Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Excitement!

I'm really just posting for 2 reasons:

1 - Alan has a phone interview on Monday. Odds are pretty high that he will also have a face to face interview. This means he is missing the last few days of our vacation to fly up to Washington, but hopefully it will be fruitful. He's going to see about setting up a few more interviews as well.

2 - I'm getting a laptop! Hooray! This has been a long time coming, but when your computer starts to show signs of death and you HAVE to have a computer in order to work, you do what must be done. I knew my next system would not be a desktop machine, so we got a screaming deal on a laptop (saved over $600) and it should be here before vacation begins.

So, both these things have me very happy! If the interviews fall through, however, we did find a nice little place to live not too far from here. Hopefully it will still be available when it's time for us to get serious. If not, there are a few other places that are promising as well. It's nice to have Plan A and Plan B.

Also - 4 days of camp left. 4 days of work left. Basically, I'm almost done. WOOT! Now I just have to try and get the rest of the show together by Thursday. We'll see how that goes! Ha!

That pretty much sums up my little update.

:)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Busy, busy, bumblebee!

How is it already Wednesday? Not only that, but how is Wednesday almost over? I do not understand!

So, Soren is almost done with his week of Cub Scout Day Camp. I'm 1/3 of my way through my summer camp. Next week we leave on our vacation. I knew it would come quickly, but seriously! It's like lightening speed!

Alan is off this week and digging around for jobs in the Portland area. We thought we had a bite, but it didn't turn out like we had hoped. So we are also looking for housing out closer to the campus of George Washington University where he spends a majority of his time. There are a few prospects there, but we won't solidify anything until the end of July/beginning of August. Our hopes are really to find something back in Portland. We'll see what happens.

I come home each day from camp exhausted. Luckily, the kids are great (for the most part - 5 & 6 year olds just naturally come with their drawbacks haha). I may have been a bit too ambitious with the parts I gave to the younger crowd, but I'm hoping they can pull it together. If not, we'll just make it work. They really only have 8 days to pull this together, so I think the parents will be very forgiving.

I still need to finish some choreography for the songs. It's stinks, though, because by the time I get home I'm just spent, so I have no desire to sit and choreograph. But the kids learn better if they have actions to go with the songs. And luckily all the songs are group songs, so that makes things even better. More voices!

Six. More. Days. Only 6. And then I will have ONE job (like a normal person! haha!) and time to spend with my boys. In between packing up the house, selling odds and ends, and getting ready to move. I'd start packing now, but I'm too tired by the time I'm off work! 27 kids will do that to you!

"Little Bean" is doing well. I think I've started to feel little flutterings here and there. Last night I was laying in bed unable to sleep at 2:30am. I rolled on my back and I could tell that Bean had moved, though I didn't actually feel the movement. It's pretty cool. I don't remember anything really with Soren, probably because I was too busy to pay attention. But I'm trying really hard to capture every moment with this one because I do not know if it will happen again. I have GOT to remember to schedule my ultrasound!!! I'm such a space case. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.

Well, it's about time for me to lay on the couch and crash for an hour or two. It is Girl's Night tonight, after all, so I've got to try and have a bit of energy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why are people so stupid?

I was driving on the road today, like ya do, and this car was totally tailgating me as I was getting on the freeway. This is fairly average Virginia driver behavior, so I ignored him and sped up to get on the freeway. Well, he decided I was going too slow, so he pulls out into a lane that is about to end and passes me on the right. I thought he was an idiot, so I sped up, but my 4 cylinder engine was no match and I gave up and rolled my eyes. Only then he gets in front of me and slams on his brakes (I have 2 witnesses of this, by the way). So I honked at him for being an idiot. Then he taps his brakes again and I honked at him again because it was just not called for. I, once again, roll my eyes at the stupid, get over one lane (because I don't like driving in the far right lane, I prefer one of the 2 middle lanes), and just drive. I noticed he is still ahead of me a bit, but I don't care. I'm not attempting to pass him, I'm just attempting to drive.

