Personal Stuff

OK…I’ll just admit I don’t have a really good reason for waiting this long to start blogging again, other than that lots of things have been going on. But that’s the end of that excuse, so it’s time to jump back on the wagon. Here goes:


For anyone who doesn’t know already, I am pregnant! Jamie will become a big brother on or around December 3. We will find out at the end of July what gender we’re expecting. In the meantime, we’re just busy trying to figure out the logistics of the house with another baby and stuff like that. So far, we still haven’t done much. We still need another crib, if anybody knows anybody…


Let’s see…what else? Jamie has been speaking in sentences for a couple of months now, and it’s really come on like gangbusters, so you can have whole conversations with him now, which is completely awesome! He has also discovered that the most exciting thing in the world to his two-and-a-half-year-old self is…picking beans! Seriously, we took him outside over the weekend when we had to pick green beans, and boy, did he go to town on that! He filled up a grocery sack, and was so proud of himself! We finally had to cut him off so there would be some left for other family members to come pick. Here’s some photos of him picking beans with Grandma on Sunday morning:


Jamie and Grandma working hard in the bean field...

Jamie and Grandma working hard in the bean field...


Here's a good one!

Here's a good one!


All in a day's work...

All in a day's work...


So now that the beans are harvested, the next big chore is figuring out how to get Jamie to EAT the beans! Seriously, he is still the pickiest eater I have ever seen, and that’s saying a lot considering his father would have to start eating more just to be classified as “eating like a bird”…I think I’m the only one in the house who actually eats dinner instead of just poking a big whole in the food on my dinner plate. YIKES. So, anyway, I’ve been trying to concentrate a lot lately on ways to involve Jamie with food preparation in hopes of engaging his interest in healthy food a bit more. I’ve also been trying to eat healthier, myself, too in order to avoid some of the issues I had when I was pregnant with Jamie, like preeclampsia and frequent UTI issues. So, with a lot of inspiration from other mothers out there trying to feed their families nutritious, healthy meals, I’ve really been occupied lately with making 100 percent homemade foods as much as possible, so I know exactly what I’m putting into every dish (and what I’m not!).  A MILLION THANKS to websites like (my daily “healthy toddler mommy” inspiration) for making this seem possible.


Let’s see…what else…Oh! Jamie got to finally “hold” his cousin, Hazel, on his own (and by on his own I mean with grown-ups on either side ready to help out if she squirmed) like a big boy. He got so excited, and she did, too. Just look:


Here's looking at you, kid...

Here's looking at you, kid...


Right back at 'ya...

Right back at 'ya...


So cute. Well, I’m sure I could think of a hundred other topics to discuss since last I blogged, but really, who can top pictures of cute little kids, huh? Not me, so I will end my post here, with the promise of a speedy return.





It’s been a while since my last post. I was out from work with pneumonia for 3 weeks and computer time has been at a minimum since I’ve been back and playing catch-up. However, without further ado, I give you Jamie dressed as his favorite thing in the UNIVERSE, Thomas the Tank Engine, for Halloween last week:
One happy little engine!

One happy little engine!

Jamie LOVES anything Thomas. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s getting a train table for his birthday next month. The Thomas brand one was way too expensive, so he’s getting a less expensive table that comes with tons of Thomas-compatible track, and then we’re just encouraging friends & family to peruse the Thomas Wooden Railway line (there are like five different types of Thomas, none compatible with the others, but Jamie’s is “Thomas Wooden Railway System” and can easily be identified because they are non-powered, no-battery wooden trains with round, magnetic bumpers on front-and-back to connect to each other) as supplementary birthday presents to use on his train table.


I’ve already been fielding some preliminary questions about what he has/wants/needs as far as presents, and more specifically, Thomas, so here is a brief listing which I intend to keep updated by crossing stuff out as I know it’s coming to Jamie. Sheesh, this feels like a registry or something, but with so many family members in different places, it seemed like the best way to keep stuff straight so people know what his interests are, what he likes, and what he already has…so anyway, please do NOT feel pressured to buy him anything off this list (or anything, period, for that matter; we know what Christmas budgets are like!!), but I just thought I’d keep everyone posted this way and if it makes it easier on even one person, it’s served a purpose. 🙂





WHAT JAMIE IS GETTING from various people for either his birthday or Christmas (at the time I write this posting):



-Annie & Clarabel (Thomas’s two faithful coaches)


-James (of course!)



-The Aquarium Cars

-Sodor Engine Wash

-Sodor Caboose

 -Harold the Helicopter

-Sir Topham Hatt’s car

-Stop-and-Greet Station (This is a destination that is integrated with recognition chips to speak to the individual engines when they come through. So far I don’t know of any of the wooden talking railway trains that Jamie is getting, just regular wooden ones, so it would be cool if he got versions of some that would be identified and spoken to, though the little destination is pretty cool on its own even without that feature. It has a little door that pops open and Sir Topham Hatt comes out and says stuff, which Jamie will love.)

-Suddery Swing Bridge


-More trucks/freight/railcars for his engines to pull

-Small destinations to fit over the tons of track we’ve got, like little unload/load stations or whatever in the Thomas line…y’know, things to link his extremely generic table set to the “official” Island of Sodor where Thomas and his friends live



-The matching express coaches for Gordon would be very cool.

-Toad (Oliver’s companion)

-Mighty Mac the two-faced engine




-Bertie the Bus


And so on. There are about a trillion of these wooden characters. Actually, he would be thrilled with any Thomas item out there because our lives currently REVOLVE around Thomas and have for the better end of a year. Videos, books, coloring pages, toys, you name it–Jamie is FASCINATED with anything remotely having to do with the Island of Sodor and its Really Useful Crew. Speaking of which, it would be really cool to track down the original Rev. Awdry books about Thomas (what started it all). I’m not sure how they’d be listed on Amazon or elsewhere. I think the original name of the series was “Railway Island”…the first books are about 40 years old, so they may have renamed them now that Thomas is so popular outside of Europe as well. Who knows. The wooden trains are kind of expensive (start around $9.99) so we don’t expect anyone to go nuts here, and obviously he’s getting several characters, so again, please don’t feel like you have to give him Thomas trains. We know they’re pricey. I just know it’s hard to keep up on what little ones have, what’s popular, and all that, so I posted this for that reason. He will love anything people give him because he loves the people who give it to him and he has cool relatives. 🙂


Oh, and for those wondering, Jamie will be wearing size 2T in tops and bottoms this winter. He’s already wearing 2T shirts and is rapidly outgrowing all of his 24-month jeans. The next round of shoes will be size 7. For whatever that’s worth. I have seriously been slacking when it comes to keeping relatives up on this sort of stuff. Sorry.


On an unrelated note, check out the cool election pumpkin Hubby and I carved a couple weeks ago. It was way easier than it looked. We couldn’t believe it actually worked. It didn’t look much like him until we put the light in it, and then…POW! 🙂




Don’t forget to get out there and vote tomorrow!!!



I’m now officially down 10.5 lbs! I started this diet almost three weeks ago at 187.5 lbs. This morning, the scale showed 177.0 lbs! Woohoo!

Diet Journal for Yesterday: High-Protein Slimfast shake for breakfast, High-protein Slimfast shake for lunch, very small salad (sans cheese but with regular buttermilk dressing) and hardboiled eggs for dinner (Eggland’s Best, of course!!), and a midnight snack of a Clementine tangerine that I shared with the pups.

My boss, Darin, did me a big favor as we were leaving work yesterday — he warned me that he would be bringing in Panera breakfast today for everyone in the office, and graciously promised that no French Toast bagels or raspberry flavored cream cheese would make it into his bag this morning. As long as those two things aren’t in there, I can totally trust myself to be good in the face of temptation. 🙂 Thanks, D!

In other news, Jamie continues to improve. He has gone without Albuterol the past 2 days, and is still doing better all the time. He’s still very, very tired at night and won’t stay up and play with us longer than 15 minutes, but he was quite agreeable this morning and even let me put his coat, hat, AND mittens on him before school. (Usually I have to settle for some sort of diminished combination of those things.) I did not press my luck and attempt shoes; instead, I just located the newest pair of socks I could find in hopes they would still be extra warm and fuzzy on the inside. His corduroy pants were long enough to cover his feet this morning, so I think he’s fine. Plus, I think we left his sneakers at Grandma’s house. Oops.

And that’s the latest from here. More later. Hopefully by Monday I’ll have shed a couple more pounds to post about!!


It’s been a while since I updated the ol’ blog…here’s what’s going on in our world:

Jamie: Is getting over a nasty double ear infection. He’s finally starting to feel better, after being on half a dozen different medications. He has to continue the Cephaclor and Albuterol for several more days, but we’re starting to see some mild improvement so I hope we’re almost out of the woods. Other than being ill, he’s been really, really hyper from the Albuterol. The clinic said it’s like handing him a pot of coffee. We’re finally able to back it off from three times a day to once daily, so at least his hyperactivity is controllable in the evening now. He watched part of “Ratatouille” on DVD the other night and loved it. He fell asleep watching it on my lap. He NEVER falls asleep on my lap. It was very sweet.

Geoff: Is still up to his eyeballs in press coverage for this whole Herrin cop conspiracy nonsense with the state’s attorney. Several friends from his hometown came to visit last weekend so he was able to get away from all the hype for a couple of days and enjoy some R & R, which he desperately needed. Other than that, he is good.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy, too. I’ve been doing some serious dieting and have already lost 9 lbs. That would be really great, except that it made my wedding ring become too loose and I LOST IT last weekend. We think it got lost in the house, but I’ve turned the place upside down every night and still can’t find it. Dismantled the washing machine (thanks Daddy), went through the garbage, checked inside pockets and oven mitts, followed the dogs around while they did their business….I cannot figure out where it is!! I even checked inside Jamie’s vaporizer. No ring.

Still, it’s nice to be losing some weight finally. Maybe I can reach my first of several goal weights by Christmas. That would be a nice present!!! (Though finding my ring would be even nicer…I feel so sad about it.) 😦

Well, I guess that’s about all the news from Lake Wobegon…I’ll try and post updates as I continue to diet and pretend someone else cares if my butt gets smaller…but I have already gone down a jeans size! Yay!!

I am off to a grouchy start this morning.

Jamie’s preschool has a terrible bookkeeping system. We never receive invoices on any proper schedule, and every few months when I do randomly receive one, it is 100% of the time inaccurate. Then, in addition to a bogus bill waiting for me in his file, I also get to encounter friendly little messages on the time clock when I sign him in, tacking on late fees for a bill I already paid, and basically calling me a deadbeat. So then I get to spend my whole day already pissed off and tracking down bank statements and check stubs to prove I paid them in the first place.

I have never once paid anything late, in the whole time he’s been in preschool. Not a single day. And I’m sick of having to constantly prove that I’ve paid tuition they’ve already taken to the bank and cashed.

And now, they’ve come up with this silly little “art project fee” that we all have to pay. There goes another five bucks a month. Not much at face value, until you consider that in the seven months he’s attended preschool, Jamie’s entire career as an artisan consists of three or four pieces of faded construction paper with a tempra footprint adorned by butt-ugly yarn or a smiley face drawn with magic marker. Considering Jamie’s room has 15 or 16 kids coming and going through there, it apparently is costing them $80 a month, in just the infant room alone, to produce these masterpieces.

They are nickel-and-diming everyone to death because when the new management took over, they promised they wouldn’t raise anyone’s tuition rates. So instead, they’re constantly coming up with these silly little fees to tack on everywhere. I expect to get a happy little newsletter from them next week announcing that, effective immediately, parents will be charged additional service fees for each time their kid craps their pants exceeding the allotted standard of one bowel movement per day…



I wasn’t hungry at noon today, so I decided to take a trip out to Giant City (above) on my lunch hour, what with Springer Ridge Road being right across the road from my new office. Beautiful, beautiful…just me and a bottle of Diet Coke sitting beside a still creek made out of giant rocks (below). What a great way to regroup midday. I’m ready to tackle the afternoon now! 


For the record, neither of these photos was taken by me. Just wanted to keep things honest.


…(humming the Moody Blues in my head)

Well, I enjoyed lunch today with one of my coworkers from the good ol’ DCE days…my friend Stacy and I had lunch at McDonald’s. It was nice to catch up with her, because I miss her. The people at McDonald’s were going crazy because a water main broke and the cashier was really mean and I was afraid of her because she got mad at me when I asked if I could have iced tea (I didn’t know the water main had caused their problems…I thought their soda fountain had just broken). She was scary. Maybe I will eat at the other McD’s from now on in case she does voodoo on me to get even with me for ordering iced tea when they are out of it…

Other than Scary Cashier Girl, Stacy and I had a good time. Actually, today has been pretty decent all around. Hubby was nice enough to use part of his vacation day today cleaning up the kitchen and running errands to the bank and water department for me since he is on vacation and I am at work. What a nice husband. I will fix Hamburger Helper for him when I get home. And he’s a nice enough husband that this will actually make him happy. Even though I will have to make it out of SKIM milk that I accidentally at the store on Sunday, which is a cardinal sin.

It is a good afternoon. 🙂


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