Friday, March 26, 2010

Just My Luck

Aside from the Twinkies dipped in cool whip, I really haven't had any of those weird pregnancy cravings that I've always heard about. What I do get, is a craving for normal, everyday food items. So it was no surprise when over a week ago I really started craving sesame chicken. I happen to love Chinese food (in a strange twist, my sister does not and she just moved to China. Go figure.) and sesame chicken is one of my favorite entrees. There are two Chinese restaurants here in Lamar. One offers a lunch buffet and their sesame chicken is amazing! The other restaurant is very good, but their sesame chicken is spicy so I'm not really a fan.

Now that you have the background information, let me tell you what happened yesterday. I finally reached my breaking point and decided if I didn't have sesame chicken I was literally going to chew my arm off. Yes, it was that bad. I called a girlfriend of mine who is a stay at home mom to see if she wanted to join me for lunch. Unfortunately she had prior plans. All my other friends work and their lunch breaks aren't until around noon. I like to eat lunch before 11:30 lately. Finally I decided, "Screw it, I'll just go by myself!"

I hurried and got ready, which consisted of throwing on a pair of sweat pants and pulling my hair back into a ponytail, threw my jacket on, and reached for my keys. Unfortunately, they weren't on the key rack where they belonged. This meant I spent the next ten minutes frantically looking for the them while visions of sesame chicken swam around in my head. I had my jacket on, so as not to waste anytime getting out the door once the said keys were located. After I broke out in a mild sweat, I decided to call Greg to see if he hid them. Of course he didn't answer his phone. So, what do I do? I turn around and immediately text him. I got a response that read, "I think I have them". Great. He took both sets of keys with him to work which meant I was stranded. I could have screamed. The sesame chicken in my mind grew a face and began laughing at me. I had plans to go grocery shopping as soon as I finished my feast at the restaurant, so I was not surprised to open the kitchen pantry door and be greeted by....nothing. I dug around and in the back I found a can of "healthy" soup. Which translates into mostly broth with some vegetables thrown in for the heck of it. I was pissed. I opened the can up and fixed myself a bowl in silent misery.

That afternoon I came to the conclusion that I deserved to be taken to dinner that night. Can you guess where? I anxiously waited for Greg to come home, which of course meant that he didn't get off on time. I shouldn't gripe about an hour of overtime, but I was seriously ready to get my eat on. Then, after he had finally texted me that he was on his way, I began to put my jacket on when his estimated arrival time came around. But instead of hearing the sound of our truck pulling into the drive I heard the sound of my phone receiving a text. I open it up, it's Greg, and it reads, "Road construction started will be another 10 minutes".

Somehow the ten minutes passed fairly quickly and he finally pulled up in the drive. I ran (OK, waddled) out to jump in, happy that I was finally going to be able to satisfy my raging craving. As we approached the restaurant I began to wonder where all the cars were. Eventually I noticed the sign in the window that read "Closed". This could not be happening. We pulled up to the entrance, only to be greeted by a sign on the door that read, "Closed for Vacation until March 30th".

Just in case your wondering, a cheese enchilada and a chili relleno at a Mexican restaurant does not compare to sesame chicken. Is it March 30th yet?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Snowboarding Weekend With Friends

I'm experiencing an unusual surge of energy today so I figured I'd blog about something that I should have blogged about a month ago! Over Valentines weekend, we had several friends from Oklahoma come up to Colorado to go snowboarding with us! Well, by "us" I mean everyone but me. You won't find me on the slopes, pregnant or not! Anyway, after they arrived at our house around 1 in the morning they all blew up their air mattresses and camped out in our basement den. Then the following morning (Thursday) we all piled into our vehicles and made the almost four hour drive to Salida. Surprisingly this was my first time to Salida this winter. I can't even tell you how many times I was there last year! We made a pit stop in Pueblo for lunch and for me to run into Hobby Lobby real quick to buy hostess presents for the gals that were throwing my baby shower for me. By the time we got to Salida it was late afternoon and Greg and I were dying to go out and eat. Unfortunately, all of our friends were understandably tired so they chose to order pizza's and chill in their hotel rooms.