We keep chugging along the freeway and my exit is starting to come up so I'm getting ready to move over to the right eventually but before I do this, he slows down. At this point he is in the far right lane that now has a big red X above it because it's closed until morning rush hour. He eventually lets me pass and gets behind me. I find this odd, so I look in the rear view mirror and he has his camera phone out and is taking a picture of my license plate and/or vehicle as he's driving. Smart AND safe. Idiot again. THEN he pulls out to my left, speeds up, and takes a picture of ME! Seriously??? Again, not a safe move because he's supposed to be DRIVING HIS CAR, not having a photo op with me. I mean, I know I'm gorgeous, but seriously!

So I'm sitting there thinking - what in the world is he doing? And why? Does he have a blog? Does he run a "drivers that are annoying" website? Or is he going to call the cops and whine because someone honked at him and he has the license plate and picture to prove it?!?! He was in the wrong about ten times over, so I don't get what his problem was, but whatever. I had to laugh about it because no matter what he's doing, he's an idiot.

I did actually find a site called PlateWire where people post stuff about bad/good drivers. I'm going to keep an eye on it to see if that guy posts about me so I can respond and be like - uh, you're the stupid driver.

Blogger is about to have an outage, so I will have to complain more later. Haha!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Bump In the Road

You would think I would learn.

But alas, I don't!

Yesterday we got pulled over (in the church parking lot, no less! Ha!) because or safety/emissions was expired on our vehicle. I was supposed to take it in back in January. I kept putting it off, and putting it off. I honestly had every intention of taking it in this week, since it's my week off and what not. Too late, though. We got a fun fine we get to pay on top of the cost of the inspection - which I did this morning at 8am. At least we are legal now and I don't have to kick myself every time I'm anywhere near a cop for not getting it done. No, instead I spent almost all of church yesterday berating myself for not getting it done sooner! Oh well - you live, you learn - right?

I'd believe that, except that the EXACT same thing happened last year. Haha! Maybe next year I'll have learned my lesson?

In other exciting news, I finally found a really good deal on a rental car and am booked for a full size vehicle to get us around Nevada, Utah, and Arizona on our little trip that is fast approaching. So now the only thing left is to actually get there, I suppose. I'm sure the next 3 weeks will zip by, though, and before I know it I'll be getting us all packed and ready to go. I'd say we, but it's not as if I'll get much help from the boys! That's fine, though. Boys are generally sloppy packers, so I'm ok with it. I say this now, but once I'm in the middle of summer camp, I might change my tune!

Speaking of things I'm finally getting done, I finally went through a large pile of maternity clothes I have acquired and tried them all on. Soren and his parade of stuffed animals gave their approval to most of the shirts this morning and I now have a stack of neatly folded clothes on my rocking chair. There were only 4 things I decided would not work for me. I'm going to put them up on Craigslist and see if I can't score a couple bucks off of them. That'd be nice, since 3 of the 4 things I got for free.

School is officially out, so Soren is enjoying the beginnings of his summer vacation. Saturday he invited a friend over to go to the pool and we spent a majority of our afternoon there, including packing up a little picnic lunch to take with us. It was fun, but I came home a little sunburned. It's hard to depend on a 9 year old to get some of the spots on your back/neck. Oh well! Today we are tidying up the house. We have the top floor pretty much complete. Now it's just the main floor that we have to deal with. It's not too bad, but definitely needs a once over with the vacuum and a duster. It will be nice when it's done! We can spend the rest of the week relaxing, swimming, visiting the library, and hanging out - just me and my boy!

Luckily, once we're are sick of each other, we'll both get a break. Soren has scout camp next week and I start my summer camp. We'll be busy enough to miss each other that we might be able to put up with each other during our vacation! Hee hee!

Well, that's it for today. I'm off to finish cleaning and get some lunch!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Remember the time....

A while back I made a post about the Cookie Monster. I cherish my childhood memories probably more than I should. But what bothers me most is when companies change classic icons to be politically correct. Like the Cookie Monster. Well, they've done it again. I knew Strawberry Shortcake got a makeover a while back, but now she apparently needs another one.

Here is the original Strawberry Shortcake:


Cute as a button. Look at her! That's the Strawberry Shortcake I know and love. She's cute, lovable, and just the way I remember her.

Then they modernized her. She currently looks like this:



Ok, it's modern. She's wearing jeans. Her clothes are a little more up to date. They've changed her face a bit. I still recognize her. I miss her cute dress and bigger, sillier hat, but I get it. Appeal to the age/times/etc. She's still eating her cookies and all that. She's still, BASICALLY, Strawberry Shortcake. I, of course, still prefer the original.

