Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven

So we're a little behind the times on watching movies. Having recently discovered the Blockbuster online movie program, though, maybe I'll get to see a few good ones that I've missed from the past, oh, 5 years or so :)

We saw Kingdom of Heaven over the weekend. My overall review: I enjoyed it, but it takes itself a little too seriously. It was hard not to enjoy a lot of it--lots of action, Orlando Bloom, scenery and costumes, Orlando Bloom, a story with a moral. And did I mention the good-looking lead actor? The dialogue was a little (a lot) over-dramatic, like the screenwriter wanted every single phrase to be A Famous Movie Quote. The action was also a little over-the-top--like how in the first 15 minutes, Bloom's character had lost his wife and child, re-united with his (illegitimate) lord father, killed a priest, learned sword fighting, had a bloody battle with French authorities, lost his father, and been shipwrecked on the way to Jerusalem. Did I mention that the bulk of the story was yet to come?

Hmm...if the principal character hadn't been as much fun to watch, I would probably rate the movie quite a bit lower. But, luckily, I would definitely recommend this movie. ;)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Feeling hot hot hot

We did make it to the Renaissance Faire on Saturday. It was just the 3 of us, as we could not tempt any of our friends into joining us. It was hot, but fun. The faire is in a park in Wentzville, and mostly shady, which was nice considering the unforgiving sun and 90+ degree temps. There were many vendors selling clothing, weapons, scented oils, arts and crafts of all varieties. We caught a show by a fire-eater that was amusing, if not quite as exciting as ones we've seen in more exotic places (we have very bad pictures of a very impressive display from one of our trips to Jamaica). Isabella, the fire eater, roped a man into helping her and ended up with a better show than she anticipated--his job was to remove his shirt and have his nipple briefly lit on fire-the "nipple transfer". Little did she expect that when he removed his shirt, she would find both nipples pierced and tatoos on each shoulder. Made for a nice "ooohhh" from the crowd :)

We also caught snatches of a couple of other shows and performers, and sat through an entire kid-themed skit where a baby dragon was born and a fairy tried to tell him a bedtime story. Charlotte was willing to go up and "pet" the dragon after the show--she'd already petted a horse and seen sheep, geese, ducks and ferrets close up, so she probably just thought he was another animal in the petting zoo. We enjoyed a little sword fighting and the 4:30 joust where one of the two competitors "slew" his opponent (including a squirt of fake blood). They also had a quest for the kids to complete where you talk to a series of characters around the faire, and get their marks/signatures on a sheet of paper. At the end of the day, the kids are presented to the king and queen to be knighted. Charlotte would have enjoyed it more if she was a little older, but she wasn't upset to be doing the same thing that the big kids were doing.

My poor Charlie inherited my fair complexion--by fair, I mean she's pale as a ghost, burns to a crisp even *thinking* about going out without sunscreen, and turns beet red when she gets hot. We slathered on the sunscreen at the start of our afternoon, but soon enough her face was flushed a nice crimson. We re-applied our sunscreen before the joust started (it was held in a wide open area without a trace of shade to break the afternoon sun), and she still resembled a lobster after a nice dip in the hot tub. We even had offers from strangers to give us more sunscreen, and kept explaining that we were already wearing it. Plenty of water, some ice cream, and a snow cone didn't help much either. But, by the time we'd drive the 1/2 hour home in a nice air conditioned car, she was back to her pale, rosy-cheeked self without a trace of sunburn.

It was a good day. I would recommend it to anyone--there was plenty to see and do for all ages, and the price was pretty reasonable ($10 for adults after the $2 off coupon on the website). Just don't forget your sunscreen!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ren Faire anyone?

The St. Louis Renaissance Faire is going on for the next couple of weekends out in Wentzville. I've never been to the one here, but have gone to the Kansas City one several years ago and really enjoyed it. I was thinking of driving out on Saturday, maybe right after lunch (Charlotte will probably nap in the car that way--for better or worse) and spending the afternoon.

