We had family in. No major knock down drag out fights. Opened Christmas presents. I cooked at least 6 meals. I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher more than a dozen times. I am exhausted. I'm pretty sure everyone I know is exhausted today.
I am thankful that it is all over--it was a lot of work!
The Best part? Onto Christmas!!!
On a side note, I got a 'black Friday' early birthday present (please note, my birthday is in Feburary... late February). Anyway, I've been pining for a nice camera. One that takes pictures like the professional ones we get taken. I got one. A Nikon D3000 SLR. It's the beginner's SLR... more to come on my new hobby. :)
I know everyone is just dying for more basement saga. Well, I had mediation this morning.
A quick note to catch you up first though.
Last we heard from the first contractor he had been in the hospital for 34 days and was going to be out of the tri-state area for the next 4 to 6 months. Once a liar...
So I went to mediation this morning knowing full well he was not going to be there. I was right. So, long story short. The mediator called him, he agreed that he owes us money and says he'll pay by the end of the month (please note, that's five days away).
There was no yelling, no Judge Judy style courtroom drama. It was just fine. He acknowleged that we're right, he's wrong, and that he owes us money. We have a judgement in our favor.
I'm not holding my breath for the check but do hope he decides to make this right. If not, I do plan on following through again and taking the next step towards getting the money.
It was always about the principle of it. You don't get to just quit without fulfilling a contract. You made a commitment and broke it. You don't just get away scott free.
I follow a couple dozen blogs. I follow them all publicly (except 1). I'm not ashamed that I like to read about other people's lives, enjoy some funny anecdotes, and get some new recipes. I'm a blogger and I follow blogs publicly (except 1).
Got me thinking... how many people follow my blog anonymously? I mean I know of a couple friends who don't do the 'google reader' thing and who just visit on occassion but sometimes I get the feeling there are more readers out there than let on. Random conversations at work with people who wouldn't normally know odd details about my life... strangers even maybe... Or maybe I'm giving myself too much credit.
The Mrs., Shoe Obsessed, Clemson girl... I don't know these women but I find them entertaining and follow their blogs. I'm not ashamed. Then there are my friends who blog (Aly, Julie, CaS, Anne, Megs -although I wish she had a life blog too-... there are several). Following their blogs enables me to catch up on life without actually having to talk to them. Again, social networking is terrible for actual communication. There are also the blogs I follow only for entertainment. The sheer ridiculousness of some people's lives is entertaining. I won't mention them.
So... what's there to be ashamed of? Join me in publicly following along. Don't hide in the shadows of cyberspace.
The Best part? I'll keep writing as long as one or two keep reading. LBS*, I'll keep writing regardless of if anyone's reading.
Our Thanksgiving weekend will be spent celebrating Christmas with Dan's family. They're coming here because we'll be vacationing over Christmas (home on Christmas day of course). We thought we'd have an early celebration, and spread the holiday out. We're decorated, getting a tree on Wednesday and are all set.
I'm looking forward to the visit.
This is big for me.
Generally a visit from or to my inlaws involves several upset stomachs, stress, and anticipation of what will go wrong. This time, I'm ok. I am looking forward to spending time with them (them being my MIL, FIL, and SIL) and excited for them to spend some time with Cannon.
To say our relationship over the last 7 years or so has been 'rocky' is an understatement. I think deep down they do love me but I think there's a lot of resentment there. I think they believe I have changed their son and he's not the man he used to be. I believe we make eachother better people. I think that they think I spend money too frivolously and I think they think I'm selfish. I am nor do any of the above but those beliefs have sent us into a few knock out drag out fights. One where my MIL asked Dan in front of me what he was going to do when we get divorced. While I will never forget those words I have moved past it. We all say things we don't mean and we've all said things in heated moments that should never be spoken aloud. So I've moved past it.
Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's the peace and calm of my two day a week work schedule. Maybe it's that I've matured (probably not). Whatever it is, I am looking forward to this visit. I am not anticpating what will go wrong or how I will snap back when someone says something obnoxious. I am looking forward to it.
The Best part? Maybe time really does make a difference.
Once or twice a week we opt for a shower with Daddy instead of a bath for Cannon. It's faster and easier than a bath where we have to get out every letter in the alphabet, cups to play with, and the Little People boat everytime we get in.