Fast forward to now. Ugh. Here is what were are going to be seeing soon:


WHO IS THAT????

I am more than bothered by what they have done to her appearance, but don't even get me started on the changes they are going to be making to the show. Just like Cookie Monster, Strawberry Shortcake is going to be changing as well. No more gumdrops and cookies and sweets that totally make up her world. No. They are going to be more "Fruit Forward." I am not making this up.

What happen to the days when we could just enjoy cartoons for what they were? Why do they have to be all about messages now? I didn't start shoving sugar down my throat at 4 years old because I watched this show and owned quite a bit of the merchandise related to it. So now they are completely revamping the show, the characters, the premise.... they have even removed the villain.

I hate how politically correct and, forgive the expression, 'sugar-coated' the world is today. I hate how people try to protect their children from everything instead of letting them experience life. I'm tired of how sheltered so many kids are these days.

Can't we just leave these memories of the past as they are and let them be? Stop trying to modernize it and make it all 'correct.' Just leave it in the past instead of messing around with it.

You see, it's not really about The Cookie Monster or Strawberry Shortcake. It's more about parenting. And how companies are playing into political nonsense. I'm just sick of seeing it everywhere I turn. I'm sick of having to explain to my son why I disagree with things he's being taught at school. I've been on the verge of writing notes and making phone calls this year because of some of the requirements he's had to fulfill. Ugh.

So, I'm a nostalgic crazy person. I know. But I also am annoyed at the politics involved in these changes.

And that, my friends, is all I can muster today. :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Vegas, Baby

July is just around the corner and we've been trying to slowly prepare for our adventures. After much searching, I booked a hotel for 2 nights in Vegas via Hotwire. I've used them before and had a good experience, so I tried it again. We managed to get 2 nights for under $100 and will be staying at Circus Circus, which I have read mixed things about. However, I'm actually excited. I think Soren will enjoy it, I know it's a family atmosphere, I know it's in a good location, and there are 3 pools. Hee hee. We'll really only be in Vegas for 1 day, so as long as I have a place to sleep for the 2 nights that we'll be there, I'm fine. I think by that point in our vacation, all I'll want to do is sleep! Ha! Those nights in Vegas come at the very end of our trip, so who knows how much energy any of us will have.

We are still on the hunt for a good deal with a car rental. Two weeks is a long time to rent a car, but there isn't anything that can be done. Once the car rental is done, though, we are set. All we have to worry about after that is money for gas and food. And directions to all of the places we'll be driving! I did, however, find out that my auto insurance covers rental cars, so I don't need to worry about something happening to the car - our insurance will cover it. PHEW!

Enough about vacation stuff!

It's been an eventful few days. Let's start with Thursday!

On Thursday, my friends Marie & Sarah & I went out to lunch and then headed over to a favorite spot of mine, The Game Parlor - don't judge the web design, the store has an awesome selection of games! Sarah bought me a game I had long been wanting but won't disclose the title of here, as people might think I am a bit morbid. She also purchased a very fun game called Gloom, which is actually not as morbid as it sounds nor as morbid as the game she purchased for me. Haha! I can't count how many times we played it, but it's definitely one I'd like to pick up. Marie bought a game called Quao (pronounced Cow), but we haven't had a chance to crack that one open yet. Hopefully soon! It sounds silly and fun, which I am all about. And morbid. I like morbid games! We realized by the end of the weekend that the games we enjoyed most involved people dying, as we also played Guillotine, Kill Dr. Lucky (very much like a reverse version of Clue), and Once Upon A Time (where there is, invariably, someone dead). Awesome!

After an afternoon catnap, the three of us headed off to the Squirrel Nut Zippers concert I mentioned in my previous post. Sadly, no cameras were allowed in the venue itself, but I did snap this one at the entrance:

The venue was awesome. It was a really intimate dinner theatre type setting and I loved it! The only real problems were as follows:

1 - The first opening act failed. Oh he was horrible. Not only did his music not fit in with the genre at all, but his voice was .... very much ... "hi-i'm-a-12-pack-a-day-smoker-who-somehow-managed-to-get-a-record-deal." It was painful to listen to. He also had a potty mouth. I'd like to erase all memories of him, but I'm afraid he may have damaged me for life!

