

Because (in that TONE of voice) it's all my fault for telling him TOO SOON. AND, after all... why would he bother to use a calendar? AND THEN HE HUNG UP ON ME.

I am sick of this sh*t.

As a result, I now get to drive to Iowa City & St Louis on my own in a vehicle that has 130,000 miles on it. Actually, no... because the net result of that would be that the car will die mid-way somewhere and cost me more to deal with it than the car is worth. I'm going to check for car rental weekend specials instead... but this so SUCKS!

As it is, his attitude has gotten increasingly worse lately. Even though I've been trying to not react to it and been killing him with kindness. The only issue I've addressed is the fact that as it is I don't want him to smoke (although knowing he's an adult, I can't prevent it)... the fact that I've been PAYING for his cigarettes lately - that I can bitch about. Ummm... NO. NOT ACCEPTABLE. You want to have them - you figure out how to get a d*mn job and then you can do what you choose with your money. My money - does not need to go to cigarettes that my son wants to smoke.

In the meantime, he's stated a wish to go back to jail - I told him "your wish is my command" and then he backed down some. But, really? If he's not going to get a job? Ummm... need to figure out what your priorities are - because you don't get to spend the night playing games your whole life.... when you have no money. Life doesn't work that way.

So - again, we will be addressing the whole - do you really want to live here or not discussion. I don't have to let you live here and I don't need your attitude and I don't need the sh*t you bring. Want to play nice or what? It's almost like he thinks that because he was nice to me on mother's day - that all the other rules no longer apply to him.

Well, I've got to run, I have to stop at the atm to get the money to pay the sitter tonight - they only take cash for late fees.... in the meantime, I'm going to dream about my new apartment without a sofa-squatter.

Having trouble focusing...

Heading to St Louis starting tomorrow evening to pick up my new puppy!

So, to try to get my mind back to work - I'm going to jot down all my to-do's:

a) Call Gerty & Larry - see if I can stay there Saturday night
b) Call John (a's) dad - see if Sunday early evening will work for picking up "a" in Iowa City
c) Prepare Graduation Gift & Card to drop off on way home from Iowa City on Sunday evening
d) Pick up Cash at bank (rescue shelter only takes cash)
e) Pack for "a" to go to Dad's this weekend and "A" & I for St Louie
f) Clean pet carrier up (has scared kitty scent in it) & pack in car
g) Get oil changed in the car
h) pack up knitting project for the car - think I'll take my sweater that's going to end up being a summer sweater or next spring sweater as I have at least another month or two to work on it

... I think that's it for now... now to try to get back to work!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More things you just need to know about me

So thanks to Phil here's another Meme...

Now, Here Is What You Are Supposed To Do...And Please Do Not Spoil The Fun! Hit Forward, Delete My Answers And Type In Your Answers. Then Send This To A Whole Bunch Of People That You Know...And Send It Back To Me So I Can See Your Answers, The Theory Is That You Will Learn A Lot Of Little Known Facts About Those You Know. Remember To Send It Back Please!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? – Yes - a little red-haired dog

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? – yesterday - reading the blog Matt, Liz & Madeline

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? - Not even remotely


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? – 2 A & a


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Too much - my four year old understands the concept

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope - been gone for almost 30 yrs

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Probably not

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Honey Clusters of Oats (when I'm trying to behave - not that it's that good for you) - but, I LOVE Captain Crunch with Crunchberries - oooh - sugar... drool!


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Emotionally, yes - physically, not as much as I'd like

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Chocolate Decadence - something or other - thanks to Lydia from Colorado Springs


15. RED OR PINK? Red, every time



18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Yes, but no one will - since the only one who ever does is Phil - LOL, and I got this from her.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue gym pants, bare feet -- lol! this is the same answer Phil gave - what are the odds?

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? two marshmallows

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My Gym Partner's a Monkey on TV. what-do-you-wanna bet, it's not my choice????