Anyone else want to join us?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Unfit mother of a little girl

Before having Charlotte, I had hoped that our first child would be a girl. I myself am one of 5 sisters, and I was pretty comfortable with how little girls behave and dress and act and grow. I would see little boys making guns and swords out of everything, playing intently at war or cops and robbers, and giving their primal roars on the playgrounds, and I knew that I would be way out of my element. Now my daughter is not quite two, and I'm already unsure that I really know how to raise a girl either. There are just so many things that she might aske me about that I just won't know how to do.

For example, Charlotte comes home from daycare quite often with the most darling hair-dos. The workers like to put her hair up in pigtails and pony tails, and apparently she's happy to sit still for her little beauty appointments. I, on the other hand, am a disaster at fixing hair (my own or anyone else's). I have bought an assortment of little girl hair things (bitty barretts, tiny elastics, little clips). I keep trying to style her hair but my attempts look messy and don't stay put for more than 5 minutes. My own hair routine goes something like this: wash, condition, rinse, comb. That's it. No hair dryers, hot round instruments of torture, no nasty smelling chemicals in aerosol bottles. I do the occaisional pony tail, but that's more for exercise than for show. *Sigh* If Charlotte wants fancy up-dos and braids and curls later in life, she will have to find someone else to show her how.

Besides hair styles, I also don't do nails (on feet or hands). I've had one manicure in my life, and that was on my wedding day. I don't wear nail polish, and nail files make me cringe (for my short, plain nails, a pair of clippers is sufficient). I've never gotten a pedicure. Maybe I should just so that I know what on earth they do to you. I shave my legs with a men's electric razor--I never mastered the technique of doing it in the shower without bleeding or missing large strips, and most of the "shave gel" products made me break out in a rash. I tried a home wax job once (on my legs) and barely made it through the first leg before deciding that it was just too painful. Maybe I should try it drunk. I won't even contemplate waxing other body parts.

I am ok at shopping--maybe my only saving grace in this list. I can wander malls for hours. I am also very undecided, so I tend to lap stores multiple times trying to figure out what (if anything) I actually want. If I'm actually looking for a specific item, I have really bad luck in finding them--it's like someone calls ahead and tells every store to pull their white shirts (or whatever I'm looking for) off the racks, except for a select few in a XS or with $500 price tags.

For now I guess I just enjoy the perfect pigtails that Charlotte comes home from school in, and leave the nail polish remover in my husband's bowling bag (he cleans the ball with it...he goes through more for bowling in a year than I do for nails in 5).

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What? They saw a movie? In a theater?

No, the world is not coming to an end. But my husband and I actually had a babysitter, and went out without Charlotte to see a movie. On opening night, no less. We saw Da Vinci Code last night, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I had read the book a couple of years ago, but my husband had not. I actually enjoyed how the movie flowed, and I don't remember any major plot points that were changed from the book (no extraneous elves appearing in major battles or anything...).

As a catholic, I have to say that I am saddened by all the protests of the film (and book). Do some people have such a shaky foundation for their faith that a work of fiction can threaten them that much? Perhaps it is not the movie that they should be questioning.

Also, though I understand that this type of movie paints a bad picture of the Vatican and it's (fictional!) workings, I don't believe the protests are fair. I watched the Bourne Supremacy recently, which portrays a series of American government characters that are engaged in a similarly murderous secret business. Like Bishop Aringarosa and his cohorts, the secret agents in Bourne Supremacy are having innocent people hunted and exchanging large sums of money and other, clearly illegal and immoral things. Yet I don't remember any protestesters or media reports about how the movie was unfairly portraying the American Government or how it should be banned. There are probably just as many real-life "secret agents" who cringe when they see that sort of depiction as there are bishops shuddering at the thought of how the fictional Opus Dei activates.

