Monday, March 31, 2008

Baby Names

So, as I mentioned A Long Time Ago, I bought a baby name book because it promised to reveal such things like why Anne marries Andy, or why everyone thinks James and Mary go so well together. But alas, it did not.

But it did get me thinking about other naming issues. For example, if we ever had kids, what would their names be? Let's see here, we have all sorts of standards...for example, in my family, the first born male's son is supposed to have the initials of J.W., and thus, if I had been a boy, my name would have been Jared Wesley.

[Aside] I find this funny because the I think the whole JW thing is something my dad made up, honestly. I mean really--My dad's initials are JW. But Grandpa was a second born, and the first born (Uncle Jim) was not a JW, and Great Grandpa John Willis was the youngest of the family [/Aside]

In Shawn's family, the males all have their father's first name as their middle name (so it was Edward, Karl Edward, Robert Karl, Shawn Robert). But what sounds good with Shawn as a middle name? Trust me, there aren't that many. About the only one I could find that would do at all was Nathaniel Shawn. And I'm just not drawn to 'Nathan'...much like how I'm not drawn to 'double S' names--Melissa, Larissa, etc. That's not to say, of course, that these names AREN'T good--just that I wouldn't necessarily think of choosing them for my children.

Also, I find it strange that there are all these 'rules' for naming the male children, but not the female children--there's no standard "use this middle name", or "this person's first name is supposed to be the baby's middle name" rule in either of our families. Really, what makes the males so special that they get a naming convention?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

AWWW! CatShit!

So we went hiking on Easter. When we came back, we walked in the house and I thought "hmm, smells like IV didn't cover her poop again."

Then Shawn walked down the hall. And somehow managed to step on the piece of poop that invariably was caught on some cat's butt, and that's why it wasn't in its proper place of the litter box. Anyhow, he then continues to walk into the bedroom because he still hasn't realized he has stepped in cat poop.

When I walk down the hall a short time later, I asked why he hadn't cleaned up the poop if he had obviously stepped in it. And that was when he realized he had stepped in cat poop and had been trailing it around the house for the last 3 minutes.

So I set about cleaning up the floor as he ranted about "this is why we don't have kids! because they would poop on the floor!"

To which my very sane response was "yes, but unlike cats, once kids reach a certain age, you're at least fairly guaranteed that they aren't just going to just drop trou and poop on the floor."

Besides, I think the bigger problem would obviously be that Shawn would somehow manage to step in said poop and then traipse it around the house and not even know.

I think I should have his brain checked because seriously, how could you NOT SMELL CAT POOP?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hiking on Easter

The most pitiful looking 18-month old, ever!

On the hiking trail.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nostalgia Sunday

Easter Edition.

Easter was a family affair--though not as concrete as Thanksgiving and Christmas--Easter was the one more like "well, if you're not doing anything and you want to come over, you're more than welcome." So, some years we would have people over, some years we would go to someone else's house, and other years we'd just stay home the four of us.

We always had Easter Baskets, and I now when we were little we'd dye eggs, but I don't remember really doing them as we got older--that is I remember the plastic candy filled eggs for a much longer time than the dyed eggs. We would wake up early to find all the plastic Easter eggs 'hidden' around the house--most of the time they were pretty obvious, I even want to say when we were wee-littln's the trail of eggs would lead to our baskets. We rarely ever had Easter egg hunts outside of the house, but that is because Easter is notoriously cold in Colorado. Anyhow, we would find our respective baskets--some years I would find Dani's and then point her in the right direction, other years I'd pretend I hadn't seen her basket. I'm sure she did the same to me--it usually all depended on which of us found a basket first. I don't remember being allowed to eat the candy before church (though I'm sure we were probably allowed one piece). So we'd find our baskets, we'd ooh and aah over them, then we'd get dressed in our invariably new dresses and shoes and then go off to church. We'd come back and immediately take a self portrait picture of all of us sitting on the stairs in our Easter finest. (picture below from when I was in college--Dani couldn't make it home for the holiday--this was one of the years where it was just us)

Then the cooking would start. If we had family coming over we'd usually have spiral cut ham with green bean casserole, dinner rolls, and mashed potatoes...actually, that's about what we would have if the family wasn't coming over too. If we were lucky, someone would make deviled eggs and mom would make the bunny cake (2-9" round cakes where one was cut to look like a bow tie, the extra pieces then get used as the bunny ears). We'd use black jelly beans for eyes, a pink one for the nose, licorice strings for the mouth and whiskers. Jelly beans would be used as polka dots on the bow tie and then mom would sprinkle coconut on the face of the rabbit to look like fur. She wasn't allowed to do the tie or the ears since dad and I hate coconut. (see below...that isn't anyone I know...just the cake is the exact thing we would make)

Ah yes, Easter...makes me want to go make a cake right about now...


Oh my gosh. You MUST go watch the video that Nick and/or Sarah put together for Yam! Now, then, make haste to get over there because I command it. (Though I will admit that you male types will probably watch about 1 minute and then go "this is boring. Now where's that video of the squirrel water skiing?")

(can you tell that I just finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl?)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

As an FYI

Shawn started blogging again...So far he's written about Trent Reznor, Drumming, and biking to work (in which Mr. Grinder gets a shout out).

I wonder if he's going to write about how biking to work this last week made his arse hurt and the only reason he didn't bike one day, drive the next, etc until he built up his endurance is because he's incapable of doing anything half-assed. (Har-har-har)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bonding over Rats

That's right. Like Janet's cats, our cats are bonding over rat hunting.

Well, relatively.

Everything would have gone better if IV hadn't flipped out about Quazi looking at HER rat, couldn't he just, you know, go over there and look at HIS rat?

IV keeping tabs on her rat under the boards. (the rat is the greyish blob just above the knot in the wood)

Ivsie's Rat.

Quazi hunting his rat under the boards.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Project Bathroom: Still not quite done

Well, we finally got the mirror up. I figured this was going to be a horrendous project that was going to take us a couple of hours.

It only took maybe an hour.

Now we just need to put up some shelves, and put the little knobby on the door. Then we're done. Well, aside from having to buy a new hand-towel...but I have a feeling I'm going to have to buy a new whole set of towels because Martex no longer makes the color we've currently got. BOO.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Field Work

Doing field work in the spring allows you to eat outside. That's when you get views like this:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I do not like mangoes.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Is it bad luck...

If you break a mirror intentionally?

We've been working on remodeling our bathroom for the last year. That's right, you heard me, the last year (OK, not quite--we started at the beginning of May 07, so it's only been ALMOST a year. Here, let me put it in perspective: If I had gotten pregnant the day we started remodeling the bathroom, I would have fully gestated the kid, and then some).

Anyhow, we're almost done, and we have been 'almost done' for about 10 months. All we had to do was replace (or cut to size) the mirror, and replace the shelves. Of course, Shawn's got this whole thing about asking other people to do things for him (aka take the mirror to the mirror cutting place), and I couldn't take it in because the place is only open 8-5 M-F and is up north (about 10 minutes from Shawn's work, about 30 from mine). Thus it was his responsibility to get the mirror cut.

And so, it sat on the floor in our guest bedroom for the last year or so--my sister had to sit on her air mattress and do her hair and makeup when she came and visited in June because there wasn't a mirror in the bathroom.

I finally convinced Shawn that it might be good to, you know, finish the bathroom so we can check it off the list and move on to other things like painting the deck, or cleaning the grime off of the chimney, or replacing the rest of the windows (we already did 3 in 2006, we only have 3 more to go). So he decided we would cut the mirror ourselves. Keep in mind that neither one of us has ever cut glass before. But we still go out to Harbor Freight and get a glass cutter, and then read online about the theory of cutting glass. We set everything up and score the mirror, only to not have any of the extra piece come off. Finally started smacking the hell out of it, and a piece came off, but it also took some of the 'other side' of the score with it. So we re-score. But apparently not good enough because that time when we tried to break off a piece, it cracked the rest of the mirror.

Thus we were screwed as we couldn't use the mirror, but we couldn't just put it out with the trash in its current state so we had to get out the hammer and break it into smithereens to put it in the trash bin.

So, I ask again, will you have 7 years of bad luck if you break a mirror intentionally?

Monday, March 10, 2008

21 Day Clean House Make-Over

So, it appears to be all the rage at this point in time to start a 21 day make-over challenge. As can be witnessed by The Ambitious Mrs, Jennie Livie, and Janet (of Love is Blonde).

I originally was going to do photo-ma-graphy. (look at me be all learn-ed)

But then. It Rained. So I didn't feel like taking photos. Instead, I cleaned the house. And thus started my 21-day challenge. I am going to clean the house for at least 20 minutes each day, for 21 days. I know it doesn't sound like much, and I think I'm honestly doing it so I don't have to clean on the weekends--or rather, not clean as much. For example: today I did laundry, tidied the living room, put away some stuff in the kitchen, did the dishes from Shawn's grilling last night, AND started dinner. And all before 7pm. Normally the laundry waits until the weekend, the tidying happens maybe 2x a week (though for much longer than 20 minutes), the dishes languish in the sink until we need to use them again, and dinner isn't started until about 730.

And yet it doesn't feel like I did anything.

But I think this is mostly because Shawn has apparently started a 21 day challenge as well: See how much stuff I can put in the living room and kitchen.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Nostalgia Sunday

Welcome to episode two.

Today's episode is about the great American tradition: Drive in Movie-Theaters.

Ah, Drive in Movie Theaters. There was nothing better during the summers of my childhood. There was a Drive In in Cinderella City, about half an hour from our house in Lakewood, and I remember that dad would put the seats down in the back and then we'd drive to Cinderella City (which also housed another great place--Fantastic Nathan's--but that's another entry). The best part about this was that we weren't wearing seat belts, and I made it a game to try to bounce at the right time so when we'd go over bumps in the road, I wouldn't feel it because I'd be in the air. I think I only ever accomplished being in the air while the car went over a bump precisely 1 time.

Of course, going to the drive in requires some prepping. Like you have to make a large bag of popcorn before going since the drive ins don't have silly rules like "no outside food or drink". So, you'd make your popcorn, you'd fill the cooler with sodas (and adult beverages if so inclined), and you'd put the seats down in the back of the van (this, of course, was back when it was a pain in the ass to put the seats down in a van, none of this flip forward into the floor stuff). Of course, had we been older, I'm sure dad wouldn't have put the seats down in the back--the whole point of putting seats down in the back was so Dani and I could go to sleep while watching the movie. Of course, I don't remember mom making through the double feature either...But Dad always did--Gosh Darnit, he paid to see 2 movies and he was GOING to see 2 movies. Him being a night-owl had nothing to do with it, I'm sure.

According to one of the articles I read in our Pedernales Electric magazine said that Drive-ins are making a comeback. As well they should. As I've mentioned before, it's just so fun to go to movies outside during the summer. Besides, I know I'm in the age-group that the drive-ins started disappearing and obviously I have fond memories of it, so why wouldn't I take my (non-existent) kids to it and try to re-live the family bonding experience?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Black Dogs: Not Wanted.

MSN had an article today about Black Dog Syndrome. Or, in layman terms, "I want a cute dog--one that you can see 'expressions' on" which directly translates to 'lighter coat (or face markings) means a better sell'

Of course, this is one of those things that unless you frequent an animal shelter, you're not going to know it exists. But it absolutely does. When I was doing the Specially Trained Adoptable Rovers class at the Boulder Valley Humane Society, there were a couple of times that our classes consisted entirely of all black dogs. And of course, it's never like you only had those dogs for one week. For about a month and a half every class consisted of Ritz (black lab/pointer), Chase (black lab/german shepard), Star (black lab), Willa (black lab/hound), Lily (black lab/pointer), Bear (black chow mix), and Josie (red foxhound/Australian Cattle dog) and then whatever other dogs were assigned to the class for the week (we usually had 9-12 dogs per class).

The article doesn't mention though that there are some other factors that tend to show up: The toughest dogs to adopt out are black lab mixes 1-3 years old. This is probably because lab mixes are notoriously energetic, and they reach full adult size at about a year. It's cute when you're puppy jumps on you when he's little, but when you've got a 60 pound dog running at you that you know is going to jump, it's just not nearly as cute.

Now then, with black cats, it doesn't tend to be as much of a problem--or rather it goes in cycles (one month the shelter will have tons of black cats, the next month, it's gray--and this just seesaws back and forth). I think it's because some people will go to the shelter specifically looking for a black cat, but hardly anyone goes in saying "I'm looking for a black dog"

So, if you're going in for a dog, my suggestion is to talk to the volunteers and the people that work there, they're the ones that know how the dogs act. And remember, when you have the meet with the dog, make sure you make the decision on how it acts, and not what it looks like.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Meat is Murder: Murder tastes good.

I need to start eating more meat (I think). This is because I haven't been eating much meat over the last week (I ate meat on Saturday at Red Robin and at Schlosky's today at lunch...and that's it). And for whatever reason I have been STARVING all week long.

I think there may be a connection.

Of course, upping my exercise output probably hasn't helped any.

For the past few days we've been eating vegetarian lasagna and I will be half way through my piece and say "I'm board of this. I don't want to eat anymore. BUT I'M STILL HUUUUNGGGGGRYYYYY" and so I will continue to eat the rest of the piece. And then I usually move on to something else--thankfully I went to the store last week and went crazy with fruit so I've just been eating fruit after dinner to stave off the hunger until it's time to go to bed.

And it's driving me nuts.

But seriously, I'm THIS close to sticking my fingers in the peanut butter...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Procrastination: Over

I got this idea from Dooce's page a while back and decided it would be a great thing to put on our kitchen wall.

We sorta followed her directions, but figured it would be easier to just measure everything out (we are engineers after all). So here they are if you feel so inspired to do something similar:
1. buy frames and photos. The pictures here are 5-5x7s and 5-8x10s.

2. Make a template for the top row on wax paper (use permanent marker--don't touch it for a little bit, it will smear if you don't wait for about 5 minutes): lay out the frames on the floor, face down. separate them by some set distance (we used 3"). With the permanent marker, mark where the nails should be hammered in (I also drew where the top line of the frames should be).

3. Get out your laser-level and determine at what height you want your pictures. use masking tape to tape your template to the wall.

4. Hammer nails into the wall (just nail them through the wax paper). If you're like us, you checked to make sure the nails would all be at the same height for each photo (in our case, 3.75" from the edge of frame). So you can set up your laser-level, and then just follow where the line is--that way, if you accidentally have a point marked on your wax paper that's a little off, you can correct it off the get go instead of nailing a nail in the wall, then finding out after everything is said and done that you were half an inch off.
a. Of course, since we're engineers, we also determined that it would be 16.5" between nails on the top row so we just hammered in the first nail, then measured 16.5" to the right, while following the laser line, and hammered in another nail. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

5. This is the part that is different from Heather's directions: since the second row has nails at varying heights, we determined where the nails should go by measuring the backs of the frames--lay 2 columns of the frames down, measure from the hanger on one frame down to the hanger on the other frame. Note this amount. Do the same for the second column. Congratulations! you now know the distance between the nails for the top frames and the bottom frames.

6. Decide you need a plumb bob and string to do this job correctly.

7. Go to Lowe's to get said equipment (it wouldn't be a home improvement project if you didn't have to go to the hardware store at least once in the middle of your project any how).

8. Hold the plumb bob in front of each nail. Measure the amount required down the string and hammer in a nail. Wash, rinse, repeat for the other nails.

9. Hang the pictures on the wall.

10. Stand back and admire your work.

This is me Procrastinating

I've decided I look unnaturally short in my profile photo. This is probably because my pants are hip-slung, and bunchy at the bottom, and I'm not wearing my heeled boots.

But then, I was at the airport.

Perhaps I should replace it with a picture that makes me seem like I've got really long legs...

But then, that would require work.

And I am procrastinating.

Procrastinating on finished my home improvement project we started today...actually, it's almost finished, I just gotta put the dang pictures in their frames.