2 - Brass instruments do not need a ton of amplification, especially in small spaces. Unfortunately, whoever was running sound for this show did not know this.

Aside from that, though, it was awesome!!!!! AND the second opening act is now on my list of groovy cool music that I love. The band is called The Firecracker Jazz Band. Holy COW are they amazing, not just as musicians, but as performers. The piano player was BRILLIANT and I wanted to scoop him up and put him in my pocket and take him home with me so I could have his mad skillz with me wherever I went. Wow! In fact, on a performance level, they were probably better than Squirrel Nut Zippers.

The only bad thing about the night was that I had a headache nearly the entire afternoon/evening. Headaches are not fun when you are at a concert! Oh well.

Friday was just a sort of - chill out day. We played games, watched movies, and just generally hung out. I did have to make a quick trip to work which turned into nearly an hour. What can you do? Otherwise, though, very low-key.

Saturday was a crazy day. Alan & Soren made a delicious breakfast of French Toast and bacon which we didn't actually eat until almost 11am. Then the boys headed to the pool for most of the afternoon and Sarah and Marie joined me at my final play performance for the performing arts school. I felt kind of bad that they were roped into helping so much, but they insisted afterwards that it was fine. So I suppose I will just have to believe them. It feels great to have the show over with and it went really well. Sadly, I spaced my camera (it was in my bag the whole time), so I have no pictures right now. I was exhausted by the end and a little sad, but I know that leaving is obviously the best thing to do!

Sarah's last day in town was Sunday. I spent a large portion of the day at church, then we played a few more rounds of silly games before Marie and I helped her pack up. I wasn't able to take her to the airport, as Soren had his very first piano recital. But, I know she got off ok and I can't wait to see her again. She is a great friend and I love her to bits!

So, onto photos from Soren's piano recital!





And here is a first - a video! This is Soren's second piece he played for the recital - Brave Warrior.

video

We have been so impressed with how quickly he has picked up things with the piano. We love listening to him practice and improve. My favorite thing, though, is how easily he is picking up theory. I struggled with it so much at his age but now I love it, so it's fun to see him enjoying it and understanding it at the same time.

After the crazy busy few days that we've had, I am grateful that today is going to be slower. I will probably take Soren to the pool after school and then Alan and I have a date tonight because it's the only night this week that works to go out! And I want to take him out for Father's Day. He has to work a lot this week - including Saturday - so that's a bummer. However, after this week he will be done with his big project at work and be able to focus on the next big project - trying to find a job in the Portland/Vancouver metro area. If he is successful, we'll be moving at the end of the summer to the great Northwest. If he's not, we'll still be moving, just not as far.

So yes, you heard it here first - we are moving from our lovely townhouse in August at some point. But as of right now, we just don't know where.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

How Many Updates is Too Many?

I've found since starting this blog, I can never decide if updating everyday is too much or if updating once a week is too little. So I've worked out a schedule for myself. We'll see what the verdict is on my updates in a few weeks. Right! On to the update!

Yesterday was insane.

The weather has been a little unpredictable, at best, the past week or so. With the humidity finally beginning to fall on the area, the thunderstorms have also become more frequent. This is our fourth Spring here in DC and I have no memory of any of the previous Springs being quite like this one. In the past week, we've had huge rainstorms, massive winds, and tornadoes. As I sat alone in the dark yesterday afternoon (we'd lost power) and watched the storm, it made me think of my daddy. When we lived in Ohio, in our tiny box (also known as apartment), we'd sit by the sliding glass door and watch the thunderstorms. I tried to call home, but no one answered.

So, instead I sat in the dark and let my mind wander. It was cool for a while, but I was grateful when Marie got home. Soren was almost an hour late getting home because the schools were on lockdown until the Tornado Warning passed. Alan, after leaving downtown at 4:15pm, didn't get home until almost 6:30pm. The storm had knocked out power to one of the metro stations, so after fighting crowds to wait for a shuttle bus, he gave up and just walked between the two stations. I picked him up and we found a Wendy's that had power and grabbed some dinner. Our neighbor came over and played with Soren (it's amazing what children can find to do with no electricity, but give them power and they are BORED! haha!). Another couple of friends came over to avoid the heavy traffic that the storm was creating and we played Pit by candlelight until bed time. All in all, it was quite fun!