26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? In person - baseball, on tv - football (american)

27. HAIR COLOR? Medium brown -- au naturale until I make up my mind where I want to go next

28. EYE COLOR? Blue

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes - but rarely any more - having issues with itchy, watery eyes lately - wearing my glasses until I figure it out

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Ummm - everything? That I made recently - Chicken Tortilla Soup; That I've had served to me recently - Pizza Huts new Pasta Mia - The beef version - didn't care for the alfredo chicken as much.


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Air Force One - for the umpteeth time, and I still cried and I still got chills when he got rescued at the end.... and I still spent part of the movie daydreaming about Harrison Ford.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black -- freaky - still the same answer as Phil!!!!


35. HUGS OR KISSES? Definitely both



38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everyone else

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Speaker for the Dead

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The logo for a vendor

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT? CSI Miami -- Same answer as Phil - LOL

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Children's laughter



45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Tying a cherry stem with my tongue

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Monticello, Iowa


Flying & Menu Planning

Make a list of each room or area in your house then next to it, put one of the following?

Hit by an ATOMIC bomb
Hit by a bomb
Decluttered but not cleaned
Cleaned but not organized
Organized but not detailed
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

If you have a room in blue, work on it first to bring it back to green. Then work on your red rooms and move down the list by colors.

Here is my list:

Master bathroom ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode
Master Bedroom ~
Cleaned but not organized
Hallway ~ Detailed and on maintenance mode.
a's room ~ Hit by a bomb --Woohoo! Some improvement FINALLY! No RED
Kitchen ~
Cleaned but not organized
Front Bath ~
Cleaned but not organized
Office area ~
Cleaned but not organized
Living Room ~
Cleaned but not organized
Dining Room ~
Hit by a bomb
Front Door ~
Detailed and on maintenance mode.

Progress... We went through "a"s room and have eliminated about 1/3 of the toys. Some are going into storage for "later" and others are being "gifted". He doesn't quite know about the last part. Hopefully, they'll just happen to disappear and he just won't quite notice as they are toys he really doesn't want or need.

Meal Planning.

We ended up eating out about three times and having Chicken & Rice sooner than originally planned (as it is too quick and easy and very tempting to make). We were going to make Taco Layers last night, only I ended up having to make three trips to West Des Moines - so "A" was just going to make tacos - which was probably a good idea as the tortillas were NASTY. They would NOT have been good in a "dish". As it was, we ended up just eating the meat with cheese and salsa on a plate. Not much of a meal, but eh... better than those nasty tortillas.

So these are the meals that didn't even remotely happen:
  • Leftovers Casserole
  • Alfredo Chicken
  • Best Homemade Chicken Soup
So, this week's menus are including these three items... plus McD's on Wednesday night, and Friday night (driving to Iowa City to drop "a" of at Dads). This is assuming we don't drive to St Louis this weekend to pick up the new puppy. I still haven't heard back from the shelter that we can meet this weekend to meet the puppy and finish the paperwork. Kind of on tenderhooks... but all is good. If this weekend doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world. And if the adoption falls through, we can survive. Not that she isn't absolutely adorable and I can't WAIT to get her home... but if I have to wait longer, then so be it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A short meme

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ooh, not sure I can remember four years ago... spring of 1998... "A" was all of 10, so this was when he was severely depressed post-death of step-brother, best friend forever, and his dog. So, spending LOTS of time at getting him into treatments, getting him out of trouble at school, and worrying about him. Meantime, I was still married to ex-number two, but finally aware that he was in love with someone else. Wasn't cheating on me, technically. Only in his mind. AND, I was working full-full time as Program Manager of the Continuing Education division at Kirkwood Community College in charge of computer classes - and working 70+ hour weeks as well as getting paid about a third what I'm being paid now... and transitioning to working 30+ hours per week for about double the pay - as an Adjunct faculty member again. Big Plus on the switch.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today- not in any particular order?
Since bed is about all that's left on my to-do list today - I'll post tomorrow's to-do...
a. buzz-cut "a"s hair to elminate what is left of his self-cut hair cut
b. email all the people from free cycle that contacted me wanting "a"s toys we're purging to find out if they plan on picking up any time soon, or if I should offer them to the next people on the list
c. work - of course
d. bugger "A" about not doing his chores for two days (too tired to fight the fight tonight)
e. knitting on my afghan I'm making for my sister

