Saturday, October 29, 2011
Christmas is just around the corner and the wonderful ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are doing their big Christmas Giveaway again this year. While I didn't win any prizes last year, they had fabulous giveaways of everything from toys to home products to pampering products for us Mommies! If you are feeling lucky head over there everyday during the month of November and enter their giveaways, all you have to do is leave some comment love to enter.
Oh, and they also have a special program in tandem with their giveaway where they make gift packs for families in need. If you know of a family who could use a little extra Christmas cheer this year head over and nominate them too.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Mountain STANDARD, always...no daylight savings for me :)
I think being with family and the whole ambiance that Christmas brings. I love that feeling, it's the pinnacle of the year.
Add all the ingredients and simmer for at least 10 minutes, remove all the spices, then keep warm in a crock-pot, awesome for parties! I'm sipping some at the moment!
I have a coworker who is in social services and he is being ostracized for a decision he made concerning the welfare of a child. I think that would be incredibly difficult and emotionally exhausting, to try to make a difference and make the world a better place and be shunned for it.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
- It literally is bullet time for Dustin, the Wildlife Department for the tribe I work for donated a three day hunting excursion with a guide for the Learning Center, Austin's school, to raffle off to raise funds for scholarship tuition. We bought a $100 ticket and they drew Dustin as the winner. So Nov. 4-6 he will get to go hunting for a mule deer on the reservation. The tribe sells five day hunting excursions for $3,500, so this was a great deal! He is so excited and going to go site his gun this weekend.
- My knee has been hurting for a few weeks now. I don't know that I exactly did one thing to injure it, but I have a history of bad knees stemming from a car accident that I was in when I was 11. My right knee took the brunt of the injuries in the wreck and I am missing a ligament in that knee. The left knee has always had to overcompensate though, so it's in pretty bad shape too. I went to the doctor today and she said my knee is full of fluid and that I have a Baker's cyst, a fluid filled sack that swells out the back of my knee. In adults these are either cause by arthritis or torn cartilage so she ordered an MRI that I will have on Nov. 4.
- We are planning our trip to Iowa for Thanksgiving. We are going to attempt to road-trip it for the first time with Austin. We will stop at my Mom's on the way out and we may take the southern route home so Dustin can attend a conference in Albuquerque.
- I will be traveling for work the week of Nov. 14-18th to Santa Fe, NM. I will be attending the National Tribal Water Quality Conference hosted by the US EPA.
- Austin is so rambunctious these days and some times it's completely exhausting. He has gotten to where he stalls when it comes to bed time. I stay on him, but he tries every trick in the book.
- Austin knows his shapes now. We have a book and he can name circle, square, oval, rectangle, diamond, star, and triangle.
- We bought a Halloween costume for Austin this weekend. He is going to be a football player.
- I have been sewing like crazy and am getting very close on the top of the quilt. It is turning out really great and I am pleased with the design. I just wish there were a few more hours in the day so I could sew on it more.
Monday, October 24, 2011
When we first arrived there was a group of mommies there with a bunch of kids ranging in age from baby to about 11. This has been pretty typical lately, having these mom groups. It drives me crazy because theses women are so lazy they just sit there and ignore/neglect the kids while the gibby-gab. The first thing that bugged me today was Austin wanted to swing and there was a boy who was about 4-5 there and he was being a little snotty to Austin. At first they were swinging on the the two regular swings and he commented that he didn't think Austin was old enough for that swing. Then he went to the baby swings and was playing with one. Austin wanted to follow him over so we went over and the bratty kid grabbed both swings and told him he couldn't play with one. I stepped in and told him that he could use one, but had to share the second one. Then when Austin was swinging the kid started pushing the other swing all sideways and out of control. It never hit Austin, but it was bugging the crap out of me.
Then later Austin was playing on the main play feature and there was a group of the kids over by the picnic pavilion. I heard and older girl call out "Mom, Lexi is naked" I looked over and there was this tiny little 1-2 year old walking down to the playground without a stitch of clothing. Does the Mom get up and go get her clothes? Of course not, she yells at the older girl to go find her clothes. Eventually the older girl brings the shorts to the little girl and she fiddles around with them for a while, but can't get them on. She takes them to the group of women, and at first I though it was her mom, but later I learned it was not, but at any rate she didn't even help her put them on. The little girl roamed aroud naked for maybe another 10-15 minutes until they were all ready to leave the park at which time the real mom finally put the pants on her, but she still left the park topless. Maybe it's because I am Catholic and was raised conservatively, but I don't think it's approriate to let your child run around the park naked, there are too many freaks in our society.