In any case, protests or no, the movie was fun. It makes for a lively and thought-provoking treasure hunt, and I would recommend it to anyone who's unlikely to take the whole thing too seriously.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wayward Google Searches

Administrator, "Assistant's Day"

clifford drowned

without my glasses

free knifty knitter video lessons

"beef soup base" hard piece

collecting a urine sample in a 2 year old that is not potty trained

motherhood pressure

The modern day secretary as Administrator

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I had a doctor's appointment this morning to check out one of my eyes--I've been feeling like there's sand or something in it for the past week or so. Oddly enough, it feels much better with my contacts in than when I have my glasses on. After filling out half a dozen pages of paperwork I was led to an examining room and had my vitals taken (still 5'4", 144 lbs, temperature and blood pressure normal). Then I got to wait for the doctor. I was perched on the exam table, fully dressed for once--most of my doctor visits the last couple of years involve paper vests and stirrups--and looked around the room for something to read.

There are never clocks in exam rooms, probably on purpose, but there are generally an interesting assortment of posters. I'm partial to the anatomy ones that list all the body parts in multiple languages, myself--I can while away a good half an hour trying to memorize the Spanish words for "tendon" and "aorta". Alas, there was no Spanish anatomy to study today. Instead, there was a nice, yellow sign reminding diabetes patients to remove their shoes and socks for each visit, and a poster about Adult ADD.

I wasn't worried about diabetes (and besides, I was wearing sandals so my feet were readily accessible should it become an issue), so I studied the ADD poster. It contained a series of questions and a chart that would show you whether you should be worried about it.

The first question asked whether you have trouble doing the cleanup-work at the end of a task. Hmmm...yep. I hate hate hate all the fiddly stuff you have to do to finish things off (like software documentation...*snooze*). It went on to ask if you have trouble organizing tasks--well, sometimes. If I'm familiar with a process and know the pattern I'm fine, otherwise I really have to concentrate to make sure I get everything going the right way and anticipate the right things. Do you have trouble remembering appointments? Well, only if they're appointments that I'm not interested how I can forget for weeks (months) on end to call about getting the hail damange on my car fixed. Do you delay in starting a new challenge? Well, sometimes. Unless it's something I'm really excited about, but I still try to have sufficient "prep" time (we won't talk about how much prep time I take sometimes...).

Do you feel like you have to keep moving or doing, like you're driven by a motor? Yeah, I know this feeling. Some days I just can't sit still and relax for very long--I feel like I should be doing something. Usually I attribute it to stress over my huge to-do lists (there is no such thing as being caught up on laundry unless you're stark naked and you just hung up a clean towel in the bathroom and haven't washed your hands...).

Do you fidget or move your hand or feet when you're sitting still for a long time? I read this one while swinging my feet back and forth. I'm incapable of talking on the phone without playing with somethign in my hands. I have to consciously remind myself not to tap a foot or wiggle too much in meetings. Uh oh.

After my appointment (I have no "foreign bodies" or "corneal abrasions", but do have a couple of samples of allergy drops and instructions to not wear contacts for a couple of days), I told my husband about the sign and that I might be borderline ADD. He raised an eyebrow and said, "Borderline?". Hmph.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Polite drivers

I dropped Charlotte off at daycare this morning, and so got to ride on my favorite stretch of 270. I headed for the far left lane to avoid the congestion around highway 70 (where my previous car was totaled a couple of years ago when some guy hit me from behind in stop-and-go traffic). I was cruising along in a pocket of traffic around 65mph as I approached the St. Charles Rock Road exit, when I noticed a red SUV approaching me fast from behind. He didn't slow down till he was exceedingly close behind me. Normally when someone is driving that fast in the left hand lane and tailgates me like that, I move over and allow them to tailgate the person in front of me--especially since my accident, I've come to accept that "safe driving distance" doesn't mean much to some drivers.