3. Snacks I enjoy.
latest favorite is Wheat Thins with Feta Cheese with tomato & basil bits
Special K Strawberry snack bars
100 calorie triple-fudge brownies ("A" bought em for me by accident once... it's been on purpose ever since)
Dairy Queen Snickers Blizzard made with Chocolate ice cream
Lindt Truffles... milk chocolate or white chocolate - yummmmyy

4. Places I've lived.
Iowa - Iowa - Iowa... but within Iowa can list:
Monticello (age 0 to 1 yr)
Center Junction (age 1 yr to 6 yrs)
Hale (age 6 yrs - 18 yrs)
Cedar Falls (first attempt at college)
Hale (again) (bonding with family after failed attempt at college)
Cedar Rapids (second attempt at college, slightly more successful)
Indianola (third and final attempt at college - year 1)
Des Moines (year 2 & 3 while at college in Indianola, but working & living in Des Moines to support dead-beat ex number 1)
Hale (again) (after leaving ex number 1 with three week old)
Olin (getting back on my feet - first two years of "A"s life)
Wyoming (still getting back on my feet - one more year in "A"s life)
Hale (again) (first home I owned of my own - until "A" was about six)
Ely (second ex - until divorce in 1999)
Mount Vernon (second home I owned of my own - after divorce, until moving to Newton)
Newton (2002 - 2006 ... third home, until couldn't afford to continue driving to Des Moines)
Des Moines (again) (2006 until a couple of months from now)
FUTURE - West Des Moines is next - looking for an apartment to move into before "a" starts school.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionare:
Buy land - build a house, a barn, several wind turbines, and invest in wool-producing animals (ha!)
Buy a house for my sister (very far away ... she evilly laughs ... but next to her daughter as that's what she'd really want)
Pay off my brother's mortgages
Something with charity ... less because it's expected, more because it's the right thing to do (if only to save yourself a ton on taxes - again, she laughs with a bit of humor)
Put "a" in a private school and get him the additional assistance he needs and doesn't seem to be getting from anyone to help with his development
Rent an apartment for "A" with a six month lease (pre-paid), purchase a car for him (cheap-o like my beater I bought myself)... and move him out!!!!

In the house with the barn, there will be two or more kitties, and two or more puppies and a HUGE craft room and a techie computer den and a HUGE movie-style home theater...

AND a maid who delivers groceries and cleans up after "a"

AND A HOT TUB - oh, do I miss that hot tub ... in a BIG ol' sun room.

Somewhat pornographic

This car is parked immediately outside our apartment building.

I'm thinking that someone must have been a very good girl to get the ever-so-elusive dildo fairy to leave this for her.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Well, apparently, having a 19 yr old who suddenly is realizing that mom isn't totally inane and is capable of trying to help you out a little pays off when it comes to Mother's day. At least a little. I got more today, than I have well, since he used to make things for me at daycare... 16 some years ago - LOL!

I got breakfast in bed, plus a nice card. Offered dinner, but instead, we went to a nearby park to let "a" play in the playground and I got to stretch my legs and practice walking without a limp. Stopped & picked up some flowers for the balcony in memory of my mother (my Mother's day gift for her was always annuals for her gardens/porch). Then we stopped at Dairy Queen on our way home. I even got a little time to watch some movies this morning and do a little knitting. All in all? One of the better mother's days I've had in a while.

Yesterday we went through ALL of "a"s toys... I've got about four to five boxes in the living room of toys he's either outgrown, or just isn't interested in any more. I've posted them out on free cycle and have people coming in the next day or so to pick them up. Unfortunately, these kinds of toys always become more interesting if they aren't hidden among the other toys. But, it's all good. The good news is that by decreasing the mountain of toys - it's MUCH easier to pick up after "a". And with a new puppy coming home, that is very important. The other important thing is that "a" will learn better than ever to pick up after himself if he's got a little puppy that likes to chew to teach him.

