Sunday, September 28, 2008

Amateur Photography and Hiking

We're enjoying another gorgeous weekend. This time of year is my favorite, but it's bittersweet. October generally brings cold, sometimes dreary weather to Iowa, so I always want to savor these last few warm September days. I'd freeze time on a day like yesterday if I had the powers to do so.

I'm not a photographer and I have a crappy camera, but I took the kids to a really cool park about half an hour away from us to take some pictures. We hiked one of the trails along the way. It was about a 40 minute hike up some pretty steep steps, a good workout! I was worried that Bumblebee wouldn't be able to keep up, but boy was I wrong. She took off running up the trail ahead of us:


The Boy found a good walking stick and used that along the trail. He took it home with him (I hope it's not against some law to take a stick home from a state park...)


Hollywood brought her own camera and was taking pictures of everything! She's got a good eye for perspective, color, and photography in general. Here she is risking her life by leaning down over a huge dropoff to get a shot of a hollowed out log:

Here are a few of the pictures she took. (I told you she was good! And her camera's even crappier than mine!)


I must have taken a hundred pictures, it was the perfect setting out there! I settled on a few and ordered the following prints to put on my living room wall. I made them black and white because I love black and white nature shots:




Not bad for an amateur, huh?

Well, I'm off to an afternoon of softball games. It's cooler today than yesterday, but still a nice fall day. Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Strange News Day

I can't decide which news story is weirder:

1. Clay Aiken is gay. I don't know about you but I'm shocked and astounded! And as a side note, isn't Clay's baby super adorable?

or

2. Lindsay Lohan says she's dating a woman. Well DUH!!

or

3. PETA wants Ben and Jerry's to use breast milk in their ice cream.

Thank God the ice cream geniuses said no.

Although... it would be an interesting way to make some money. Less painful than selling plasma or platelets or whatever it is that's floating in your blood that people who are down on their luck sell. And if you had a drink or two the night before and couldn't feed the baby for fear of making her tipsy? No problem! Ben and Jerry's next flavor could be pump and dump praline pecan.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homecoming

Well, here they are. The homecoming pictures:



I assume you all know by now that I'm a dork. I was putting together the slide show for this blog because people keep bugging me for pictures from Hollywood's first high school dance. During the actual event, I was fine. I had fun, she included me in the festivities by letting me do her hair and makeup at her best pal's house. It was fun - there were four moms getting four beautiful girls ready for their first real dance. I didn't shed even one tiny tear, even though she looked stunning, as you can tell from the slide show.

But you guys! Tonight, as I was watching the slide show with the song that I've never heard before but is kind of cool playing in the background, I realized that my little girl, the one who knew her letters before she was 2 years old; the one who put her Mickey Mouse big wheel in the corner and sternly said to it, "Mickey Mouse Motorcycle, you've been a bad boy. Go sit in the corner for a time out!" The same girl who mooned the entire Catholic school at recess when she was a kindergartner is now in high school. Getting dressed up like the prettiest princess in history and going to dances with a boy.

It made me bawl like a baby to look at that! Gah! My dad always used to tell me he was going to put a brick on my head to make me stop growing. I know what he means now.

Since I was blubbering away, I had to have some 'little kid therapy' to remind myself that at least two of my kidlets are still smallish. Here they are on 'crazy day' of Homecoming week. The Boy is wearing a combination of his winter coat and swim trunks. Bumblebee is just plain crazy looking. And yep. They went to school that way.


If that won't make you smile, what will, right??

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Talkative Tuesday, the 091608 Edition

Well, hello there. I haven’t had a lot to say lately… I know you’ve been waiting for another edition of Talkative Tuesday, so here goes.

(Wait, it is Tuesday, right?)

***

Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie, Freddie, and now AIG…

Can I get a collective "YIKES!" from the crowd?!!!

As you know, I work for Giant Ass Bank. It’s a good place to work. We are financially secure and not in trouble, at least that’s the kool-aid we’re being sold. But it’s all a little bit freaky, since half of my 401K is in Giant Ass Bank’s stock, and I hate watching the numbers shrink every time I look up my balance. What goes down must come up… or something. And since I'm not retiring for sixty-seven years, it'll make a complete recovery, right?

***

Yesterday I was at Great Clips, getting The Boy a much needed haircut. I cracked up because there was a little boy there who kept saying things that embarrassed his mom.

Hairdresser to little boy: "How was school today?"

Little boy: “I didn’t go to school. I have pink eye. See how gross it is?”

The hairdresser paused and the mom quickly assured her that he’d been on medication and was ok. She wouldn’t have brought him in if he were contagious. (I meanwhile, was digging in my purse for my hand sanitizer…)

Then, later on...