So Daddy and Cannon play in the shower for a bit, clean up and then I swoop in and grab Cannon so Daddy can take a real shower. Usually right before I grab Cannon out of the shower I hear "No no buddy, that's Daddy's.". That's my cue.
I have a friend who is a very talented photographer so this weekend we met her downtown to take some Christmas card pictures. I'm thrilled with them. Below are some of my faves (note: I have not included a couple of the best ones... those are being saved for the actual Chrismtas card).
The Best part? We got our Christmas decorations up! 'Tis the season.
Generally the holidays come with a small ammount of stress. Part of it's the money we spend buying people who don't need anything wonderful gifts that chances are, they'll return. Part of it is coordinating plans. Part of it is trying to figure out how to share the holidays with two families who live in different cities and who are best kept in separate rooms or states for that matter. But this year, so far, has been surprisingly stress free.
Last year we decided that now that we're a family, we wake up in our house on Christmas morning. We want to create our own traditions with our family and one of those is waking up at home Christmas morning. Our home. We want to leave cookies out for Santa on our fireplace and we want to sprinkle reindeer food in our front yard. We want to read " Twas the Night Before Christmas" in front of our warm fire in our Christmas pj's. It's not that we don't love our families and want our parents to be with us at the holidays, it's that we want our kids to have memories like we have. Memories of our home at Christmas time. We want to make it special for our kids. And so, even though Cannon doesn't have a clue that it's Christmas or who Santa is or why there will soon be a tree in the living room, we will be at home on Christmas.
Last year we started some new traditions. We are so lucky to have Dan's brother's family a quick 45 minute drive away. So, this year, like last year, we will spend Christmas eve with them. We will eat too much and spoil the kids. We will share the holiday with them.
Christmas morning we'll open presents (although it's difficult to 'open' a new basement) and then have some friends over for the 2nd Annual Best Family Christmas Brunch complete with mimosas, quiche, and a cinnamon pull apart. The rest of Christmas day will be spent packing for a trip to Captiva Island where we'll meet my family for the WHOLE week!
I haven't done any shopping, am only beginning my grocery list for Thanksgiving (we'll be celebrating Christmas with Dan's family Thanksgiving weekend) and decorating is happening much later than I thought it would... but Christmas is coming and I couldn't be more excited!
The Best part? I love everything about Christmas time. In fact, I think I'll go decorate starting... NOW!
He has a whole gammet of words like most 14 months olds do.
Shoe. Down. Side (short for outside). Mom. Juice. Cheese. Daddy. Night night. The list goes on.
But the last couple of days the favorite word is the 'n' word. No. And it's said in a whole host of different ways. Declaratory as in "no!" as he throws his milk across the room. Questioning "no?" as he attempts to jump between the chair and coffee table. And most often like a whiny little baby 'nooooooo'. It's like nails on a chalkboard, or whatever your least favorite sound is (mine is the sound of people chewing, so I should say it's like listening to someone chew.).
He's got a cold. He's getting teeth. He's fussy.
I'm trying to make a point of not asking him to do something, although that's what comes easiest. Like saying 'want to get out of the tub?'... instead I'm trying to rephrase so as not to give the opportunity for the word to be said. "It's time to get out".
Sure, we tell him no. We're supposed to tell him no, right? I asked his teacher at school, she says they're all saying it. She said she says 'uh-uh' instead of 'no' or tries to.
So the question is, how do I teach him 'yes'? We taught him to 'moo' like a cow and 'quack' like a duck. Surely we can teach him to say 'yes'.... right???
The Best part? It's a phase. It's got to be a phase. I really hope it's a phase.
Disclaimer: If you are a friend of mine (or don't know me) and are pregnant read on at your own discretion. Learned some sad news about a friend tonight and felt compelled to write.
Sometimes you hear something and it actually makes your heart ache. Like physically, you can feel your heart hurting. Tonight my heart is aching.
A friend went in for a routine check-up around the 8 month mark in her pregnancy with a little boy and the baby had no heartbeat. Tonight, she is delivering that little boy. Harrison is his name.
