Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our New Toy

In anticipation of our new little guy, my mom and her husband were kind enough to buy us this camcorder. Mom had me do my own research and pick something that H and I wanted. After reading reviews from Consumer Reports and Cnet, we chose the Panasonic SDR-H18. I haven't gotten a chance to use it much, but we charged the battery yesterday, and I was able to work the camera while reading through the instruction manual. I'm amazed at how lightweight it is. Also, the features are pretty simple, so it's not difficult to use. The zoom on it is much better than my digital camera, and you can use it to take pictures as well as video. Best of all, the camera records either straight to its 30GB hard drive or a San disk. I really had wanted to avoid the kind of camcorder that records to a tape cassette or even DVD.

This is the first video camera I've ever owned. When K was a baby, I had a hand-me-down Pentax camera, which I loved and used religiously. But it's so much nicer to have both a digital camera and camcorder so that our family can see the little guy, especially since none of our family lives close to us. Now, it's off to practice so that I'm a pro at this thing before the baby comes!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

10 Things

I was tagged by SME over at Blue Apples. I've done something similar, so I've been trying to think of some different things to share. To add a different flair, I will tell 10 things about me from the past.

  • I love chocolate, but I hate hot fudge. When I was in second grade, I went to a friend's birthday party. We had pizza, juice, and munchies. Later that evening, my friend's dad took us to DQ for Peanut Buster Parfaits. That sent me right over the edge, and I don't remember ever throwing up as much as I did that night. In reality, it was probably the pizza and juice combination that did it, but the last thing I ate was hot fudge. To this day, I cannot touch the stuff.
  • When I was little, I tortured my younger brother. I forced him to eat mud pies, I would convince him to touch things on the ground, and then stomp on his fingers. The worst was when Grandma fixed us mashed potatoes, I decided to mix sand in his. He got me back, though, by peeing on me in the bathtub (grandma used to make us take baths together when we were little). After that, I was nicer to my bro.
  • When I was a young girl, I hated blowing my nose. My grandmother was always after me to blow my nose, which seemed to constantly be stuffed or runny. To avoid the Kleenex, I would go hide under my bed and then sniff hard repeatedly. Luckily, I have no aversion to blowing my nose present day.
  • My friend and I went to the mall when we were about 12 or so. I had this favorite clothing shop that I liked, so we went in to take a look. I found this little black tank top that I had to have and it was on sale for a few dollars. I had the money, but I stole the tank top anyway. I never got caught, but when I got home, it was the wrong size and I never could wear it. Plus, I felt horrible, so the tank top was the first and last thing I ever stole.
  • When I was around 16 or 17, my friends convinced me I should skip school with them to go have lunch off campus. Our school was closed-campus at the time. It was the only time I'd ever done anything like that and, of course, I got caught. After that, I reverted to what I'd always done - play by the rules and be a good girl. Getting in trouble just wasn't worth it.
  • My first car was a '77 White Datsun Pickup that I bought from a family friend for $800. I paid for it all by myself with babysitting money. To this day, I still have fond memories of that truck - it got me everywhere and it was 100% mine.
  • From the time I was in fourth grade on, I planned on being a psychologist for a living. My current job is not so different from what I had planned when I was a young girl.
  • I used to work as a house-cleaner in my late teens and early twenties. Two of my clients had old houses with amazing staircases. When I cleaned, I imagined that I was the "lady of the house" and dressed in those fancy poofy dresses with my hair piled high on my head. I would regally descend the main staircase to greet my guests for the party. It made the job more fun.
  • Other than one real boyfriend in junior high, I did not date through school until I got to college. I guess you could call me a late bloomer.
  • My first "real job" was a hostess at a place in Spokane called Perkins, one of those family breakfast resaurants. I didn't much care for the job and I wasn't very good at it. I was not quick and I spilled a lot of things. That was probably my shortest-lived job. I've never worked in a restaurant since.
I'm supposed to tag 10 other people, but I will encourage anyone to complete this who wants to.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just Call Me Miss Domestic

I usually get so stuck in my cooking rut that I don't branch out as much as I should. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got a wild hair and made my first Yakisoba dish ever. I had to hunt a bit to find soba noodles, and I never did find the chile paste that the recipe called for, but all-in-all, it was pretty good.
This is the peach cobbler that I make when I can actually find decent peaches. This time, I used white peaches, which still turned out well. This particular recipe I got off the website.
And finally, I got enough fabric to make a flannel and chenille "raggy" quilt for Jellybean's crib. Tomorrow, we will go pick out his crib and hopefully a bumper and sheet set. I'm finally feeling the desire to get things in order for the little guy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Loving Tribute

I have not been ready to speak of this until now, but it's time. On July 15, 2007, my Grandma Fran passed away. She had been sick since last October. After she was diagnosed with cancer, Grandma decided to forgo treatment and enjoy the time she had left, which I believe she did. She was amazingly brave and continued to be strong in her faith. Around the holidays, she asked me to speak at her service, which I was honored to do. She made this request after reading my blog entry about "Strong Women", so it seemed only fitting to honor her in this way.