Hairdresser: "Did you get to watch a lot of tv since you had to stay home but weren't really sick?"

Little boy: “Only when my mom was taking a really long nap. Then I got to watch tv because she wasn’t watching her shows.”

I had to crack up at his mom’s face. She looked seriously embarrassed. But hey – I love naps too, so no judging here, sister!

***

I just ran into The Husband on my walk at lunch, which is weird because he usually works in Nebraska, and for two days in a row, he’s been working in downtown Des Moines. It’s kinda cool to bump into him like that!

***

Speaking of TH working downtown, he came home last night to tell me about a woman who stopped him as he was loading up his van last night. "Sir, can you help me? I'm on my way to work and I ran out of gas. Can you lend me $7? I'd send you the money back if you could help." When he said he didn't have any cash on him, she had the nerve to ask him to go to the ATM. He just looked at her and said no.

This same woman stopped my pal Webgal and me on our way to lunch a year or two ago and I fell for it. She only asked for $5 then. Guess when gas prices go up, so do panhandler prices. I gave her the $5 and she asked me if I could spare more, so she could get somethign to eat. I think she said she'd left her purse at home or something. That's when I knew I'd been had.

In my defense... there are very few panhandlers in Iowa. I believed her because I have faith in humanity. About the only other beggar I can remember seeing hangs out with a sign that says Why Lie? I need a beer. Now that dude's got a good marketing campaign going on.

***

I had a stress test on our systems last night, so I was on a conference call from 2:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. Then I came into work at 8 and will be here until at least 4. I get to do it all over again Thursday morning, and again Thursday night. Sometimes working at Giant Ass Bank isn’t so great. Sleep? Who needs sleep?

I’m on my fourth cup of nasty 25 cent vending machine coffee (bleck!) and I had a caffeinated soda for lunch. I never drink soda. Soon I’m going to crash like the people in my favorite commercial:



I know it's not a new commercial, but it cracks me up. I only watch football on regular (non-TiVoed) TV, so it's about the only time I see commercials. The part where the kid's swinging and he knocks his sleeping dad over makes me laugh like a goober every time.

***

It is absolutely gorgeous outside. Sunny, 70 degrees. Perfection. And I'm tethered to my cubicle at work. That is so unfair. Days like these are reminders of why Fall is my favorite season. Clarification: early Fall is my favorite season. Because late Fall is pretty much winter, and everyone knows that winter sucks.

I’m going to go run a couple of miles with The Boy tonight, it’ll be a beautiful night to do so.

***

Bumblebee learned the Pledge of Allegiance in school. I must remember to capture it on video and post it for y'all. It’s really just too adorable. She’s enjoying Kindergarten so much – I love hearing about her days at school. She absolutely gushes with excitement when she talks about the letters they are learning. It's so fun.

The Boy is getting more and more organized and getting great grades so far this year. He seems to be coming into his own in school, and has been reading voraciously lately. A few weeks ago, I found a book recommendation on Barrie Summy’s blog for the book The Lightning Thief, so I brought the first book home from the library for him. He flew through that, borrowed the second book from school and begged me to buy the last two at the mall this weekend. He's been devouring that series all week. It’s craziness!

Hollywood is getting straight A's so far, despite being out for football manager, show choir, driver’s ed, fall softball league, and a full load of courses. And homecoming is this weekend. Wait until you see her dress. g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. That kid never ceases to amaze me.

***
I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t had a lot of time to devote to my blog. I appreciate that you people still read my posts, even if they aren’t terribly frequent (or amusing) of late. Soon I’ll have something of substance to post about, I promise. Until then, check out my peeps in the blog roll to the right.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wedding Pictures

There are good and bad things that come out of not having enough money to hire a professional photographer on your wedding day.

Exhibit A, The good:

You get real, un-posed glimpses of happiness like these:

Nice cake-cutting picture, but why is my hair on fire?!


You get to see The Husband shaking my Grandpa Bernie's hand:


And here's The Husband's grandma looking on while I show my bouquet to my mom:


And then there's Exhibit B, The not so good shots:

Here's our flower girl (Hollywood, who was almost 3 when we got hitched) holding up a worm she found on the ground while TH's grandma snaps a photo. I love my MIL's face in this (She's the one right in front of Hollywood):

Then you get this shot - which looks like I'm complaining about something, Scarlet O'Hara style (Fiddle dee dee...) while The Husband has his Rico Suave (or maybe it's Joey from friends, I can't decide) pose going on (Hey, how YOU doin'?).


And finally - you get the fervent "Dear God, please make this ceremony be over..." prayer from TH and the "What did she just say?" look of confusion or fear from me.

Good times....