However, I was stuck behind another car, with two blocking the center lane, and there was no place for me to go. So I stayed put, and at first the red SUV slowed down a couple of car lengths. Then he sped up and got right up behind me again before slowing down--it's a lovely feeling to see a giant car quickly approaching in your rear view mirror, and have no where to go. He slowed down a second time, and I noticed that he was hopping lanes behind me, presumably to go around, but to no avail. I was also actively looking for a way out of my current lane, since I had just passed the Macdonnell exit and didn't have long to go before I had to get several lanes to the right.

The car in front of me finally moved, and I was able to get one lane to the right, leaving a good half mile of open highway in that all-important left hand lane. The red SUV came barrelling up his coveted lane, overtaking me as I started slowing from the 80mph I hit to change lanes. As he got right behind me (one lane over), I had a moment of panic when I saw him swerve *into* my lane--and then right back out again to keep going. I don't honestly think he missed me by much. I slowed down and made sure he stayed well ahead of me, especially since he was still lane hopping and over-correcting.

Yikes. I don't know if he was drunk, mad, rude, or just plain crazy. I am not sure, but that swerve as he passed my car had the definite feeling of a threat to me. I really hope that there was a cop waiting somewhere ahead of him, and that if he decided to swerve into something solid, that it be a sign or other inanimate object so that the only one he could hurt was himself.

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Motherhood

A friend of ours recently had a baby. She had an eclamptic seizure right after the birth, and has had a rough first couple of weeks of parenthood. According to her blog, she's had some guilt about how things went--guilt that's probably much intensified by the tsunami-sized hormone fluctuations you experience after childbirth.

I did not have the same experience as she did, but I completely understand. Before Charlotte was conceived, I had this rosy picture of what the whole process would be like. I had my mother's experiences to draw from--she had 5 relatively uneventful pregnancies, though she was hyper-enemic (really, really sick) with the 5th--she was also 40 years old and it had been 12 years since number 4. I was sure I'd sail through pregnancy, enjoying the weight gain and the kicking baby, and be on my feet again not long after birth.

Hah. I was sick the entire time. But not too sick--enough that I puked probably 4 of every 7 days for the entire 8 months, but still gained 50ish pounds (maybe 60, depending on what you count as my starting weight...). I had horrible heartburn the whole time, and generally felt like crap. I was stressed at work, which probably made everything worse.

Then my water broke at 36 weeks. I had had sings of impending labor in the weeks up till that point--the baby dropping, starting to lose my mucous plug (hey, I never promised to avoid gory details), but I didn't really believe what the signs were telling me--My mom carried all 5 of us late, and I was sure I wouldn't deliver till nearly October. Then when I did finally accept that I was in labor, I figured, "Great. The baby will be small. At least the delivery will be easy".

Again, hah. By partway through the day, I was having back labor. I didn't know that's what it was, and no one else figured it out either, or I might have tried a couple of positions to help her turn. So even though I had privately thought I would skip the epidural, I realized I needed one after losing an hour to the pain. Several hours later, I spent 2 hours pushing before the doctor decided that Charlotte was stuck (and they couldn't figure out which way her head was pointing). So I got a C-section.

Those suck. Really suck. I didn't get to try to sit up till the second day, and didn't really stand up till day 3 in the hospital. Around then, my milk came in. But Charlotte was developing jaundice and was really sleepy. She had trouble latching (the lactation consultant said it was because I was a large breasted woman and showed me how to help her latch correctly--I'm barely a B cup normally....). Trying to nurse would tire her out more, and she was getting dehydrated, which made the jaundice worse. So then she got sent to the NICU to go under bili lights, and I was alone and without her for the first time *ever*.

We got to take her home after a day in the NICU, thankfully, but I was on pain medicine for the next 2 weeks or so. I really don't remember much of that time--the drugs made me really out of it. I hurt--I couldn't lay on my side, had trouble getting in and out of bed, trouble going up and down stairs, an didn't even attempt to drive till she was like 3 weeks old.