My Memories

"I have so many fond memories of my Grandma Fran. From the time I was a very young girl to my adulthood, Grandma has always been closeby and there for me. No matter the season, she was always there with either home made sun tea and a chat on the porch swing or a cup of hot cocoa and a good game of cribbage in her kitchen. When I was a young girl, Grandma always sang to me. On hot summer nights, she would sit on the front porch with me and sing my favorite song, "The Man in the Moon". During August days that sweltered, she would fill a small metal tub in the backyard with water and let Chad and I splash around. When we were sick, Grandma insisted that the best remedy was plenty of rest and her famous mustard plasters, which I detested. But she took her responsibilities seriously and helped my brother and me get well. Grandma was never too busy to spend time with me. Time was her currency and she spent a ton of it giving us individual attention. She had an infinite amount of patience when teaching me to cook, sew, knit, and crochet. Grandma never refused my offer of help in the kitchen, even though I probably made more of a mess than anything. I learned a lot from my Grandma. She was one of the strongest and most beautiful women I have known. Her strength was in her ability to make the best of every situation. I don't think I ever remember hearing her complain about anything. Grandma's beauty was in her faith and spirituality, which helped her get through tough times with grace and dignity. Grandma was from the generation that knew what it was like to do without and to get by the best you could on limited resources. I've never seen her waste anything - everything had its use, which is evidenced by one full cupboard in her kitchen filled to the brim with old Tupperware and plastic containers, some of them at least as old as I am. Grandma always had a generous spirit. When I had a child of my own, she was always there to help out. Especially in the beginning, she was there to take care of Kyle so that I could rest, later helping out so that I could return to college. Her support is something I'll never forget. I could not have gotten to where I am without it. Grandma Fran is who I like to refer to as my "sugar cookie grandma" because of her sweetness. Throughout my life, I can count the times she has been visibly upset with me on a few fingers, even though I've made countless mistakes. She has always shown me patience and kindness and I have never doubted her love for me. All of these things are what a grandmother should be. All of these things are what Grandma Fran has been and will be to me, always."

Grandma, everyone should be so lucky to have a person like you in their lives. I am a richer woman for having had you in my life. I love you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

This 'n That

I feel like a lot has happened lately, but not all of it I've been compelled to blog about. Here are a few things that have been going on:

  • On Sunday, we took K to Big Sur and to Pfeiffer Beach. We ate at the Nepenthe Inn and had steakburgers that K is still talking about today.
  • I have successfully fixed our refrigerator that was leaking water on the inside. Turns out, all I needed to do was defrost the freezer (which I've never done before), which looked like it has not been done in the 5 years since the fridge was made.
  • I've had the HOA blues because of a compliance request for violations from the previous owners. I'm trying to figure out why in the hell we pay dues (and an additional inspection fee) if we have to follow the rules, but the HOA does not bother following the rules to inspect each unit before transfer of ownership.
  • My last OB-GYN appointment turned out well. My AFP screening came out all negative, which is a good thing. My chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome is about 1 in 1500. I didn't catch the odds for neural tube defects or other chromosomal abnormalities, but they also came up "negative". According to the ultrasound, the baby is right on target with respect to size, and I've lost another pound. I'm starting to show and now have to get up multiple times at night to pee.
  • I am reading a portion of "Overcoming Autism" given to me by the parent of one of my little kiddos. She wants to know my impressions of the advice given in the book.
  • I have recently started to work with my first adult client in 8 years, which is a bit intimidating and challenging. It's pretty nice to not have to haul in a bunch of toys and crawl around on the floor in order to do therapy with her.
  • At night, after going swimming with K at the pool, I am reading fluff books by Janet Evanovich about a female Jersey bounty hunter with a penchant for big hair and a bad boy named Morelli.
  • I am kicking ass and taking names on the Sims 2 in my spare time (with K's help).
  • My mom is coming to visit for a week beginning next Monday, which I'm very excited about. I miss her.
  • Movies watched: 300 (on Blue Ray DVD), Zodiac, Live Free or Die Hard, Ocean's 13, American Graffiti. Looking forward to seeing Knocked Up when it comes out on DVD.
  • Have been helping K with algebra and we are getting to the point where I can no longer do some of the activities that he is supposed to be working on. How do I motivate my son to do math and explain the usefulness of algebra when I cannot remember how to do the things he's working on?
  • I've been putting off buying maternity clothes, which I can no longer postpone.
  • Tomorrow, I will embark on my search for soba noodles so that I can make Yakisoba for the first time. I need to "branch out" in the kitchen, so decided to try one new recipe a week.