Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Number Two

On Saturday, we had Thanksgiving dinner number two at our house. We got to use our oh-so-pretty, new-to-us china for the first time (someday I'll have to share the story about how we got the china. It involves crazy auction bidding and Dairy Queen) and everything was so pretty! Yummy, too! Especially the Pioneer Woman sweet potatoes. Oh, man--they are SO scrumptious. I'm sure when we die, we'll find these sweet potatoes on the menu at the Pearly Gates Diner, and I don't even like sweet potatoes that much.

I'm actually in this picture, because my father-in-law, Mike, is a picture-taking fool. Well, he's not really a fool, he's actually a pretty intelligent guy, but he does take a lot of pictures. Whenever he's around, I really don't worry about picking my camera up much. I know I can just get copies from him. :) Thanks, Mike!Everybody except for Colter was looking at the camera! Oh, and yes, even though there is a Christmas tree in the corner, this was actually Thanksgiving dinner. You can't really see it because the picture is so tiny, but there was some fall decor in the middle of the table. My house had C.D.S. (Conflicting Decoration Syndrome) with a Christmas tree up and pumpkins on the porch.

Here's the annual Thanksgiving photograph. Mike always sets up the tripod and takes a family picture. As I was looking at this picture, I realized that my husband wore the same sweater last Thanksgiving! The picture of us on our sidebar is from Thanksgiving 2007, and John's wearing the same blue striped sweater! The silly guy.

Thanksgiving Number One

Happy Turkey Day! Oh, wait. Thanksgiving was a week ago, wasn't it? Oh, well. Better late than never.

Like most families, we have more than one Thanksgiving dinner to attend. We have a lot of family members to be thankful for! :) It's funny how holiday breaks never really seem like a break; we're always rushing around cleaning, cooking, traveling, etc. 'Tis the season, I guess!

Our first Thanksgiving dinner was Thursday night at my aunt and uncle's. Colter had a ball chasing his cousins around and playing on THE STAIRS. I realized on Thanksgiving Day that I am very thankful that we do not have STAIRS. What a pain! Colter was fine going up, but going down is another story. The kid has no fear. Or fully-developed motor skills for that matter. It was quite a job keeping Colter from plummeting down the stairs, so I really didn't take very many pictures. The few I did take didn't turn out that well--I'll have to ask my sister for some.

Going Up!

Colter did take a break from stair-climbing to take apart my aunt's sofa. He's a busy boy. While Colter was terrorizing the house, his Daddy played five games of pitch. Five! Pitch is my family's card game of choice. I don't think a Sunday goes by without someone playing pitch at my grandparent's house. When the whole family is together, there's at least two games going on.
Here's the kitchen game..
and the living room game.
Would you ever believe that my beautiful, sweet-smiling sister, Jessica ever used the teeth in that pretty smile to bite chunks out of her brother's arm? And leave scars on her sister's arm? She did.In the dining room, the deep thinkers who are frankly getting a little tired of playing the same card game over and over and over again, played ImagineIf. I played in that room, but my sister Courtney beat me! What a punk. Courtney is hidden by my Aunt Robin's head in this picture, but I think she must have been attacking her boyfriend, Nathan (the guy in green). He looks like he's trying to get away from something. He actually usually looks like he's trying to get away from Courtney. She's a nut!
For a little while, I actually got to focus on the game because Poppy, a.k.a. my daddy, entertained Colter and blocked the stairs. I'm not sure what the story is behind the hat, and I'm pretty sure Dad did not intend for me to take his picture in it. I'm really sure he didn't intend for me to, then, post the picture on the Internet. Hee hee. :)
Coming soon: Pictures of Thanksgiving number two!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Five Tips from Colter

1. Shelves are meant to be bare. If there are any
books or toys on shelves, swipe them off!2. A better place to store toys is on top of Daddy.3. When it's time to change into p.j.s, hide behind the recliner a.s.a.p.
This will delay bedtime by at least 15 minutes.4. When your unzipped p.j.s get stuck, cry for mommy to help.5. When she just laughs and takes pictures, call for daddy...wait,
he's stuck under the toys. what?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wrinkly Woman Woes

My Neutrogena anti-wrinkle cream is amazing! After just a few weeks I have the skin of a teenager--acne and all! Yes! That's exactly the effect I wanted--NOT.