The next day everyone except Shannon, Braxton (her one year old son) and I went to Monarch to have some fun on the slopes! At the last minute, Shannon and I decided to drive up to the lodge ourselves so she could see what the ski resort looked like. We were able to gather everyone up and take a few group photos! Now, I mentioned way back when that the women in Salida are very "natural". So, I opted to do the same and I didn't wear any make-up! Obviously I'm not what I would consider a "natural beauty" by any means, but this tired girl was sure glad to have an excuse to not go through a rigorous beauty routine!

After we left, Shannon and I went out to eat at my favorite cafe called (appropriately) The Salida Cafe. From there we went back to the hotel and just relaxed for a couple hours. Once Braxton took a short nap we ventured over to the Salida Hot Springs. Normally I would always go to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, which is so beautiful! Here's a pic I took of it last year:

It's located outside and you can actually sit in the river where the hot water flows naturally. But, since I'm pregnant and am not supposed to get in water that is too hot we went here instead. It's an indoor pool that is supposed to be filled with the natural hot spring water as well, but if you ask me, it smelled like chlorine. Oh well. I wasn't really a fan of the water being around my belly, so most of the time I just sat on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water. Braxton had a blast, though! Speaking of those "au natural" women of Salida, there was one lady who was playing with her son near us, and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the bush that was growing underneath her arms. I tried not to stare. I'm not sure how good I did...Eventually we went back to the hotel so we could change and go out to eat with everyone else.

The next day was Saturday and I spent the day with Shannon's sister, Shyla, who volunteered to baby sit Braxton so Shannon could try her hand at snowboarding. We drove up to the lodge again to eat lunch with everyone but it was so crowed that our lunch plans weren't as organized as we thought they may have been. Let's just say we didn't stay too long after I ate a quick hamburger. On the way back into town I pointed out to Shyla the pet cemetery that is located on the side of the highway. At least, I always assumed it was a pet cemetery. I never actually pulled over to investigate until this day, and I'd say by the names on the crosses that I was right! Cute and kind of creepy at the same time. (You may have to click on the picture to get a better image.)

We relaxed for most of the afternoon and then took about an hour out to go downtown and do some window shopping. Afterwards we went back to the hotel to wait for the rest of the gang to come back from the slopes.

Greg happens to work with some guys who live in Salida. They wanted to meet us for dinner at a pizzeria that we had never been too. Our Oklahoma friends weren't ready to eat by the time we were (Greg and I don't mess around when it comes to eating!) so we let them do their own plans for dinner and we joined the guys Greg knew, as well as some of our friends who also went to the mountain from Lamar, at the pizza place. To say that they had some unusual ingredients for their pizza is putting it mildly. Let's just say that cream cheese balls on pizza is pretty darn good! While we were eating Greg learned that one of the Salida guys owns a DeLorean. Apparently this was a big deal, so after we ate we went over to their house just so Greg could see it for himself. Now, just in case some of you who are reading this are as clueless as I was, the DeLorean was the "Back to the Future" car that was used in the movie. I still wasn't that impressed but as you can see from Greg's face he was giddy to have a chance to sit in it!

On Sunday Greg and I woke up early so we could meet "The Crane Guys" as I call them (the guys that Greg works with) at a restaurant for breakfast. From there we went back to the hotel and everyone except Shannon, Shyla, Braxton and I went off to the mountain. We, on the other hand, wanted to do some shopping in Pueblo, before heading back to Lamar. I was so thankful the girls were willing to take me to both Ross and Target before we came home. I was able to find a basket for Parker's "toy box" for $10 at Ross along with some new throw pillows for the love seat my sister gave us. Then, I had about $100 worth of Target returns from my Oklahoma baby shower that I exchanged for the high chair I really wanted. I was a happy girl by the time we got back on the road.