I'm getting really excited about the puppy - "A" is trying to talk me out of it virtually every day... but I've missed having a dog so much, I just can't wait. The only time I haven't had a dog is a) when he was first born and I couldn't have one in the apartments/houses we were renting and then b) when I first got my own house when he was three or four but was working 2 1/2 jobs. Once I met my second husband I didn't have to work so much, but then, he had a dog. And we got another dog before I left. I did get a dog while we were living in Newton - but he didn't work out very well. Don't know why - but I never did "fall for him" so to speak. He was nine months old when we took him in and not very well behaved. We ended up spending a lot of time training him... I suppose I was just frustrated as "a" was quite little and we didn't get to play as we spent so much time getting him to behave. He ended up going back home to the people who gave him to us. They were happy, he was happy & we were happy.

The puppy I'm getting is almost three months old - and very tiny, with curly blond hair. She's be a challenge still I know, but with "a" a little older now, this'll be much more enjoyable. The initial challenge will be keeping my cat from trying to kill the little puppy. He's actually fine with dogs... but, he's going to hate sharing attention or lap space... and is quite happy being the only pet in the house. Add the fact that he's 8 yrs old and pretty sedentary - and a puppy (ANY PUPPY) is so not that... they want to play and they want to play with everyone as often as they can. This is good for Junior (the cat) as he needs to play more... he's just not going to give in without any grumpiness.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Online Shopping

Phil - YOU HAVE TO SHARE THE MANUFACTURER NAME!!! Or a link to the website you found your comfy couches on! I'm not ready to buy new with "a" still being an incredible mess maker... but I will one day be shopping for those EXACT couches. Do NOT bogart the manufacturer name!

Green Sofa

AND - have you checked out the new IKEA site??? OMG, I thought that their site s*cked big time and then, happened on it lately? It's not as fun as going there in person, but it can take the whole day just wondering around in their site.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Impulse control

I probably need more of it.

I know I've been struggling with money issues for the past year... but with Carl's loan to cover my medicine expenses, I was much less stressed. And buying a car for the sake of not having to rely on "A" to drive me everywhere... that probably wasn't very fiscally responsible. BUT, I hate being dependent on ANYONE... and I justified it in my own mind as that while he had to worry about my schedule and "a"s schedule, it was just another excuse for not finding a job. And, while I know that he can come up with a million excuses all on his own, my adding any weight to any excuse was bothering me. I wanted to make sure that he was as free as he could be to "accept" any work schedule.

Anyway, here's another example of why I might need impulse control:

Meet my new puppy that I'm adopting from a rescue shelter in MO. I've been approved to take her, I just have to schedule a time to come get her.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sore again today

There's been a huge glut of bureaucracy around my security badge. Apparently, the following is too much for a security access program/TEAM of professionals, can handle:

  • Take vacation -- and get hurt ergo, do not appear in the office long enough to let the badge expire
  • Lose said badge
  • Find previously lost badge that was reported loss upon tearing apart the house to find missing badge
  • Be in the middle of an office building move - where you need access to TWO SEPARATE buildings
  • Be "disabled" enough that revolving doors are "too much to handle", ergo, needing "handicapped" access to new building
  • Have other building (with NO REVOLVING DOORS) not have an option for handicapped access... doesn't matter that I don't need it in that building, it doesn't have it
  • AND - have an undetermined "end date" to when no longer will need access to two buildings.
We filled out MORE THAN TEN security access requests - basically whatever we were asked to fill out. And, they still could not get me a badge within FOUR WEEKS. And this is with virtually daily calls to discuss and try to figure out what on earth we need to fill out next as suddenly it usually got determined that whatever form was supposed to solve the issue last time? No longer meets the needs and we needed to try something else.