Then they all left and we had the park to ourselves for a while. Austin was really having a blast today and was really playing hard. He went down the curly slide about 12 times I think. I also took off his shoes and socks and he mastered climbing up the slide all the way to the top by himself!
Then another family of three kids showed up and there was the sweetest little boy who was maybe 3 and he and Austin just took to each other and were having a blast together. I was impressed because the first time up the ladder he was right on Austin and being impatient. I asked him to give Austin space and he was very polite and honored my request, very unlike the rest of the local kids we have encountered there. Then he told me he was not from here, but visiting his Grandma, then it made sense why he actually had manners!
He picked up on me calling Austin by his name and he started calling him Austin too, so I asked what his name was and he said it was Houston. So that is the Texas reference in my title, I was at the park with Austin and Houston. They played together for quite a while, then they walked to the restrooms and Austin wanted a drink so we went over by there too. Then Houston wanted to go along this one particular sidewalk because they have dinosaur tracks and fossil impressions for the kids. Austin followed them and all the kids enjoyed finding the impressions and pretending to be dinosaurs. Then we split off and got in our car.
We went out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant and came home for a nap.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I don't know that I really physically escape anywhere. I often go on the computer and play stupid mindless games on Facebook and just veg out to relax. I have to be careful that I don't waste away too much time on there!
Also while there we got to meet our Uncle's Mother (Uncle by marriage) who was 99 years old at the time and lived to be about 103, I think. My Sister asked her "Grandma Samples, what is your secret to living such a long life?" and she, who still had a totally sharp mind and could walk under her own will, said in her sweet little old lady voice "girls let me tell you, up until 3 years ago I chawed snuff." My sister and I looked at each other and without words agreed that "no thanks, we will just die!"
It probably depends on who you ask, but for the purposes of this answer I am going to go with my current co-workers and the community I serve and say that they would be surprised to know that in college I used to be a pretty hard core partyer and binge drinker. I don't drink much at all any more and make it a point to avoid drinking/purchasing alcohol around tribal members since alcoholism is such a problem there. I think back to those days and wonder how my liver ever survived the punishment I gave it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Now back to Saturday, we wake up and are hanging out for a bit. Then before we ate breakfast I noticed Austin's right eye, same eye that was involved in above frisbee incident, watering and turning red. Then upon closer evaluation noticed a big blob of puss in the corner. His eye was totally looking like mine did about two years ago when I had pink eye. We talked about our options over breakfast, and of course thought about the fact that his buddy had swollen eyes on Friday too, did I mention that is the same buddy that was responsible for the frisbee attack? In our tiny, remote area there are no weekend clinics open for any type of health concern, so it was either call the optometrist's emergency number, drive 65+ miles to an urgent care clinic that was open, or go to our local emergency room at the hospital. I call the ER and talked to the nurse and her comment was "well pink eye is not an emergency, but you can bring him in." I was hesitant after her negative attitude, but I remember how miserable I was with it and didn't want Austin to suffer all weekend until we could get him in on Monday. So we headed for the ER.
We thought that if they seemed overwhelmed and busy we would leave and try calling the optometrist, but when we got there it was totally dead. They checked us in and took his vitals and then we waited, and waited, and waited. They apparently don't have a doctor on site during the weekend, but just have someone on call. Eventually a Nurse Practitioner came in and saw Austin and said she didn't necessarily think he got pink eye from the buddy, but rather was rubbing his eye because of the frisbee injuries and just had the grubby little germs on his hands and put them in his eye. She gave us a prescription for antibiotic drops so we ran to the pharmacy which closed at noon and filled it just in time. Literally the pharmacist shut off the lights as I was signing for the prescription at the check out stand.
In hindsight, no pun intended, I am so happy we went ahead and took him in when we did. The drops worked very well and even though his eye was worse after his afternoon nap, totally swelled shut, it responded after that and cleared up pretty well throughout Sunday-Monday morning. As you may recall I stay home on Mondays with Austin for a Mommy-Son bonding day so we went to the park and played, and he was on the grumpy side, but I figured the eye discomfort probably effected his sleep. Then we went home and he took a nap and when he woke from that sure enough his left eye was watery and starting to turn red and swell. I started the drops in that eye immediately.
I looked up the pink eye policy at the Learning Center and it said either a doctor's note, or visibly clear eyes to return to school so we decided that I would stay home on Tuesday with him and take him to the actual Optometrist. We went for that yesterday morning and the Optometrist was fabulous with Austin. He even convinced him to rest his head in the microscope thing to get a better look. He said to continue on with the drops and stay home from school the rest of the day, but could return today.