Labor is called labor for a reason. It's hard emotionally and physically. But there is a reward or there is supposed to be a reward. You get to hold and meet this wonderful little person you have nurtured for 10 months. And best of all you get to take them home to a new world, new adventures, and a new chapter in your life. My friend won't have that. My heart aches for her and her husband.
There is no explanation. I've never understood things like childhood cancer (or any stage cancer for that matter), tragic deaths (and I've covered a lot of them), and inexplicable pain and sadness some people are forced to endure. How can you explain losing a baby this far along? What possible solace is there for them? What possible comfort?
Tonight as my heart aches for her, I am sending every prayer, every ounce of strength and courage I have to my friend. She needs it right now.
This weekend we were supposed to head to Erie for some quality time with Dan's side of the family but plans changed on Thursday. We were left with a weekend with (gasp!) no plans!
Dan had a million things he wanted to get done around the house which is wonderful but difficult to do with a 1 year old climbing around with you. So on Saturday morning Cannon and I got up early and headed to Indy. Two of my closest friends (and their husbands) were doing what I consider to be 'the impossible'.
When I was 14 I had a spinal fusion to correct or partially correct my scoliosis. It's a 14 hour surgery. I remember my mom saying "Dr. Lenke runs marathons, that's why he can handle a 14 hour surgery, no sweat."
Back to Saturday. Cannon and I camped out at the finish line to surprise my friend Michelle who tackled 13.1 miles in just over two hours (a. mazing.). Then we headed over to mile marker 25 where soon Josh and Meggie would be nearing the end. 26.2 miles. I can not even fathom. What do you think about for that long? The kind of mental drive, stamina, and determination it takes I just can't even wrap my head around.
Josh qualified for the Boston marathon (running 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 8 minutes, what?!?!) and Megs met her goal and beat her personal best! Wow. What a wonderful thing it was to see my friends accomplish major goals. I envy their drive and dedication the likes of which can easily be likened to a world class spine surgeon.
And the Best part? Only they could look this good after 26.2 miles. :)
This morning I went to the gym, left Cannon in their safe, clean, daycare along with my drivers license, notes about where I plan to be inside of the gym, and a blood sample and headed upstairs to the eliptical. I did my 50 minutes of cardio and lifted a few weights. While I was working out I read. I did not have headphones on, nor was I engrossed in a dark loud spinning class. I was reading, on the elliptical, in plain sight of most of the two story, open air, body building haven.
I return downstairs to pick Cannon up and one of the ladies rushes over.
"Connor had an accident!".
Connor? I know there are a lot of kids in there and I know that he's there for like 3 hours a week but still... Connor? Did all of the kids have an accident or just my kid? Cause if it's just my kid, you could at least look at the sheet and learn his damn name.
"Cannon?" I respond.
"Oh, right. Sorry. Cannon fell off the teeter totter and cut his mouth. He was bleeding for a few minutes but it stopped."
This has happened half a dozen times. He falls, hits his chin and his bottom teeth hit the roof of his mouth, cutting his gums. He bleeds for a few minutes and then is fine. However, my son was bleeding in a daycare at a gym and no one came to get me.
"Is it standard procedure to not come get a parent when a child is bleeding?" I question. Feathers starting to ruffle.
"We paged you twice. There were too many kids in here for one of us to leave." They hop on the defensive.
"I didn't have headphones on and I was at the top of the stairs. I heard all the other pages for trainers and such, I did not hear my name. Not once, definitely not twice. And, is there no one else who works in the gym who could come get me?"
This place is a mega gym. At any given time there are 20 or 30 trainers hanging around, a few managers and several 'desk' people. There was clearly someone in the building who was available to walk up 30 stairs and search the 30 elipticals for Cannon or Connor's mom. I left my concerns with the manager and gently suggested they take a closer look at their policy and also check the paging system. They apoligized and said it would be taken care of.
I will take him back tomorrow. I don't think he's unsafe there, and I'm not super crazy first time mom. I am not. I know those moms, I'm not one of them. I want my child to get used to being places without me, be around other adults and he falls all the time. I'm cool with all of that. What I'm not cool with is the fact that my child was bleeding and no one thought I might like to know. Add that to the fact that the woman comforting him while he cried was calling him Connor and my feathers are fully ruffled.