At three weeks, I was told (only after calling to badger again) that I did have a badge made for me, but it would no longer function for the new need after all, and that they would contact me after destroying this badge and creating a new one. A week later, still no call... Finally, they did tell the department assistant that there was a badge ready - only didn't tell me (like they are supposed to). I went to another office to find that out. Only to find out that I have to go to a third building to pick up this badge - on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

OK - so, this Monday morning I went to go to the new building, that I've been to four times before -- but suddenly (maybe Monday morning blues?) couldn't find said building. And, it's not on the internet, since there are no customer service/tellers at this office building, so they do not want customers going to this building. I finally break down and call a coworker (when I so did NOT want to admit that I couldn't find it). Get there (this took almost an hour)... only to find that they only have the office open from 11am - 2pm.

So, back to my old office since I would have to turn around at lunch time to go to the new building... did finally get said badge - but it's still not set up correctly.

So, go to new office building yesterday. My badge doesn't work. Go figure. ONLY here? BIG issue. So, because the badge doesn't work, I can't park in the parking ramp... so I have to park about a MILE away from the closest employee entrance. Not, that I can enter that entrance... no that would require a working badge.

So, instead I walk past the employee entrance, to walk what is the equivalent of two city blocks to get to the "visitor" entrance to get a temporary badge for the day - only to walk the complete two blocks back towards the employee entrance because of course, my office is only about ten feet from that door. I was in TERRIBLE pain... limping all over again. My foot/ankle/knee swelled up all over again. Took it easy last night (although I worked until almost 1 am)... and today? Still really hurting, really swollen.. it stinks!

The good news is that my supervisor is AWESOME and she chewed them a new one and was able (by me walking two blocks and back again) to get my badge replaced with one that will work in this building. It's still not perfect, as it doesn't give me access to my old building, but since the visitor entrance is ten feet from the parking lot AND a very small facility, I can get a temporary badge when I do go there and it's not a big issue. WOOSH!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Very funny!

He's got my cat pegged!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Meal planning

Need to try a few more new recipes... see how it goes

Saturday- Pizza or pasta from the hut
Sunday - STOVE TOP® One-Dish Chicken Skillet
Monday - Spaghetti
Tuesday - Layered Fiesta Casserole
Wednesday - McD's
Thursday - Creamy Chicken & Rice
Friday - Leftovers Casserole
Saturday - Alfredo Chicken
Sunday - Best Homemade Chicken Soup

Friday, May 02, 2008

Progress with Meal Planning

Well, for probably the first time, we stuck pretty close to the meal plans. It did help that I wasn't "out" most evenings. I'm hoping to start going to the Y a couple of nights a week either next week or (more likely) the following.

But, in eight evenings, we managed seven of the meals. What I forgot about was Wednesday being "McDonald's Night"... it's very, VERY helpful for little boys to KNOW that if I say that they get to go to McD's on Wednesday and not every NIGHT... that it's not just a No, not never... and he looks forward to Wednesday... and if he asks for it on another night (which he always will)... I just say, NOPE, but we can go on Wednesday. Since I really cannot STAND to eat there... either I heat up leftovers, or pick something up at Wendy's on that night (which is half a block from McD's).

So, that's cool. Now, I just have to remember to block that night off on my planning.

I've got three or four recipes that I can make ahead and freeze; and four or five fairly quick-to-make recipes that now fall into a pretty well 'accepted' by both boys. I'd like to have a couple more freeze-ahead meals. If I work it out correctly, I can make 3-4 of those freeze-ahead meals and time them out so that instead of having the same meals week after week, they won't get repeated until after a third or fourth week. That would be awesome. Plus, save me time in the evening... always a good thing.

We'll get there, eventually. I'll have to spend some time tomorrow searching for more recipes to try that I think I can sell to my fussy eater (who is actually "A", he's way more picky than "a").

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Very sad...

I've been following this blog for a few days... and have wanted to post a link to it, but haven't - as they were having server issues. Would you believe the blog hosting company told this poor man to take his blog elsewhere???? ! Too busy, needed his own server...

Anyway, this poor man lost his wife to a PE only 27 hours after she gave birth to their daughter. Matt, Liz & Madeline