That afternoon I got a call from the buddies Mom saying that her oldest son's eye was swelling and turning red, so she was going to take him to Optometrist. So turns out the younger brother did in fact have pink eye and not allergies, which if I was them would be happy about because the doctor said he was probably allergic to grass which would be a total drag. All in all Austin recovered fairly quickly from it, so it wasn't that big of a deal after all, but I am still glad that we took him in even though it was not an emergency.
|The coloration of the photos is pretty wild to me, the top left pumpkin does not have that much thread color variation when you look at it. I did run out of the darker pinkish orange thread and substituted with the lighter.|
|Overall Sam style (like Sunbonnet Sue)|
The sewing of the sashings has commenced, but I think I will hold off on photos until I have the quilt top done. I still have not figured out what to do with the back, I could put some of the leftover sashing pieces together, but I might do something totally different too. At one point I was looking at Joann.com and found a cool multi-colored gingham, but I did not order it at the time and now I can't find it again.
Friday, October 14, 2011
It is Friday and time for some 5QF fun, head on over to Mama M.'s and play along!
1. Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or in a cone?
Lilacs, roses, and anything baked with cinnamon.
You know, I have been battling this out in my head lately. I am so a gift person, I think it adds value to the gift to put thought into what to give, or better yet hand make part of the gift. BUT...I live far, far, far from my family, and my husband's family too for that matter, and I have been shipping gifts and always seem to spend almost as much on shipping as I do the gift. So I am strongly considering gift cards or cash for Christmas for the nieces and nephews this year.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
|The koalas were the cutest little things ever!|
|When we walked up to the panda exhibit Austin yelled "BEAR!"|
|When we walked up I said "Austin what are those?" and he replied "ZEBRA!"|
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
On Sunday we went to Sea World. I mostly had a good time there, but must admit that I was disappointed that it was so commercialized and glammed up. We talked about it afterward and decided that we think that they are trying to compete with other attractions like Legoland and keep it new and fresh to attract the local crowd. Austin was a little grouchy too so that took away from the fun, but he eventually warmed up to it and had fun.
|Daddy tickling Austin in the shark tank.|
The trip was fabulous, the weather was awesome! My only regret is that we didn't take one-two more days so we could spend more time at the beach. Well, that and that we forgot to have someone take a family photo with all three of us together, oops! We stayed at a Homewood Suites by Hilton so 1) we would have more privacy and 2) so we could prepare some of our own meals to save $$$. It worked out so well and think that we will stick with suites in the future for trips.
Saturday was my birthday and we headed to the beach.
|We kind of have the Forest Gump head tilt going on|
|This was a close as I could get him to sit by his name, even then he was scowling at me|
The water was pretty chilly, but Austin loved playing in the sand. He also loved chasing the pigeons around the beach. I know that I was tired because at one point we were laying there soaking up the sun and a pigeon walked up and I go "look Austin there is a penguin." Dustin was half dozing off, but looked up and goes "really, a penguin?" Oh yeah, I mixed up my "p" birds, but wouldn't have been awesome to see a penguin instead of a pigeon?
That night we went to old town for dinner. We didn't take the camera, but the restaurant gave out complimentary post cards. Dustin wanted to take me to a seafood place, but I knew this restaurant was good so we went there instead. We ordered a whole pitcher of strawberry margarita, so we walked around down there for quite a while which was fun and enjoyed the music of a Mariachi band. Dustin even got me some roses.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
In honor of my special day I thought I would share 33 fun and random things about me in no particular order:
- I went to the same school system from preschool through high school graduation.
- I am fairly musical (but I can't really sing). I learned piano at an early age and took lessons from three different teachers. I played clarinet in concert band starting in sixth grade and switched to percussion for marching band in high school. I don't really do anything with my musical abilities at the moment other than I play a mean guitar and drums in Rock Band and Guitar Hero! I would love to learn to play the violin/fiddle.
- I was the first person to graduate in my college graduation ceremony. They broke the order down by major, and mine was Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering which as you know alphabetically comes before Civil, Mechanical, Environmental, Chemical and Electrical Engineering. There were four of us in that class and my last name happened to come first alphabetically as well.
|I'm in the lower right corner|
- My favorite color is blue.
- My favorite TV show is Survivor. I missed Season 1, but loved Season 2. Then I lost interest in it until the Amazon Season, the 6th Season I think. Since then I have followed every season. Who do I think will win the current season you ask? I'm kind of liking Jim, but maybe that because he's from the greatest city in the greatest state ever!