When I hit 29 a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to by anti-wrinkle cream. Not that I have wrinkles, mind you, but isn't that the point of anti-wrinkle cream? It should be used before the wrinkles actually appear, right? I have a suspicious line by my mouth which sure looks like it might turn into a wrinkle soon, unless I either stop smiling or start using anti-wrinkle cream. I opted for the anti-wrinkle cream, and now my silly super sensitive skin (how's that for alliteration) keeps breaking out. Grr... Maybe I'll quit smiling instead of smearing cream all over my face. Yeah, right! As if anyone with a baby as darling as mine could quit smiling! :) I'll just have to switch brands. Recommendations anyone?

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Virtual Trainer Kicked My Butt

Who needs the gym? I have my own trainer at home! About a month ago, I ran across some hard-to-find Wii Fits and helped my husband out by buying my own birthday present. Hopefully, he didn't have some grand plans for my birthday that I ruined, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mind (our anniversary is coming up soon, John, if you had some jewelry in mind...). The Wii Fit is so cool! It has a hula-hooping ab workout, step aerobics, yoga, skiing, strength training exercises, etc. It's a lot of fun. Until yesterday, I really hadn't used the Wii Fit up to its potential. I'd just played the games and done the aerobic workouts. Yesterday, I decided to get serious. I did all the strength training exercises, and I have to say, "ow." My legs have definitely been throughout a workout. I've read some skeptical comments about the Wii Fit saying that a video game can't provide a good workout. My legs don't agree.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We'll Miss You, Pancake

Pancake the Cat
September 2003-November 4, 2008

On October 25, 2003, Pancake the cat came to live with John and me. He wasn’t Pancake yet though; he was just a little, scrawny black kitten with no name. He may not have had a name, but he did have fleas—lots of fleas. Pancake spent much of his first evening in the bathtub. Poor little kitty!

Baby Pancake

Pancake was a black kitten, and I wanted to name him something unique and sophisticated, like Ebony or Sable, but John didn’t take to those names. I was totally kidding when I suggested we name him Pancake. We live beside a busy highway, and I figured the cat would probably get ran over, so I said that we should name him Pancake because he was destined to get ran over and become as flat as a pancake. John apparently liked that name, because no matter what other name I suggested, he kept calling the kitten Pancake! The name stuck.

John and Our Little Kitten

The neighborhood dogs finally had a reason to bark when Pancake came to live with us. Pancake was just a little guy—so little that he could fit in between the holes of the chain link fence—but he already had an uncanny ability to drive the neighborhood dogs nuts. All except for, Philoh, the dog next door. Pancake and Philoh were fast friends (well, for some point Pancake decided not to waste his time bothering with dogs anymore). Pancake would go over to Philoh’s yard to play or nap with the dog. It was so cute!

After a week or so, Pancake was obviously lonely with us being at work all day, so we brought home his brother, too! His brother was dubbed Sticky, and he helped Pancake get into all sorts of mischief. In the year that we had both Pancake and Sticky, they managed to break an old aquarium, dent our car, knock a box of glassware off a high shelf, put holes in our screens, and often send fur flying during their crazy, hilarious wrestling matches. We sometimes thought that the two cats were more trouble than they were worth but loved them anyway. John spent many chilly evenings calling the adventurous twosome home so that they could spend the night in the house instead of outdoors in the cold.

Pancake and Sticky

As the cats got older, it became apparent that two tom cats, even if they were brothers, could not live together peacefully. Pancake went missing for a week, came back, and then Sticky disappeared but never returned. Pancake didn’t seem to mind—he had all the neighborhood women to himself (even though he was a “fixed” cat, Pancake got along much better with female cats which I always thought was odd). We still wonder what happened to Sticky. We hope he moved in with a nice cat lady who spoils him with cream and tuna.