Not exactly the rosy picture I'd envisioned. But, we both survived and she's a beautiful, smart, lively little girl. I would never take that back. And now I know that for next time (whenever that is), that my expectation is this: healthy mom and healthy baby. Nothing more. And I'll try not to feel guilty about it.

How to relax on Mother's Day

My mom and baby sister (she's 9) spent the weekend with us over Mother's Day weekend. They arrived late on Friday, which gave us (well, my husband mostly) time to put up more new hardware in Charlotte's bathroom (the guest bathroom). We had put up a medicine cabinet a week or two ago, and he hung a towel bar, towel hooks, and a new toilet paper holder.

Saturday morning my mom and Katie got to play with Charlotte, and we walked down to the park as a group for play time. We also attempted to get our dragon kite flying--this was our second attempt, and though it went better than the first one, the dragon still won't stay up for very long. Charlotte found it vastly amusing to see her mommy and daddy take turns running up and down a grassy field pulling a kite. She even took a turn or two herself--with one of us holding the kite off the mud.

Saturday afternoon was spent napping. Charlotte refused to go down without a car ride to put her to sleep, but ended up with a good 2 hour nap. We were going to visit a museum in the afternoon, but that didn't work out. Instead we headed to a local mall, had dinner, playtime, and shopping time. Katie wanted to climb the rock wall, but we arrived 10 minutes too late. Still, we had fun.

Sunday morning my mom and Katie were getting ready to drive home when we discovered that Mom's car keys were locked in her car--Katie had accidentally dropped them the day before when getting something out of it. We had to call a locksmith, and Charlotte and I headed off to church (my husband is in the choir, and was already there).

We arrived half an hour late--just in time for their annual blessing of the mothers. The rest of the service was too busy--Charlotte spent time running up and down the stairs in the loft where we were sitting, and then filled a stinky diaper right as communion was starting, so after going through the line, I took her to the restroom to change. We came back up just in time for the closing song, but Charlotte wanted to play outside and not sit in the chapel.

Lunch at Olive Garden with my sister and brother-in-law was also trying, since Charlotte was overly tired and the food was slow in coming. We all took turns taking her for a walk before and during our meal. Luckily she crashed on the way home.

We had fun, but I wouldn't call it relaxing!

Friday, May 12, 2006

This morning there was a Mother's Day breakfast at Charlotte's daycare. Usually my husband drops her off in the morning and I pick her up, but we reversed it so I could be there this morning. As I put a very confused toddler into the car (she takes uspets in routine about as well as I do, apparently), the DJs on the radio were talking about Mother's Day.

They read a "job description" for motherhood, which I think I've seen as an email attachment about 1000 times (and counting, I'm sure). Then they played a really sappy song about a son's love for his mother. I think the artist was Mark Schultz? The song started with a little boy who fell off the swing on the first day of school and called his mother, and talked about him moving away for his first job, and then the mother dying. The song was sweet, I guess--not really *that* sappy, and it had me crying as I drove my daughter to school. I'm actually surprised how the show was handled at that point--I always think of Steve and DC as being slightly immature and insensitive (they like to prank call people with recorded tapes of celebrity voices and so on), and at least for a while, they were being nice and sincere.

The breakfast itself was fun--Charlotte ate my sausage links, hers, and seconds that I brough back (a total of 5 I think), plus as many grapes as we could politely extract from the fruit salad. She had a couple of bites of pancake, and a little bit of the muffin that she was poking in the buffet line. The food was good--not fancy, but good enough, and it was fun to sit with her at the toddler-sized table and chat with a couple of other toddler mamas.

I got a couple of sticky pancake-syrup handprints on my clothes, and lots of snuggle time as she realized that I was going to leave. On the way out, my own mother called me on my cell phone to say that she and my baby sister (who's 9) were still planning to come out for the weekend (hooray!).