- I'm really good at math. (It really makes me sad when girls think that girls cannot be good at math.)
- My favorite school teacher was Mr. Trujillo who taught high school Chemistry and Physics and was our River Watch Mentor. He is a short, small-stature guy who wore a shirt and tie with pocket protector to school everyday, nice guy, but strict disciplinarian. But on the weekends he was a leather wearing, bandanna around the forehead Harley-Davidson guy! He also played trumpet in church sometimes which was pretty cool!
- I am pretty creative and have artistic abilities. I never took art class in high school because all of my electives were used up with band until I quit band my senior year and took intro to art. My teacher said it was really disappointing that I never took a class before then because he thought I had a lot of potential and recommended that I take classes in college. I of course never had time amongst my engineering curriculum to see out that recommendation. I don't sit around an draw now, but I express my artistic creativity through my quilting, cake decorating, scrap booking and other crafting.
- I have been to 35 states, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
- Speaking of the Caribbean, I won that vacation by getting an instant win piece in the McDonald's Monopoly game in 1998. They paid for our flight and accommodations at the Westin Resort in St. John. I went with my brother since I was still technically a minor at the time and he paid for all the food and activities.
- I am President of my sorority alumni chapter and served as President, Vice-President, Rush Coordinator and several Committee Chair positions when I was a collegiate member. I am a member of a Sigma Alpha a Professional Agricultural Sorority, so not a stereotypical social sorority.
- My favorite movie is Steel Magnolias, I cry every time I watch it!
- I am not much of a reader anymore, but my favorite book is "A Prayer for Owen Meany."
- I am
veryextremely competitive. I love to play games and strategize.
- I have three brothers, a sister, and a half sister. I have 4 nieces and 6 nephews on my side and 2 nephews and a niece by marriage.
- Even though I lived in Colorado for the first 26 years of my life I have never snow skied. I did take five snowboarding lessons while I worked at the Boys and Girls Club while in college.
- In my lifetime for pets I have had cats, dogs, horses, a pony, sheep, rabbits, birds and fish. I currently have no pets since my time is devoted to Austin, but Austin would dearly love a doggy or a kitty.
- I am a HUGE DENVER BRONCOS fan. I am obviously not a band-wagoner since they totally suck right now, but I love them anyway. I was born in Denver on a Sunday when the Broncos played the San Diego Chargers. I was born 10 minutes after my Mom got to the hospital and the doctor joked to her that she was just in a hurry so she could watch the Bronco game.
- I love to fish and can clean/fillet them myself.
- I drive a blue 2007 Nissan Xterra.
- I'm not especially athletic because I was in a bad car accident when I was 11 and messed up my right knee. Even so I participated in track and field and swimming in high school and lettered in both (it was a small-ish school).
- I have one sweet Goddaughter, Heidi. I wish that I lived closer so I could be more involved in her life.
- I had many part-time jobs through college that included babysitting, Program Coordinator at Boys and Girls Club, Receptionist at a Veterinary Clinic, Salesperson at a knife store, temp work including working in a bottling factory and a newspaper insert stuffing job, Receptionist at my sister's finance office, and grocery bagger. I also had a research work study for a while and worked for the Ag Research Service as a Hydrologic Technician.
- I am a semi-cradle Catholic. My Mom is Catholic and my Dad was pretty much atheist, but agreed to let us be raised Catholic. I was born a year and a half after my oldest brother died in a car crash so my Mom was having a period of not being active in church so I was never baptized until I was 10. We prayed during that time and went to church once and a while, so even though we didn't practice faithfully all those years, being Catholic is all I knew.
- My favorite food is crab legs, yum!
- Things on my bucket list: Go to Ireland and Australia, see Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night in person, and visit all 50 states.
- I am married to my best friend Dustin. We have been together for 8 years last Valentine's Day and married 6 years last Saturday.
|Our first date.|
|Here is when we got engaged. Even though it doesn't show it, it was very smokey in the cabin so we could hardly keep our eyes open for the picture.|
- My favorite potato chips are called Sterzings and they are made in Burlington, Iowa. You can only get them in the vicinity of south-eastern Iowa, so if you are ever there look for the red and yellow bag.
- My favorite part about being Mommy to Austin is all the hugs and kisses. He is a sweet boy and I love him dearly.
- I just noticed the other day that my driver's license says my weight is 135 lbs, which I weigh a little more than that now, LOL!