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THE HUSBAND. WE'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Confirmation


Today was a beautiful day- it was Hollywood's Confirmation day. We woke to a cool, misty morning with temps in the upper 40s. Hollywood and I went out for a run in the early morning air - a great way to start the day.

The day grew into a bright and sunny afternoon, a nice backdrop for the day Hollywood would get confirmed. Our parish is a small church in a town near us. For many years it's had the tradition of having the Confirmation mass in the breathtaking cathedral in downtown Des Moines. I had to borrow a camera, so I didn't take many pictures of it, but it's the church my brother is getting married in next month, so I hope to take some photos then.

Hollywood chose the name Cecilia as her saint name for Confirmation. She picked St. Cecilia because she's the patron saint of music, and music is very important to Hollywood. My brother K was her sponsor. Here's a pic of them together at the church:


K took the job seriously, and gave her a gift of a beautiful cross necklace with diamonds in it. Here's a picture of the bishop blessing the necklace. It looks like he's scolding Hollywood, but he's not. I promise.

After the ceremony, we went back to our house for some food. Chili, sausage balls, pigs in blankets, apple cake, and a fruit plate. Yum. We had lots of family over to share the food and watch the late football games. Faith, family, and food - you can't beat that combination.

Later in the day it cooled down and a soft, fragrant rain fell. As the sun was setting, it peeked through the rain clouds, casting a gentle orange glow through the raindrops.

Tonight I'll fall asleep, listening to the hypnotic sound of another football game playing softly on my tv.

Fall is beautiful.

And so is Hollywood. Congratulations to her on this Confirmation Day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Who's Ready for Some Football?!


Is it just me, or did John Madden look like he's lost a bunch of weight last night?

The game last night was sort of ho-hum, at least what I watched of it. I turned on the TV at 8:30 and was shocked that it was already towards the end of the 4th quarter.

Looking forward to a good football weekend. I have a decent fantasy team this year, and I'm hoping to kick some ass in my fantasy league.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Predict Some Heated Pillow Talk

The Husband has a new infatuation. He sent me an email last night while he was watching Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC that read:

"Forget McCain for president. This Palin is good!"

Gack.

Bleck.

Pffrtttt.

There will be some interesting conversations in the Frazzled household over this. I watched her speech today, and while her personal story is quite interesting, and she can deliver a speech (written by others) nicely, I think it's funny that people are calling her a pit bull.

A chihuahua nipping at Obama's heels seems more apt.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pokemon Love and a Sore Rear End

(Hmmm... there are so many ways one could interpret that title. I'm a bit scared to see what my keyword searches will be for this one.)

I had a productive Labor Day weekend, though it wasn’t exactly fun. Each year, The Husband spends a weekend with some hometown friends. It's his escape from reality weekend. They go to a football game and do what men do at football games, which is to act all crazy and drink a lot. This was his weekend to do that. I opted to stay home - not that I’m actually issued an invitation anymore. It’s not a place for respectable women, and I’d rather suffer severe muscle pain than hang out with a bunch of liquored up homies who got their start in this world in a rough southwestern Iowa town. Oh wait! I did suffer severe muscle pain for two days! Because I’m the wonderfully amazing wife that I am, I decided to use up my plan-free weekend to finish a project that The Husband started a few weeks ago.

Have you ever stained a deck before? It’s a lot harder work that it sounds like it’s going to be. I’d say it’s about a 7.5 on a 1-10 pain-in-the-ass-factor scale. We have a very large deck. It has a lot of vertical slats along the railings, and I used a roller to go up and down all four sides of those bad boys. Which means I essentially did about a thousand squat exercises without realizing it. I was more concerned about getting sunburned than being sore – seriously, the thought didn’t occur to me. So when I woke up the next morning with searing pain in my quad, hamstring, and ass muscles, I was quite dismayed. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand up, and going to the bathroom?!? Yowza! It's a good thing there's a support bar next to my toilet left here from the elderly couple who used to own this house. I needed it for support to get up after tinkling. After I realized how badly it hurt to use the facilities, I actually stopped drinking my normal amounts of coffee and water.

The following day was slightly better, but still painful. So I spent a couple of days in agony. But the deck is done. Don’t you think I should have gotten some flowers or a nice dinner out, or something? (Note to TH: It’s not too late… I hear they have jewelry stores and florists in Nebraska…)

Enough of that… I’ll close today with this little anecdote:

This is what happens when you let a five year old girl play Pokemon cards with her big brother. She picks out two that look like they make a nice couple and holds the cards together, pretending that they’re kissing. It’s like Barbie and Ken in the Corvette, but with Pokemon cards. And you can’t take off the Pokemon’s clothes to make things really interesting.