Thursday, July 31, 2008

I wonder if I'll have groupies............

So I'm sure if you go digging through your dresser drawers, some of you may come up with one of those t-shirts from your favorite singer/band. You know the ones. They usually say something like "U.S. Tour 2005" on them. I'm wondering if I should get t-shirts made b/c with all the traveling I"m doing this summer, it feels like the Abby U.S. Tour 2008. Maybe I'm coming to a city near you.

My husband is an attorney as I've previously mentioned and is working on and International Trade Comission case that is being tried in D.C. in September so he has been out of town a lot lately. He spent a couple weeks out of the country, has been home a total of 9 days in July and in fact just got back tonight from a week-long trip to CA. Unfortunately Pumpkin and I leave at 6 a.m. to go out west for my family's yearly vacation. Hubs was planning on coming but alas the trial prep work roared its ugly head and demanded all of his time and attention. And I found out yesterday that hubs has to leave to go back to CA 5 days before I am supposed to return. So in the interest in salvaging our marriage from becoming a "long-distance relationship", Pumpkin and I will be heading out there too, after which we will return to Idaho for another family event I've committed to attend. So off we are this morning to Salt Lake City, then to Idaho, then to Salt Lake City (is it normal to stop in the same city twice on one tour? Salt Lake must have great fans), then to San Francisco, then to Boise, then finally back to my humble abode here in Texas for a couple weeks before we head out to D.C. for the month of September. (that trial again) Feels a little crazy to me, especially since I don't even have a bus with my face on the side of it. But I'm definitely gonna mull over that t-shirt idea. So maybe you could pick one up when we stop at a city near you!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The boogeyman likes to crouch

So hubs has been out of town since last Wednesday and anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the imagination when it comes to people breaking in/boobytrapping/robbing my home. This time I've done pretty well though I must say. The first night, my dear friend Tracey had me sleep over at her house just to avoid any possible 2 a.m. phone calls to have her husband come check my yard for the boogeyman. The next 3 nights I was fine. Last night I was on the phone with my sister when I heard a funny noise upstairs. I'm sure it was nothing but I couldn't help think about something a friend of mine said the last time we were discussing being home alone. She said something like this "The thing I'd be afraid of in your house is that someone would sneak in through the garage into the attic and then hide in the closet of that room that goes to the attic and just crouch down there until you go to bed." Yeah she said that to her "pee my pants over horror movie previews" friend. Now granted, she wasn't trying to scare me, she actually told me so that I could put a chair in front of that door or something to feel safer but I, being the scaredy-cat I am, take anything remotely scary and run with it. So last night, I was sure that the noise I heard must have been the crouching boogeyman switching positions (I don't know about you but my legs start to fall asleep when I crouch). So my dear old Tracey came to the rescue once again and knocked on my door at midnight (after a paranoid call from me) to sleep in one of my extra bedrooms (not the one w/ the closet made for crouching). I'm not sure why having her here makes me feel safer. I guess I figure that one of us could disctract Senor Boogeyman while the other one hit him over the head with a saucepan. Although maybe we should go for the knees seeing as they would be weak from all that crouching!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What is wrong with this picture?

Yes that is Coke Zero; no that ice cream is not low-fat; yes that was my breakfast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Laundry Chronicles - Edition 1

This morning hubs came out and said “now is hemming pants one you do?” I am not the accomplished seamstress that some of you may imagine, despite the kick-butt headbands I churn out for the hairless Pumpkin. Due to this fact, I have let my husband know what things I DO sew (or attempt at least) and the things I DON’T sew (button holes for example). Remarkably for him (considering the don’t list is about 4x as long as the do) I will attempt a hem here and there but I couldn’t help but think, “why in the world do you need pants hemmed this morning?” and I said as much, to which he responded “because I don’t have any clean pants to wear to work and I can’t wear these unless they’re hemmed.” Hmmmmmm…….I knew there was a reason I was going to put that load of laundry in yesterday instead of sitting down at my computer to……….blog! (I wonder what task I’m not getting done at this very moment due to writing this post; it’s probably not that important!) Did I mention I really hate laundry? Luckily there was a pair of his work pants sitting atop the laundry basket completely slightly hardly mixed with the REALLY dirty stuff at all) and they were mostly just wadded up in a ball wrinkled. So into the dryer they went after having been spritzed with the slightest amount (the whole bottle) of water. Needless to say, I think hubs left the house a little perturbed but I thought he looked ravishing! (I have a thing for men in soiled duds). Well gotta run, it’s time to switch the laundry!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rough Stuff