After all the visitors left, we put Soren to bed and then Marie and I headed to the airport to pick up our friend, Sarah, who was lucky enough to fly here in the middle of a storm. Her flight was delayed and the airport was a little crazy, but after about 8 hours (it's normally about 2-3), she was finally safe in the car and we were on our way home. Upon return, the power was still out and Alan was sleeping on the couch with half a dozen candles lining the window sill, all lit to light our way home. By this point, I was exhausted and gave hugs to my friends and went to bed.

Around 5am, the power came back on. This meant that all the lights we didn't know were on came back on. So I woke up (I had to pee anyway - big shocker!) and turned them all off and tried to get back to sleep. No luck! So I decided to check on things on the internet, start some laundry, have a little something to eat, and in a few minutes I'm going to go tidy up downstairs. I'm sure this means that by 11am, I will be asleep somewhere, but I can't help it. Once I'm awake, I'm awake!

For those of you dealing with exciting Spring weather - I hope you stay safe! For those of you enjoying a warm, pleasant Spring.... be grateful! Haha!

I hope everyone has a lovely day! As for me, I'm heading to a Squirrel Nut Zippers concert tonight. So you can bet my day will be lovely! Woot!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June? Already? Or is that: June! Finally!

I have been looking forward to June for quite some time. However, now that it's finally here, I'm not so sure I am ready for it! Isn't that always the way? The pleasant spring weather is beginning to fade into the heat and humidity that accompanies the summers here in the DC area. I have never been a fan of humidity, but I have definitely become more accustomed to it the longer we live here. This, however, does not mean I like it. I've just accepted it.

This past Saturday was Soren's final soccer game. His team lost, but apparently he did a killer job as keeper (also known as goalie - I was at work, so I missed it). Following his game, we had a major storm which included tornadoes that touched down less than 5 miles from our front door. Exciting! Luckily things cleared up and the team was able to have their end-of-season-pool-party. Everyone commented on Soren's "mad skillz" in the goal. He truly is an amazing keeper and is not afraid to go after the ball, jump on it, and risk being kicked in the face. Not to mention the fact that when he kicks or throws it from the goal, it goes sailing across the field and scares some of the kids sometimes. However, most of them are now used to him, so we see less fear than we used to when he first started here. I hope he is able to play on a recreation level for a long time to come.

Today is dress rehearsal for our final show of the year, No Strings Attached. Dress rehearsal is always the point at which I say - I have done all I can. It's almost a nice relief because we don't have any more classes after this, just the cast party. For anyone who has done a play/musical before, it's always so nice when it's over because everyone is so tired of it. Sure, you miss the connections and closeness created with everyone that is involved with the show, but you are ready for it to be done 99% of the time. I am totally ready to be done. Which is why I have a countdown of how many more days I actually have to go into work on my calendar (14 more times after today, for those who are curious).

School is also wrapping up here. They moved the last day of school. We didn't have any snow days, so they removed the built in snow days and are letting the kids out 2 days earlier. This means that next Friday (the 13th - insert spooky music here), Soren will be done! He is very excited for a relaxing summer. I'm not sure how relaxing it will be, but at least he won't have school. I'm looking forward to the week following because I do not have to work, so we'll get to hang out.

The one sad thing about June is that we now have less than 30 days to decide what we are doing when our lease is up in August. It's not an easy thing for us, as we have come to love this area on many levels. There are things pulling us towards 'home' (Washington state), things pulling us closer to Alan's work (10-15 miles west of here, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it really is), and things pulling us to stay right where we are. I hate making tough decisions. I also hate change. We'll see what the future holds for us.

But on to more happy prospects! I am officially out of the First Trimester. I feel human about 85% of the time now and that is a wonderful feeling! Most of my pants are complaining when I try to zip/button them up. I bought a Bella-band type thing, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. Which means I could be in for trouble over the next 2 months. All of the real maternity clothes I have are for winter, because that is when I'll be the most pregnant. So I'm in that inbetween phase that many are familiar with - too small to really wear maternity clothes and too big to keep wearing regular clothes. Oh well! It's all worth it! After losing 60+ lbs this past year, though, it kinda stinks when everything that didn't fit you fits you again and you just feel fat instead of pregnant! Haha!

I'm sure there is more I could update about, but I've got errands to run and a dress rehearsal to get ready for! So, until next time.....

*waves*