- I love all things chocolate in any shade of brown, but don't like white chocolate.
- My favorite beer is New Belgium Brewery's Fat Tire.
- My favorite/most useful piece of advice was from my Mom: "Try it, you might like it...and if you don't it was good for you anyway!"
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
2. Notre Dame over Air Force
3.Texas A&M over Texas Tech
4. Houston over Oakland
5. Green Bay over Atlanta
6. Arizona State over Utah
7. Buffalo over Philadelphia
8. LSU over Florida
9. Oklahoma over Texas
10. New England over NY Jets
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
- My oldest nephew will be 16 in December and is a sophomore this year. Even so last weekend he was crowned Homecoming King of his high school. I am trying to be happy for him, but why did they pick a sophomore for the king? It just does not seem fair or right to me, and I'm afraid it's setting him up for heartbreak if he does not meet those expectations the next two years of high school. He's a super cute kid... ok that sounded like an Aunt speaking, he is a hottie-brown eyed, blond and a stud at football, wrestling and track. On top of his athletic prowess he was in the school's production of Grease last year and plays the saxophone in band, so in touch with the artsy kids too.
- We are starting the fishing pond renovation at the reservation where I work. I landed a $140,000+ grant to re-do the ponds. We are in the process of draining the current pond and it's down about a foot. We are having a fishing free-for-all on Friday and people can take all they want so long as they promise to eat it and not waste it. It is so exciting to make progress on a project that people have been dreaming about since long before I got here.
- I'm doing so-so on my pigskin pics. Last week (week 3) I got 7 out of 10 and Dustin got 8. They didn't call us though so someone must have picked more correctly or beat him on a tie breaker.
Wow where does the time go? It just keeps slipping by me and I keep trying to catch up to it. I had a bunch of different posts I have been wanting to do, but I'm behind. Here is an update post about what we have going on:
- Thanks for all the anniversary well wishes and compliments on my dress. I will actually fess up that at the time of our wedding we were pretty broke and I couldn't see spending $500 on that dress at David's Bridal so I went on E-bay and won it gently worn in an auction for $90. I spent about that much getting it cleaned and I did the tailoring myself. It is a really pretty dress and the photos don't do it justice since it had white roses embroidered all over it, but there is not enough contrast in the photos to make out the detail.
- We did not get the Colorado job, boo! Oh well, the right one that is meant to be will come along. Now that we don't have it I can say that it was in Silt, CO which was really an ideal location, but oh well.
- You'll be happy to know that my head did not explode today when another friend announced a pregnancy. Did I mention there are a lot of babies in my life and on the way? I LOVE IT!
- Last Friday was the annual open house for the tribe I work for. Once a year they have the general membership meeting where everyone is invited back and they cover all the major business and hold Tribal Council elections. The night before they have the open house where all employees set up a booth and meet with members to answer any questions. For the first time in 7 years I actually had a grumpy person give me the what-for. It wasn't personal and it was a complaint that has been surfacing generally lately, so I am not too worried about it. It also helps that I am 99.5% sure that this was my last open house as I hope to either be moved by next year, or on maternity leave which will mean that I resigned.
- I cut and ironed the last two pieces of the quilt, a farmer and a pumpkin patch. With any luck I will be able to finish them during our trip this weekend and then it will be quilt assembly time, yay!!!
- It's been about two weeks, knocking on wood, since Austin has had a potty accident.
- A long time ago I taught Austin that when I ask "who does Mommy love?" he is supposed to reply "me" and point to himself. Yesterday I asked him and he goes "Aus-Inn", it's so fun that he is getting to the point where language is a form of communication and not just memorized repetition.
- My sister asked if we were going to the San Diego Zoo this weekend and I said we thought about it, but it was pretty expensive and our priority is Sea World. So she offered to buy us the tickets for the Zoo for my birthday gift. She is having them sent to our hotel, so I hope they get there in time.
- My garden is still in good shape and producing lots of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Usually by now we have had a frost, so I am enjoying the last of it.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Well the “and counting” part is because our sixth wedding anniversary was yesterday. I was so busy and Austin never took a nap so I didn’t get a chance to do a post yesterday. We had a great weekend. Last night we made a nice dinner with grilled shrimp, herb and butter rice, ensalada caprese and champagne. Ok, no champagne for Austin, but he got some juice in a plastic wine glass so we could toast each other. Tonight our friends took Austin for the evening and we went to dinner at the nicest local restaurant. We got all dressed up and had a fabulous time. Every year keeps getting better, I love being married to my best friend!