Since I won't probably post again before Monday, I think I'll wish all the Mothers, Grandmothers, and Mothers-to-Be, and Mothers-that-want-to-be a Happy Mother's Day :) Now go hug your mom!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Charlotte is officially weaned. It's been over a week since she last asked to nurse. She'd only been breastfeeding at bedtime for the last couple of months--plus the occaisional early morning nursing session when she'd wake up around 5am and want to snuggle in our bed. She'd skipped a few nursing sessions over the last month, but usually ended up making up for them with night-and-morning sessions soon after. But then, about 2 weeks ago, I got her ready for bed and we sat down in the rocking chair next to her crib, and she just cuddled up in my arms, sucked her finger, and immediately fell asleep. She did the same thing the next night. By the third day I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable, and she actually wanted milk. That was the last time. That she'd been slowing down on her milk intake has helped me feel physically comfortable--I still see milk in the ducts sometimes, so I know I'm not exactly "dry", but havent' been engorged at all.

Charlotte's appetite in general has really dropped off the last couple of weeks. They say that this is normal as babies approach 2 years old (she's nearly 21 months now), as their growth rate slows. She stopped demanding constant snacks from the time we get home after work/daycare right through dinner, and doesn't always eat a complete breakfast before leaving the house in the morning (and arriving at school for another complete breakfast). Last night, she even mostly skipped a snack and then refused dinner (steak even!) until nearly bedtime (at which point she devoured most of a sandwich).

She is also still wanting lots of snuggles, including her favorite snuggle spot--my chest. She will actually move my hair and any necklaces away so that she can get the most cheek-to-chest contact and rest her head up under my chin.

I already miss the closeness of breastfeeding her, but it's time to move on, I guess. She's acting less and less like a baby and more and more like a little girl all the time. She's also letting her daddy take a larger role in the bedtime routine, which means that I'll be able to do other things in the evenings sometimes without worrying about her. I also don't need to worry about her jealousy of my nursing a future sibling, or about whether I'll be comfortable enough to continue breastfeeding a toddler during a future pregnancy (while I was pregnant with Charlotte, if anyone came within about 5 feet of my chest, I thought I'd scream...).

I am glad that she still needs her Mommy snuggles though.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The kidney bean

Saturday morning, while my husband took Charlotte for a run in the jogging stroller, I set to work on one of our flower beds. I spent probably a good 2 hours working on a kidney-bean shaped bed that is probably 5x8 at the widest and longest points, and surrounds the little green stumps that the cable and phone wires are in. Some people try to ignore that these things are in their yard, and have to trim around them. Some try to disguise them by surrounding them in tall grasses or closely spaced evergreen bushes. We took the approach of putting a plant bed around them, but treating them like garden statuary. No, they're not painted with cherubs or frogs or anything. But they get their own spot, aren't "hidden" from view, and the other plants are laid out to balance the overall look.

The kidney bean was pretty thoroughly overgrown with grass, which is the one weed I hate the most in the garden. That stuff gets into *everything* and it's really hard to kill. Unless you're actually trying to grow it. Then it demands excessive water and care and white gloves in order to survive. I don't think I'd be upset to not have any in our yard at all, but that's a hard thing to consider in a suburban neighborhood where the care of one's grass is the primary pastime. We have one nieghbor who has burned off most of the grass in her back yard and seems to be working on a much more natural look--to the dismay of other neighbors who seem to think that they're not keeping the yard up correctly (because the grass is *dead* back there....). But I digress...

Once the grass was gone, and the remains of the dead morning glory's from last year were removed from the little trellis, I planted a bunch of seeds. Charlotte was back by then and decided to "help". We planted sweat peas around the trellis, since they'e climbers--we will probably have a dozen seeds sprout in one spot thanks to her careful placement :) We then sprinkled 2 or 3 other varieties that we had from last year in another spot (canterbury bells, and I don't remember what else). She was much better with the sweet pea seeds, since she could pick them up (they're about the size of peas, go figure)--the other seeds were more like crushed pepper. The next door neighbor boy (he's 2.5) got in on the planting at the end as well. Both kids were sorely disappointed when we ran out of seeds and dirt to plant them in.