The average cat has nine lives, but Pancake must have had twenty-three. He was always getting into scrapes and had lots of near misses. One time, as I was closing the garage door, the cat was sitting perfectly still, and suddenly when there was only, like, two inches between the floor and the door (seriously—the gap was sooo small!), Pancake dodged under the door and was lodged there. I quickly pushed the button on the garage door to make it go up, but then THE DOOR WENT DOWN FURTHER! I was sure there was no way Pancake could survive being decapitated by the garage door, but when I got the door to go up, there he was—head intact. He acted funny for awhile, but amazingly, he soon seemed to be just fine. Pancake had another bad experience with the garage door. Once, as we were backing out of the garage door, John happened to look at the door as we were backing out of the driveway. Two black legs were kicking out of the top of the door! Pancake must have been asleep on the open door and got stuck when we closed it. John frantically opened the door, and Pancake was freed. Somehow, he survived again. He learned his lesson after the second garage door event and was more cautious in the future. There was another near miss, when a neighbor saw Pancake get run over by a car, but he somehow managed to stay in between the tires! He also got into many cat fights—I don’t know how many times John and I would hear cats yowling in the middle of the night. He would often come home with cuts and bites the first few years we had him, but then eventually I guess he chased off all the other male cats aroundand became king of the neighborhood.

Not only was Pancake a terrific fighter, he was also a great hunter. The little boys down the street call him, “Killer” and asked me several times why my cat murdered so many rabbits. Our driveway usually had evidence of Pancake’s night time feasts, and friends were often grossed out by the “treats” Pancake left for us. He was so generous and always left us a little intestine or a mouse head. Sometimes he even brought us live critters; he traumatized me by bringing home a baby rabbit family (so sad!), he occasionally would chase a mouse into the garage instead of out, and he once stirred up a whole flock of birds when he brought home a live starling. That was the creepiest thing—it was right out of a Hitchcock movie. Pancake caught a starling, and while he was playing with his food like cats do, a flock of birds surrounded him. The birds were cawing and making all kinds of racket. There were birds everywhere! Occasionally, one would kind of fly at Pancake, and he would let the captive bird go for a second and then catch it again. After a while of being taunted by the flock, Pancake had enough and let the bird go. It flew away and seemed to be fine. I’m pretty sure Pancake had nightmares about that hunting experience though. Oh, and once, he brought home a young HAWK! Have you ever heard of a cat catching a hawk before? It was crazy. I was just sure the hawk would end up tearing Pancake to shreds, but somehow John and I managed to intervene. We had to put Pancake in the house to get him to leave the poor hawk alone. I had a lot of cats growing up, but I never had a cat who hunted as much as Pancake. If we liked to eat rodents, he would have been a great provider. It was really quite disgusting, but he had the best of intentions.

When Colter was born, we weren’t sure how the two would get along. Their first meeting was pretty funny; Pancake freaked out! Colter was in his bouncy seat in the floor one day when Pancake walked across the room. When Pancake noticed that there was something alive in the bouncy seat, he sprang back, and his fur stood on end! It was hilarious! After that, Pancake and Colter got along great. Pancake was always very patient with Colter and even allowed some tail-pulling. Colter loved to watch Pancake through the window and loved to pet Pancake when we went outside. Recently, Colter started reminding me to feed Pancake. After Colter finishes his breakfast, he goes to where Pancake’s food is stored and drags it to the door. It’s so sweet!

Colter and His Buddy, Pancake

Several weeks ago, Pancake stopped eating and started losing a lot of weight. We brought him to the vet, and unfortunately learned that Pancake was infected with two untreatable feline viruses*—feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. The vet said that after cats get to the point when they are not eating, there’s really not much hope for them. We brought Pancake home and tried to nurse him back to health but never could get him to eat again—he couldn’t keep anything down. Because he was suffering and because it was obvious he wasn’t going to survive, we made the difficult decision to have him put to sleep. Pancake the cat wasn’t run over after all.

We will miss Pancake so much. We’ll miss seeing him in the driveway waiting for us to get home. We’ll miss the way he would follow us around the yard as we did yard work or played with Colter. We’ll miss how he took naps on the barbeque grill and how he would climb up the screen door if he wanted our attention. We love you, Pancake.