Nope, not me (remember, not drinking on M, T, and W?). Time. The amount of time I waste is amazing. Between social networking, emailing, blogging, and actually talking on the phone, I waste more time than I know what to do with.
The things I could be doing right now: laundry. putting the vacuum back together. measuring the rooms for the homeowners insurance company (no idea why). paying bills. balancing an always unbalanced checkbook. catching up on Private Practice (Dan won't watch it with me...). cleaning. making dinner. scraping dried food off of Cannon's high chair. making the bed. cleaning toilets. reading. writing thank you notes. working on xmas gifts for family. organizing the cabinets and drawers I constantly ignore. The list goes on. And yet, here I sit. Blogging.
Our two car garage houses various strollers and wagons, a fridge, a freezer, and always two of our cars. We are not the people who have a garage full of stuff and leave the cars outside. We park our cars in the garage.
That was until construction started.
So, it is with nothing but sheer joy and elation that I can announce that I can park... in the GARAGE!
If I've lost you.... the translation... the basement is FINISHED!
Our toddler oasis complete with a firetruck ball pit, Little People world, and nearly every toy imaginable is complete. The walls are toupe, the trim is white, the carpet is 'pecan'. The half bath is light blue and it is fantastic. Cannon actually goes to the door and bangs on it to go down there. We have successfully moved 90% of the toys from the living room to the basement. We have our living room back.
So, without further adieu... I give you... The BEST part!
Still some decorating and organizing to do...
Need a cool clock or something here...
Cannon's toy oasis.
Having hella trouble finding a mirror to go over the sink!
In search of a red and white damask floor mat/ rug for the floor. Going to be a long search.
The diet. December 26th = Vacation. Beach. The diet starts today. 10 pounds. I'd be thrilled with 10 pounds.
Since joining a new gym I've been going pretty regularly (4ish times a week) and working out decently hard. I could do better. So I'm going to. I am committing in writing to working harder when I'm there, and counting calories. This week I'll up my cardio to 45 minutes and take a spinning class or two. Ugh. None of this is exciting.
Counting calories is the worst. I will declare a moratorium on eating after 8:30 at night thereby putting an end to snacking just to snack. Bye popcorn at 9:30 at night. See ya later edamame and half a box of reduced fat wheat thins. Oh and the Halloween candy is gone, long gone. I will also cut back on my alcohol intake. Perhaps I'll be sober sis Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
I will beat you 10 pounds. I will come out on top. I will wear my tight pants as a constant reminder that I am dieting. I will get up every time the alarm goes off at 5:45. No excuses. I will not snack and watch the Biggest Loser.
Dan will diet too. The difference is that in a week, he'll lose five pounds looking at the scale. Oh to be a man on a diet.
Here we go. Join me if you like!
I am going to be accountable. To the blog and therefore, to myself. To be clear, I won't starve myself, nor will I make myself miserable. It's simple math (which is good because I suck at math). More calories out than calories in.
So it was Cannon's second 'official' Halloween but the first one where we attempted to trick or treat. Last year our little peapod was only 8 weeks old (and I still had pregnant face... and everything else).
This year was different. We invited three families over for pizza and drinks before the trick or treating began. So we had 7 adults and 6 kids running around and attempted a group shot. Here's how it went:
Dan puts Cannon on the couch next to the two girls.
He's content for a second (even wearing Addie's bumble bee antanea).
He fakes left.
He fakes right.
And, he's off.
Oh well. You win some you lose some.
So, we move outside. The moms took the kids and the dads hung in the driveway (close to the beer) to hand out candy. While I am fairly certain Cannon didn't have a clue what was going on, he had fun.
We parked him in the wagon in the driveway to hang out for the rest of the night which he loved. The neighbor girls even came by to give him his first pixie stick. Awesome.
Trick or treating in our neighborhood is different. We had 200 trick or treaters. Not kidding. Kids everywhere. Everyone sits in their driveways, most have fire pits going, and hand out candy to the masses. It's a blast. But by 8, we were all exhausted. We did manage to keep Cannon up later in hopes of getting him to sleep in later because of daylight saving time. No such luck. We were up at 6.
The Best part? Next year will be even more fun! Is it too early to start decorating for Christmas? :)