I just found out that a very good family friend of ours lost his job today. The family is feeling very overwhelmed and uncertain at this point. I just got off the phone with my sister after discussing the situation. Unfortunately, they have no back-up plan. Our friend never went to college, despite at one point having a full-ride scholarship, and neither did his wife. He has been working at the same job as a foreman for the last 20 years and was fired for lack of computer skills. He has nothing to fall back on and is, understandably, concerned about what lies ahead. His wife has been a stay-at-home mom their whole marriage but now plans to go try to find some work. But here's the problem: she has no education and no marketable skills. She doesn't even type or know how to open a document on a computer. These are both extremely giving, wonderful people and my heart aches for them right now and I wish there was something I could do but I'm not sure what. Any ideas?

This makes me suddenly extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to get a good education and that I've been taught to never stop learning. I'm grateful that my husband has a very stable job right now and even if he were to lose it, he has several things to fall back on. The feeling of security I get from this gives me great comfort. And I am grateful that I, as well as my friend, have the love and support of a Heavenly Father who does a very good job of getting us through the rough stuff.

Please include this family in your prayers as they absolutely could use the comfort and support of that right now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's fun for a girl or a boy........

Today my sweet friend Tracey invited Pumpkin and I to come spend the day at the pool at her country club. Pumpkin is only 1 remember so I packed along some small toys to keep her occupied after the novelty of the water and Tracey's kids wore off. At one point she was getting restless so I pulled out a toy. Suddenly kids swarmed around me clamoring for it. By the looks on their faces, you would have thought I was holding a 6-scoop giant ice cream cone. I told them that when Pumpkin got bored with it I was more than happy to share; and the crowd slowly dispersed with moans of disappointment. Despite the hoards of other kids to play with, the diving rings, kickboards and several other toys, a few boys and one girl stayed within earshot and never took their eyes off of Pumkin, just waiting for her to divert her attention to something else so they could pounce.

Finally one little girl could stand it no longer and slowly glided towards us, her brow furrowed as she thought of something to say. "Um, excuse me. I need to play with that," she mumbled with hesitation. As I had predicted, within a few minutes Pumpkin was no longer interested and I handed the toy off to the closest child. I then turned to talk to my friend and was interrupted by the sound of arguing as a much older girl (I'm talking like 12) tried to convince my friends' 4-year old to hand it over all the while trying to keep back the other two boys attempting to stake their claim.

What was the toy? Here's a hint. That's right, it was a slinky! I was amused and excited that even today with all of the flashing, singing, computing & motorized toys, these kids were seriously fighting over their turn to play with a slinky. The world is still a good place!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

As promised.......

(At a park in DUMBO sportin some borrowed digs)

As promised I am finally reporting on my NYC trip. We had an absolutely fabulous time. I was a little concerned about taking Pumpkin with us as I've never been there w/ a child and knew it was going to make things very different and well, it did. I'm sure some of you (as if to imply that more than 3 people read my will be surprised to hear that I did not visit many, if any of the usual tourist attractions. We went to no shows, we did not frequent Times Square nor did I spend any time at the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, the New York Stock Exchange (lol), or Central Park (gasp!). This is what I meant by the trip being different. We gotta make time for some naps or we have one cranky kid on our hands! Lucky for me I have lived there so it wasn't a big deal that I didn't get to see any of the above. Instead I spent most of my time hanging out with old college friends. We visited a few darling baby shops, went to an apparent Soho hot spot called Pinkberry (yum) and a cute little cookie shop in Brooklyn called One Girl Cookies. I got in plenty of clothes shopping at all my favorite places and of course made the trip to Chinatown where I am sad to admit did not find a new handbag as I had hoped. (sad face) As you can see, Chinatown was a bit too much to handle for the munchkin!