*The vet said that Pancake probably had one of the viruses for a long time. He may have even been born with it. Even so, I feel really guilty that we weren’t very diligent in making sure that Pancake was vaccinated as often as he should have been. We hadn’t taken him to get his shots in a few years. Ten percent of male fighting cats die from one or both of these viruses, so learn from our mistake. Vaccinate your cats!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Look what we found on our doorstep on Halloween. A cute, little puppy! He was so darn cute with his floppy ears and freckles that we decided to keep him. He's the best puppy ever--he doesn't bark in the middle of the night like our neighbor's dogs, he doesn't shed, and he is the most well-behaved puppy I've ever seen--if bribed with Dum Dum suckers. Although, after bribed with Dum Dums, the puppy's drool becomes quite sticky.
We took our puppy out for a walk and ran into a sticky lion! A.K.A. Carter. They were both loving the new world of candy that was opened up to them. We also saw Carter's brother Evan the Amazing Walking Lego Boy. Who ever heard of being a Lego for Halloween? How creative!Our little puppy just loved Halloween! He had a ball at our church's Trunk or Treat and also had a lot of fun going to a few friend's houses. He loved carrying his pumpkin full of treats and was very protective of it. At the end of the evening when he was dragging a little bit because he was oh-so-tired, and his pumpkin was oh-so-heavy, he got upset when I tried to help him carry it. He let me know real quickly that it was HIS PUMPKIN and that I needed to keep my hands off HIS CANDY! Greedy little puppy. If he only knew how much of the candy I ate after he went to bed...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday-Topless Model

I haven't played Favorite Foto Friday in forever! I've missed it. Sarah said to post our favorite picture of the week today. I've already posted this on my Colter's first haircut post, but I think it's such a funny picture I'm posting it again! Apparently, my silly guy was shy about posing topless. :)


I've been BOOed! I know I haven't been the greatest blogger, but sheesh! You don't have to BOO me, Jenn! :) Just kidding--it's not the you're-a-bad-blogger-so-get-outta-Blogland kind of--boo, it's a have-a-happy-Halloween! kind of boo. At least I think so. Go wish Jenn a happy Halloween!

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Somebody Got a Haircut!

BeforeWhat crazy hair! It might be time for a trim.

Kitty Cat had to come along for bravery.

What is that lady doing?!

Mom, I'm really not sure about this.

I'm not wearing any clothes, Mommy! What are you thinking?!

Do you like my new do?

I'm such a big boy!

Ack! My boy is growing up. He's ready for haircuts and everything. Before I know it he'll be going off to college!!!!

Colter was such a good sport when he got his haircut yesterday evening--he didn't cry at all, even though he was surrounded by paparazzi. Julie the hair stylist probably thought John and I were nuts with our cameras, but we were under strict grandparent orders to document this milestone. :)

I'm such a bad blogger! I am missing out on all sorts of potential posts, but I just haven't had the time. I'm going to have to convince my body that I don't need as much sleep. I miss all you blogging buddies out there! I'm going to try to do better, but I said that a few weeks ago, and we see how that turned out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sign Me Up!

Why do two-year-olds appear to be oblivious to anything said around them and then suddenly repeat the one thing that is said that they shouldn't repeat? On Wednesday afternoons, Colter and I hang out with a two-year-old named Scarlet. The other day she was sitting on the floor playing when some blocks when I dropped something and said, "Shoot!" Guess what immediately came out of Scarlet's mouth? That's right! She smiled and said, "Shoot!" Then I, knowing her mom probably didn't want her to say that, again said, "Oh, shoot, no wait, um..." Of course, she said shoot again, but I distracted her with some blocks and tried to stop setting a bad example. At least I don't say anything worse than that! :) Well, usually anyway.

After I taught Scarlet how to swear, I showed her how fun it was to flip the lights off and on repeatedly. She would flip off the lights, then I would act all crazy and goofy until she flipped them on again. We did this over and over. Scarlet and Colter had a blast, but the next time she came over and started doing it again I wondered what in the world I had been thinking. I haven't asked her mom if Scarlet has been spending a lot of time at the light switch at home because I don't want her to know where her daughter gets her silly ideas.

I also am afraid poor Scarlet thinks it's okay to climb on coffee tables because I am such an inconsistent disciplinarian!!! Colter has been in a major climb-on-the-coffee-table-mode lately. John is very good about making him stop, and when I think about it, I make him get down too. When I think about it. For some reason I don't really think about anything being wrong every time he climbs up there. I'll just let him climb up and even laugh at him sometimes until I remember, oh yeah--you shouldn't be up there. I've even found myself putting him on the table a few times. Oops. I'm messing up my kid already!!! Colter's got to be so confused as to what the coffee table rules are. :) Not to mention poor Scarlet. When her mom's here, she gets in trouble for trying to climb on the table, but I dance on it with her!!! Okay, not really. If I knew how to dance I might though.

I think I might need parenting classes. Somebody sign me up!!!

P.S. Is our coffee table still a coffee table if we don't drink coffee?

P.P.S. Shanna, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I encouraged your daughter to flip the lights off and on over and over again. Forgive me? Oh, and sorry about the shoot thing too--hopefully she won't drop anything in Sunday school.

P.P.P.S. I don't really have anything else to say. I just wanted to see if I was allowed to have a P.P.P.S. Apparently so.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guess Who Decided to Write a Post?

Help! Send a search party! I've fallen off the face of the blogging earth and am lost in cyberspace! Oh, wait. I'm actually writing a blog post, so I must have found my way. Never mind about the whole search party thing. I'm good. :)

Life has been so busy lately something had to go! Unfortunately for my, like, five devoted readers it was blogging. I believe, however, that life has now calmed back down, so I will be able to present useless drivel for your enjoyment once again. :)

As I mentioned weeks ago, I recently started two part-time jobs. I am teaching a few classes at a local school, and I've had to get used to grading essays while entertaining my one-year-old. I also started teaching online classes for what is supposed to be only 10 hours a week. Now that the students have figured out how the whole online school thing works, and I'm not answering 72 emails a day about technical issues that really have nothing to do with me, I think it's actually going to be less than ten hours a week, so yippee! That will make up for the 20 hours a week I've been spending at first.

I totally didn't mean to start two part-time jobs--it's really my intention to give Colter as much attention as I possibly can before he is stolen from me by the school system in a few short years, but I kind of just fell into both opportunities, and I couldn't say no. I really have to make some cash somehow because milk is like $5.00 a gallon!!!! Okay, so maybe not quite that much, but close!

In addition to my two new jobs, I also tried to sell fine art photography at my hometown's fall festival last week. I spent four nights in a row trying to convince people that they needed my photographs hanging in their homes. It didn't go so well--people seemed to be more interested in the socks at the next lady's booth--but now I have 50 prints, matted, bagged, and ready to go. Maybe I can put them on Etsy or something.

Now that The Great Photography Project is over, I will have more time to blog! Hey, I might even have time to read a few blogs (which I haven't done in forever! I am SO behind. I feel isolated from the world). Anyway, all is fine and dandy with me, I've just been swamped! I'm glad a few people love me and wanted to know where in tarnation I've been! Thanks!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rabid Baby?

Here's some advice--don't stick your finger into a hungry one-year-old's mouth. Got it? If you don't heed my advice, this could happen to you! Ouch!
Sometimes, it's really hard to find all the food that ends up thrown on the floor during meals at our house. Sometimes pieces of chicken stay on the floor all night. Sometimes Colter picks up pieces of old chicken off the floor and tries to eat them. Then, when his foolish mommy tries to retrieve said chicken, she gets her finger trapped in the vice of death! A.K.A. Colter's teeth. Those things are sharp!
He doesn't look like a ferocious, mommy-eating boy, does he?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Busy September Days

It's probably obvious that we've been pretty busy at my house from my lack of blogging. Just to demonstrate what some of our days have been like here lately, here's a glimpse into our Sunday.

Sundays always begin with us rushing around trying to make it to church on time (we usually are a few minutes late). I should have brought my camera with us on this particular Sunday, because Colter got promoted to a new Sunday school class! He's officially no longer a creeper; he's now a toddler. He has a new Sunday school room and a new teacher to get used to. He's such a momma's boy, he'll probably get used to the room about the time he switches to the next one.

After church, we got to eat lunch with our friends Joey, Rachel, and Riley! Fun times! We haven't seen them in so long! It was awesome to get together for a little while, and time went much to quickly.

I should have taken a picture with faces.
Colter loved Riley's trampoline! Look at the weird caterpillars on their tree! Eww!After lunch, then it was birthday party time! Colter's cousins had a combine birthday party.
Justin turned two...
and Tristan turned five.Our cousin, Brennan, finally figured out the only way to get Colter to like him is to go outside! Brennan's been trying to get Colter to go to him since Colter was born. He finally had some success!Colter had fun trying to take over Justin's new toys!
After a busy day of church, lunch dates, and birthday parties, we finally made it home to put our cranky, nap-skipping boy to bed.