When we got back to my house I cooked up a huge pot of soup for everyone to eat for dinner. We had spent so much time shopping that the rest of the group got home shortly after we did. By that point everyone was pretty wiped out and all of us girls were pretty upset that our men didn't surprise us with Valentine's roses (OK, I'm exaggerating, I never expect roses from Greg. LOL!) that it was clearly bedtime! The next morning the group loaded up in their cars and headed back to the Sooner State. I had a great time with them and hope that this is something that we do annually!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The piece de resistance

Out of all of the rooms we've remodeled in our house, this is definitely the one that I'm the most proud of! The only thing if needs is a cute little bundle of joy!Without further ado, I present The Nursery:

The closet is filled with clothes! The ones hanging are all 0-6 month! Courtesy of my sister and gifts from loved ones!

I put stuffed animals from both mine and Greg's childhood in the crib for our little boy to snuggle up with!

There is the rocking chair that my mom and I refurbished! (Greg did his part, too!)

Another DIY project that I forgot to take a before picture of. This platter was actually a yellowish color and said "Believe". Greg spray painted it for me and then I free-handed Parker's name on it with the same paint we used on the walls.

It took a lot to bring these curtains up to par. For one, they were way too long, so I had to re-hem them. Then the valance was too long as well so that had to be taken care of also. The finishing touch: silver star Christmas tree ornaments sewen onto the valance! Sometimes I amaze even myself!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Visit From my Parents

Once again I've been a bad blogger. And it's a good thing I already wrote teasers of upcoming blogs, or I would so not be writing. Believe me when I say pregnancy has given me a serious case of lack of motivation to do....anything. Blah.

My parents arrived right around dinner time on a Thursday evening. And of course, I was in the middle of a cooking catastrophe. I had planned to make meatloaf (one of my favorite meals) that day and when hubby called and asked what we were having, after I told him, he made the comment that he sure wished he could help me with the menu planning because he can always count that at least one night a week we have meatloaf and another night we have grilled pork chops. Now, one reason why I hate Monday's is because that's the day I go to the grocery store. It also happens to be the day it literally takes me two hours to come up with a menu for the week. And I'll admit, yes, I'm guilty of making the same things repetitively. I can't help it! However, I don't beat myself up because I know if it were up to Greg we would have tortilla soup and chicken burritos at least once a week! But, I digress. Back to the meatloaf. Since he made that comment I decided to make the meatloaf like one of his grandma's makes. It happens to be the recipe on the back of the Lipton onion soup mix. I thought I had all of the ingredients. Until I started to make it. One ingredient was ketchup. I had ketchup...just not enough ketchup. So this is how my parents arrival went:

Note: a prior phone call from my mom, who was lost in my neighborhood (seriously who would name all the streets in a neighborhood the same name?) resulted in me telling her to just "come on in because I'll have raw meat all over my hands" when she got to my house.

Mom: "Hello, we're here!"

Me: *frantically* "OK, I'm having a little catastrophe! I don't have enough ketchup! *banging of ketchup bottle on the counter top*

Mom: "Uh-oh"

Me: "I gotta go to the store! Make yourselves at home!" *dashing out the door*

Yup, that is what life is like in my house. Sounds exciting, huh? Needless to say, I finally got the ketchup and dinner went off without a hitch. Oh, except Greg decided that he liked the old way I make meatloaf better because it's less greasy! (I am proud to say that I haven't cooked meatloaf since then! I'm working on it!)