The first night we did actually drop by Times Square so that Pumpkin could ride the ferris wheel in Toys R Us (like she cares) and we could get some cute pictures (ah, the real motive). (See how much she cares) The second night I was there I had dinner with some good friends, all fellow social workers and one my old roommate. As always, it was so good to catch up and had the BEST Thai food that I have had in several years.After dinner we took a walk to the above-mentioned cookie shop. I, being the kind friend I am let my newly married friends Cait and Jeff practice some parenting skills (for future use) by pushing my stroller and carrying my diaper bag (which Jeff subsequently left sitting on the counter at the cookie shop in clear view of anyone with evil intentions. Should we really give this guy a kid afterall?) See what a good job they did.
All in all it was a good trip and reminded me of some of the things I really miss about the city and some things I can definitely continue to do without. The list:

Things I miss:

  • walking and riding the subway everywhere. It makes it very easy to pop in to a store when you realize you are out of milk and there's no unbuckling of car seats and lugging of children into the cart. You just blip the stroller in, grab the milk and pay and blip the stroller out. There is so much to look at and so many neat places to go that it really gives you a chance to spend A LOT of time outside w/o too much hassle except....(see number 1 on Things I can live without)
  • the un-Walmartization (so not in the dictionary) which means there are blocks upon blocks of cute little mom ~n~ pop stores and funky one-of-a-kind boutiques that you don't get anywhere else
  • being around people all of the time. I didn't realize how rarely Pumpkin sees people outside of church and family until we went on this trip and I saw how utterly intrigued she was.
  • street vendors. I know you get these in other cities but it's nothing like in New York, at least in my experience. And while I did not buy any grafiti ball caps, $5 purses, or used books, I did pick up some out of this world finger puppets for cheap!
Things I can do without:
  • lugging a stroller up and down all the stairs to/from the subway and to/from the street.

  • piles of garbage on the side of the road that collect rats

  • not being able to drive a car even when I want to

  • everything costing a fortune
At one point these lists were both much longer but because I'm a few days past when I wanted this posted, this is the best I can do. Bottom line: I love New York and miss living there but I can also appreciate the benefits of living elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm a big kid now!

I have been in Manhattan since Monday on a visit since hubs had to be here for business. I've had a fabulous time seeing some friends again and going to my favorite New York places and I will blog all about that, with pictures, when I return to Texas. However, I had a very "big girl" moment tonight that I wanted to mention very quickly.

We are staying at a fairly nice hotel thanks to hubs' work picking up the tab. But last night at about 1 a.m., some of our young, unruly hotel neighbors went running up and down the hall laughing and screaming like they were on fire or something. (Okay I've never ACTUALLY heard of anyone laughing when they were on fire. But screaming, yeah.) And from the closet, Pumpkin begins screaming (like she's on fire?) (yes we have her porta-crib in the closet; it sounds harsh but its actually quite spacious, for a closet). So hubs brings her into bed with us for awhile but after enduring a few hours of periodic kicks to the kidneys, it was back to the closet crib for her.

Anyway, well tonight after I put her down for bed, these same neighbors are walking through the hall laughing and talking very LOUDLY. So I opened my door and told them my daughter was sleeping and could they please be quieter. It was, afterall, almost 11 p.m. And not 15 minutes later, I hear what sounds like a herd of elephants in the hall carrying a herd (?) of laughing hyenas. (Interesting image)

(And here comes the big girl part) So, I did what as a teenager I swore I would never do: the lame grown-up thing. I called the front-desk and they sent up security. Afterwards, I sat on the bed quietly as my 15-year old self scolded me in my head for being "no fun." But a few minutes after I heard the crackling of the security guards' walkie-talkies, I also heard my young hotel neighbors WALKING down the hallway WHISPERING to each other and a satisfied smile slowly spread across my face. And my 15-year old self demanded "Admit it, you've turned into a no fun, lame adult!"

So here I go: I've turned into a no fun, lame adult and I'm enjoying it, especially if it means my daughter has a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep.