Saturday, June 28, 2008

Getting a new table today!

These are "before" photos of the living and dining rooms; as soon as we have the space set up with the new table, I'll post the "afters."

We've been talking for years about how our dining room table is just too small for our dinner parties. It seats four comfortably, but beyond that, you've got a table leg jammed in your crotch and you're a little too comfortably close to your neighbor. I was bored at work yesterday and checked craigslist for tables, then sent prospects to Monkeyrotica. He dissed most of them, but only one got a WANT! response. I contacted a few people with queries, and fortuitously, his WANT! table owners gave us the callback.

We will have to move around just about every piece of furniture in the living/dining room to accomodate the new, larger table. In fact the dining room will become our living room and vice-versa. Good for the feng shui!

Wish us luck! We're picking it up this morning (gotta snap up craiglist stuff immediately) and while they told us the table wouldn't possibly fit in a minivan, we are stubbornly heading over in a minivan.

UPDATE: The table fit in the minivan!! We spent about 3 hours moving furniture around and have the rooms 80% set up. Woo!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Getting to love my office gym

Group Fitness Room
Originally uploaded by Belmont University
I initially felt that the office gym was dreary; no music playing, TVs showing the History channel's show on military weapons of the Civil War, and just a bunch of guys there working out on the free weights. I adore aerobics classes, and they have them, but they are at 6:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. and I initially thought that was not doable because of my schedule with the kids. After consulting with Monkeyrotica, we decided that it was possible to make the 6:30 a.m. class work. I just have to set the kids' clothing out the night before and feed the bird before I sneak stealthily out of the house at 5:45 to get to the gym on time.

Last week, I went to the morning step-aerobics class for the third time since October, when I was relocated to this building. I was being a little down on the class/instructor the first few times because she doesn't play the pumping, dance-club-style music I enjoy working out to. Also, her teaching style is low- to medium-impact and I like high. Giving her some credit though, all of the four other women in the class were either injured or very new to step, so low-impact was appropriate. But BORING for me.

Instead of just resigning myself to being bored, I went ahead and just did some alternate high-impact moves and had a blast!! At the end of class, I asked her if that was okay (I have known instructors to get p.o.'d if you don't follow them) and she said, sure! She was a little inexperienced and hadn't been trained for high-impact, so if I or anyone else wanted to do high, she'd just point them over to ME to demonstrate. On top of that, in the locker room, a few of the other ladies in the class asked me (hopefully?) if I was planning to be a regular! That was very flattering.

I went back to the step aerobics class yesterday and there were about twice as many people in it. About halfway through, the instructor stopped and told everyone that her knee was bothering her and she'd be doing the low-impact versions of the moves, but if you wanted to try high-impact to LOOK AT NYLONTHREAD! Um, no warning (even though she did say she might do that last week, I wasn't really mentally prepared for it)! And, while I love the high-impact, I'm a follower in those classes, not a leader (especially that early in the day). Maybe next time if I plan for it I can handle keeping it together, but I think I put a wrench in her routine a few times because I went the wrong direction while on my own.

Seriously, it's my fourth aerobics class in two years or more. I'm going to cut myself some slack for not being perfect. Dang, it was fun, though!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So what about the dancing?

Finally, I've gotten around to posting the dance recital. I think Monkeyrotica has zoomed in enough for you to tell which one I am. Videos are great ways to see how you can do better next time. I think I'll try smiling more. How do you like the red & black lycra sparkle outfit? While Monkey was waiting for my class to come on (we were 15th in Act 2) he wondered if he could get carpel tunnel from checking his watch...

I was a little bummed that Monkey was the only person I know to see it live, but I guess life gets in the way for most friends & family I offered tickets to. The sushi & sake feast with the Os afterward made up for it!

We collectively decided to make post-recital sushi a yearly tradition. Can't wait till next year!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Take the preschoolers bowling...

Dash's 3rd birthday party took place in two parts: first at a duckpin bowling alley and second at KellyO & Todd's house. Early in the a.m., we picked up his bowling-themed, blueberry birthday cake (name spelled correctly, check!) and then headed to College Park to meet his friends for an hour of bowling. His main posse from daycare, Matthew, Collin, Riley, and Amelia, arrived as well as his dear friends Liam, Keaton, and Gabriela; siblings Rosie's age included Thea & Ethan, who showed the rest how to play the game.

The bowling alley suggested I tell my guests to arrive early, as we they'd cut us off promptly after 60 mins; even so, most guests unfamiliar with the area were very late. Google maps told most people to head away from the bowling alley or do an unnecessary U-turn, so I blame Google! Aargh. All the kids LOVED the bowling. Huge hit, and we plan to go again soon. A few of the boys couldn't resist running full-tilt down the long carpeted area behind the lanes (with parents charging after them) and one speedy wee tot, a new walker, made it about halfway down lane 5 before her mom caught her.

After our time was up, we had some very hot cheese pizza, then broke out the cake—Dash did a grand job of blowing out his candles! I hope he gets his wish, whatever it may have been. The bowling portion of the party quickly dissolved, despite me impressing everyone with how much fun the the adults will have at the Os for afterparty. Ethan and Gabriela V. were so enamored with the bowling, they stayed to rent another lane well after we left. You rock the lanes, Vs! I think only two non-host families from the bowling party took me up on it; it was a lovely, intimate gathering with good food and lots of fun in the kiddie pool. Thank you, Kelly & Todd for hosting! We <3 you all!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mosaic Maker

Mosaic Maker
Originally uploaded by nylonthread
Yep, I couldn't resist trying it too! I've got a booming headache & can't concentrate enough to do the html, so cheers to onthecurb and wrekehavoc for the sparks!

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s Flickr Toys: mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Flood: An Act of Kenmore

Today, I hate water. It seems like all the major repairs we've had in our house have had to do with water damage. First, the pipe under the deck burst, then the downstairs shower leaked (tile repair), then the skylight leaked (replace skylight), then the gutters failed and water leaked into the basement, and now this. Is it because we are all Water Signs here (Scorpio & Cancer/2ea)?

3:15 a.m. at the Strings' house: Dash is crying for me. I go to calm him down and while in his room, hear splattering water from inside the house. I go downstairs to the basement to see water pouring out of a light fixture onto the floor. Must find bucket; checked laundry room for buckets, found more water. I headed back upstairs and checked outside for rain; all dry. WhereTF is the water coming from?!? I step into an inch of water in the flooded kitchen and learn: The Dishwasher is spewing hot water everywhere. I scream for Monkeyrotica's help.

Father's Day can suck hard, too!

4 a.m.: Dash is still crying for us. Monkey is downstairs doing damage control on the massive amount of water in the laundry room, getting all the clothing, etc. off the floor so he can mop up the puddles. I'm still in the kitchen using dishrags and a bucket to sop up the pool kitchen floor. Opening the dishwasher stemmed the flow of water, but when it's shut, it continues. Once I've sent all the water on the floor down the sink, I get to work on bailing water from the dishwasher until it no longer leaks when shut. I run downstairs to check on Monkey, still in the laundry room, grab all of the towels in the house and toss them his way to put on the 50+ square feet of carpeting that's soaked. I ask him to start setting up fans to circulate air & help dry the carpet.

4:30 a.m.: Dash is still up, Monkey lets him out of bed. He comes downstairs to see all the action, of course! Monkey and I are busy, alternately wringing out towels and laying towels out on the carpet, and also keeping Dash out of trouble. A comment Monkey makes about having a old-school crank-wringer + basin in his first house gives me a eureka moment! I'll use our washer's spin cycle to get the water out of the towels.

5:00 a.m.: I enlist Dash in stomping towels to help get the water out of the carpet. He says, "I'm very good at marching on towels!!" I agree with him! And am glad to have his help, despite messing up his needed sleep. Monkey and & are still wringing out/spinning wet towels and laying them out. Dash gets bored and Monkey takes him upstairs for a snack. I continue wringing, laying out. and putting towels in the spin cycle.

6:00 a.m.: Rosie wakes up and Monkey gives her breakfast. I'm still on towel duty. Monkey brings me coffee and I start smelling yummy breakfast odors. Both kids are with me in the basement, playing and occasionally stomping towels. Seems like the carpet is less squishy in some places. Still squishy in others.

7:00 a.m.: Monkey calls me up for breakfast. I eat a delicious cheese omelet and then grab the kids to give him his Father's Day gifts (just practical stuff like socks, underpants, & a cotton bathrobe; I did get him two t-shirts, Superman and flying monkeys!).

8:00 a.m.: I change the towels again. No more wringing—my arms are dead & I have washerwoman hands—just spin cycles from here out.

9:00 a.m.: I blog about it. Coming up: a phone call to a dishwasher repairman and shopping for a new hose for our wet/dry vac; maybe a nap. But, I'll leave you, dear readers, out of that minutia.

Happy Father's Day to all dads out there! I hope your day is better than ours.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Overheard at Zoo Elephant House

Me: You see anything, Dash?
Dash: Nope. Just an elephant.

Blasé starts early.

Dash's class, the Bears Room, sponsored this trip to the National Zoo. Pictured below are:
Ms. Kandace, Kyra, Ms. Malikha, Alex, Mika, Dash, Adam, Ms. Canida, Nicholas, Ms. Leah, and Alex T. Thanks, Bears class!!

What's in our Zoo bag?

Originally uploaded by bsmith2
The question for this morning's scramble: do I have all the things we need for an afternoon trip to the Zoo? Dash's teachers wanted to take their class of two- and three-year-olds to the Zoo, but they aren't legal for field trips. So, they called all the parents to see if we'd be up for bringing our little people along. I think all but one parent were up for it! Hooky! It's a beautiful day for it.

Dash and I are very fair-skinned, so I have HATS and SUNBLOCK.
I have a WATERBOTTLE, bike-style, that I plan to fill before I leave the office.
I have FLIP-FLOPS packed, to replace my strappy office heels.
I have a CAMERA! And Monkeyrotica packed me extra batteries + memory card.
I also have MOSQUITO REPELLENT, but am hoping I won't need it.
Since Dash isn't potty trained yet, I'm sure DIAPERS & WIPES will need to be transferred from the diaper bag to the Zoo bag.

One thing I forgot was to pack the sling; even though Dash is a few weeks shy of 3, he still likes to be carried when tired. The Zoo is a lot of walking. And my, that sling has come in handy! He could easily ride on my back in the sling and I'd still be able to have both hands free. If there's time, I may speed by the house and grab it. The strollers in our house have been stashed for at least six months and I'm not about to drag them out of the attic now.

Let me know if you think I'm missing anything essential!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Truck ride to nowhere

The Strings visited our local park, where Rosie told Monkeyrotica to sit
in the back, while she and Dash drove.

Monkey immediately quipped:
"Waa! Waa! Where's my DRINK!"

Rosie replied:
"What's the magic word, Daddy-baby?!"

It's a beautiful evening for the park! Rosie and I rode our
bike+trail-a-bike while Mr. Monkey & Dash drove with our picnic dinner.
Highlight: we saw a woodpecker! I'd take a photo, but it would probably
be a little surrealist, with just a dot for a bird.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sequins! Glitter! Velvet!

Originally uploaded by nylonthread
This weekend was busy with photos and pomp. Rosie's ballet class had their dress rehearsal for the recital next weekend (and mine did as well, but this post is not about moi). She looked so adorable! All the little dancers did; I say dancers, because there is one boy in the program, Christopher, who is right front-and-center with Rosie in their dance.

When the first chubby group of pre-ballet kids was revealed on stage by the parting of the curtain, oh, my eyes teared up, they were so sweet! Rosie's class was about 5th in the program and she did very well. The tune for their dance is something like "My teacher made a dancer out of me" and is in an interesting minor key. Watch and see:

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dash gets his own chores, too

We haven't been too good about insisting that the kids have chores. For my own sanity, I really could use the help. During dinner last night, Dash spilled some of his milk, asked for a napkin to wipe it up, and as he was wiping, he told us, "I helping clean up! I get em-nems!"

I jumped on this. I announced, "Well, Rosie helps set the table, so Dash can help clear it and put dishes away." Dash agreed and Rosie said she wanted to help, too (didn't happen for Rosie -- she was already absorbed in a handheld vidgame).

Dash and I went into the kitchen and put plates next to the sink, then I enlisted him in unloading the dishwasher. He was very enthusiastic with the utensil sorter I put next to him! He'd put one fork away, then beam at us, saying, "I DID IT!"

I think he wanted an M&M for each spoon. Seriously.

We managed to hold off until he sorted all the utensils & put away the kid-dishes. By then, I offered him daifukumochi and he forgot all about the chocolates!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Getting serious—I joined "The Daily Plate;"

Originally uploaded by anna.klevan

I just joined The Daily Plate. They have a food diary, calorie calculators, and once you set your goals, a counter shows up to tell how many calories you have left for the day. It's free to register.

You all should be glad that I'm tracking all this somewhere else and not boring you with what I ate for breakfast and how many flights of stairs I climbed here. Yawn!

If anyone is thinking of joining on Daily plate, friend me!

I'm not sure if it was all the Chinese food I ate over the past weekend, but I've gained 4 lbs since last Friday. My goal is to be 4 lbs below what I was Friday, so now I have 8 lbs to go. I hate backtracking!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Picture day for the dance recital is this Saturday!

And my face looks like this. I think a mosquito bit my cheek while I was
weeding the yard and it got itchy, so I scratched with my gardening
glove. There are at least 4 types of vines in the rear of my yard. I
identified english ivy and honeysuckle, but the others didn't look like
the "3-leaves-let-them-be" that I recall. Obviously, I must have
encountered something nasty!

Hopefully, I can get the photo taken on my other side? Wikipedia sez
poison ivy can take 2 weeks to heal.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Dash does the spider

"Lil miss muffet
Sat onna tuffet
Eatin her porrge one day
Alon came 'pider
Sat down aside her an


Scard miss muffet away."

(He cracked us up with the screaming.)

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