The next day, Friday, Greg and I had a lot of errands that were pertinent to be taken care of. Unfortunately they took up most of the morning and my parents had opted to stay at home. That afternoon we just hung out around the house. I did ask my mom to help me with a project though because *surprise* I just wasn't motivated to do it. I know I could have, but the idea of having my mom help me just sounded much more appealing. That project was to make new pillows and pillow coverings for a rocking chair that Greg and I were refurbishing. The rocking chair has kind of a funny story. I'm probably about to get in trouble by Greg's side of the family for telling it, too! But, years ago Greg's dad gave us the rocking chair that his mom used to rock him in when he was a baby. Greg told his dad that he didn't want it, but his dad wouldn't hear anything of it. We both thought it was ugly (sorry) and therefore we always kept it in the garage of every house we ever lived in. Let's just say that by the time it arrived in Colorado it had definitely seen better days. The fabric was covered in dust and I was a little scared to sit in it because the bottom was made with lawn chair strips. But, Greg and I decided to give it a little TLC. We ripped all the fabric and cushions off and chucked them. Then, I wood filled all the holes and marks that were in the wood. Next, Greg sanded it and painted it white. He also re-stapled the lawn chair strips to make them sturdier. After that it was up to me to make pillows. That was easier said than done because the rocking chair is kind of an odd size. I did find one pillow that worked for the back and ended up just demolishing an actual bed pillow to make the seat cushion. The hardest part was finding upholstery fabric in this little town. In the end, I got creative (which is a stretch for me) and bought a fabric shower curtain and just used that!

By the time my Mom was at my house I had partially finished one pillow. All I needed to do was stitch the fabric closed. Luckily, my mom saw what I was about to do and told me how to do it so it would look more "professional". I knew there was a reason I was procrastinating! I let her take over the actual sewing and went about tearing up my bed pillow. We worked on them for a little while longer and then decided to finish them up the next day. My parents are pretty cute in the sense that despite the fact that they are in their 70's and late 60's, they go on a date every Friday night. Usually dinner and a movie. So Greg and I thought they might enjoy going to the one screen movie theatre here in town. I was a little worried they would have already seen the movie playing, because movies don't usually show up here until they've been out for a month or two. Luckily, it was a kid's movie, "The Tooth Fairy" so they hadn't seen it. It was actually pretty cute! After that it was time to go home and hit the sack!

Saturday morning was again a lazy day at the house. Luckily, it also gave my mom and I chance to finish the pillows. I was beyond happy! It felt so good to have another piece of furniture in place in the nursery before my baby shower the next day!

That afternoon I drove my parents around to do some sight seeing. We went to the wind farm south of town (Greg opted to stay home...that's the last thing he wants to see on his day off!). Not because my parents hadn't seen one before, but because at this wind farm the property owners put wooden windmills next to the big wind turbines. It's kind of funny! I always think, "past meets present" when I see it.

From there I took them to Two Buttes. From the highway it looks completely flat (like all of SE Colorado) but once you get in there it drops down to a canyon and there's a water hole there. It was a little chilly out so we didn't last there for very long. I forgot my camera, so here's a pic I took at "the hole" the first summer we came to town. If you look real close, you'll notice that's actually a person jumping off of the cliff into the water. Legend has it that divers have gone down and cannot find the bottom of this water hole. That's what all the locals say anyway!

The rest of our day was spent at home hanging out. If you read my blog about my baby shower, you already know that on Sunday we took them out to lunch then came home for the festivities. The baby shower was a lot of fun and I was happy that my mom was there to celebrate it with me.

They left early Monday morning. If things work out well, they will be making the trip back up here in just 5 weeks to meet my sweet baby boy!!

P.S. In case you're wondering why I didn't post any pics of the completed rocking chair...that's because I forgot to take one of it by itself. And a before picture would have been nice, too, huh? Oh well! I finished decorating the nursery this weekend so stay tuned for pics and you'll see the rocking chair there!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Colorado Baby Shower!

This past Sunday was my Colorado Baby Shower. I think most people may only have one baby shower, and I was fortunate enough to be blessed with TWO. Not only that, but they were both FANTASTIC! It was actually held at my house, which I thought would be a neat way to show off my almost-finished nursery. Also, some folks that I invited had never even seen our house, so it was fun being able to give people a tour of where Greg and I call "home". However, since it was at my house, my friends who were hostessing kicked us out so they could decorate! My parents made the journey from Oklahoma to be with us in Colorado so my mom could attend the shower, so Greg and I took them to a restaurant in Holly (a town about 30 minutes away) to eat lunch. Unfortunately, we couldn't find much to do afterwards to kill time, so we ended up coming home early and I just closed my eyes and Greg led me upstairs to our bedroom where I just relaxed until the festivities began!