I don't know if our little kidney bean will amount to much (certainly not a hill of beans, I didn't plant any of those), but at least it resembles a flower bed again, instead of a hill of poorly kept grass.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Where exactly is our "spair" room anyway?

Last night my husband and I hung a new chandelier in the dining room. When we built the house, we were given a "lighting budget" to use to choose lights for the house. For our 2700 square foot house (not counting the finished basement, which we added later) with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths (3.5 including the basement one), dining room, family room, kitchen, breakfast, and laundry rooms, we were given a sum total of $300. You could spend more, but it was tacked on to the price of the house. Basically, that price was not quite enough to buy the cheapest possible "cap light" for every fixture that needed a light. We tried to pick a set of basic lights that were asthetically pleasing, but inexpensive enough that we could redecorate without cringing.

Our dining room fixture was a basic, shiny brass 5-arm chandelier--the type that goes for about $30 at your local home improvement store. I've been drooling over antique crystal chandeliers since a trip to New Orleans several years ago (a trip that included several plantation tours and a French Quarter house tour). Beautiful, but many of them require a second mortgage and ceilings that are a bit higher than our 8-foot ones. My husband has been pointing out wrought iron and other plainer styles for just as long, complaining that the ones I like are "too shiny". We finally found a good compromise at a good price (about $100) in a sort of antiqued nickel finish with some crystals (enough for me, not too many for him). So last night we assembled and installed it.

I have decided that the electricians who wired our house were either idiots, insane, or on something. My husband spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out which breaker the dining room fixture was on. "Dinning room"? Nope. (I guess "dinning" is not "dining" misspelled after all...) "Hall"? Nope (I still don't know where our hall is...we don't exactly have much of a hallway anywhere). "Spair"? Nope. (Note this is not a "spare", since it actually controls useful outlets). "General Use"? Nope. Aha! Our dining room is on the circuit labeled "Master". This lovely circuit also contains the overhead lights in the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom.

Anyway, once we figured that out, the rest wasn't so bad. Except that I was exhausted (it was 9:30 by the time we had the power off, and I'm usually snoring by 10), things went relatively smoothly. In other words, my husband did most of the hard work. But, it looks great!

Monday, May 01, 2006

March of Dimes walk

Saturday was the March of Dimes Walkamerica. For the second year, our little family of 3 participated. This year, we didn't so much raise money as we donated money--I didn't try that hard to solicite donations, though. We had fun though. The event that we went to was set up in Forest Park. There were lots of sponsors giving out a variety of freebies before the walk, including balloons, pens, golf tees, and hankies. I think the hankies get my vote for the best giveaway--they can be useful, and are perfectly sized for baby doll blankets.

Unfortunately, it was wet. Very wet. When we arrived around 9, it was just damp, and right as we all started walking at 10, it started pouring on us. My husband had his goretex jacket on, and Charlotte got an empty trashbag as a blanket, plus her rain jacket. I, on the other hand, don't seem to own any rain gear (I have an old trenchcoat-type raincoat, but it's long and lacks a hood and is totally inappropriate for tromping though the mud with a jogging stroller). I had a light jacket on over my sweatsuit, and used a couple of the free hankies to cover my head as we walked (changing them as they soaked through).

Charlotte was thrilled with the balloons, and the dogs that joined their owners on the walk, and all of the people (baby) watching. She enjoyed some time stomping in the puddles before and after the walk, and ate 2 of the free hotdogs they provided for us afterwards. (I actually ate one hotdog--I hate the things, but I was hungry....I think I've now met my quota for the next year or two...).

All in all, it was a fun morning. If anyone feels like donating money, it's for a good cause. Here's my last and final (very weak) attempt at fundraising--you can donate online at