When I was finally allowed to come downstairs, I couldn't believe how cute they had decorated the dining room and kitchen! Every detail was perfect! One of the hostesses, my friend Cathy, is a follower of my blog (thank you!) and she had noticed that whenever I wrote a post relating to my pregnancy I always label it "pea in the pod". So that was how they came up with the theme! And, for those of you who don't know, I'm doing a star theme in the nursery. The girls had actually found star shaped glassware to place on the tables. Too cute!

Here's a pic of me with my lovely friends/hostesses: Brittney, Me, Christina, and Cathy.

The yummy snacks! And see that punch? I had asked Christina if she would mind making my grandmothers Ruby Lemondae Punch way back before I knew my Mom was going to be at the shower. I figured it would be a good way for my family to be there in spirit! An added bonus: it was the same punch Greg and I served at our wedding. Awww!

There were even party favors for all the guests!!! Cute little baby socks filled with candy and a lib balm with the date of my shower on the lid! So creative and so cute! However, I have so many lip balms left over I can already picture me applying some to my lips during Parker's High School graduation ceremony! ;) (Not that I'm complaining!)

After all of the guests arrived (unfortnately, many people weren't able to come, but we still had fun with the ones who were able to attend!) we began to play some games! The first game: The Dirty Diaper Game! I had never played this before and it was so funny! Basically, the girls squished different candy bars into diapers and you had to open the diaper up and guess what candy bar was used.

The Winners! Karen, Nelle, and Bri...hey, three heads are better than one when it comes to games like this!

Afterwards, we played a series of games that were printed on a fold out. The front of it had a little poem and was personalized just for my shower. It was too cute! It had games in it like: Which child belongs to the Celebrity parent, What is Mommy Wearing, Pregnancy Facts or Myths, etc.

The Winners!

After all the games it was present time! After everything I received from my Oklahoma Baby Shower and from the goodies my sister gave me, there was really only one thing I wanted. So, everyone either gave me this:

or this:

so we could buy this:

Needless to say, we're pretty stoked that we will now be able to capture Parker's birth, along with all those other milestones he'll cross during his first year and the years to follow!

After presents it was time to cut the cake and eat! Isn't this cake adorable?? We were scared to cut it!!

After snacks I was presented with the big surprise that my hostesses had in store for me. Once again, Cathy was inspired by my blog. In my Goals for 2010 post I mentioned how I screwed up my wedding book by not having newspaper clippings from that day. Apparently that gave Cathy the bright idea to create a time capsule for Parker! My hostesses brain stormed a list of suggested items for all of the guests to bring to put into Parker's time capsule. After my shower my mom gave me her invitation so I could see the instructions that my hostesses had put inside all of the guests invitations. I was blown away by the amount of creative and brilliant ideas they had for what to put in the time capsule! Some of the itmes included: newspaper articles, cell phone ads, vehicle ads, a burned CD of popular music, stickers depicting this years famous cartoon characters, pictures of Parker's hometown, etc. Granted, everything that was suggested was not put in there, but I plan on adding items to it myself. I am so excited that they came up with something so thoughtful and fun for Parker to check out on his 18th birthday. What can I say? My friends are AMAZING!

After everyone ate their snacks the guests began to leave. And it wasn't until only the hostesses and my Mom were left when I realized I forgot to do something that was extremely important to me. Just like at my Oklahoma shower, I forgot to take a group picture! Ugh! I was so disappointed. Luckily, I was able to drag my hubby into the kitchen for a quick photo opp instead. Sadly, this is what my husband does 99% of the time we take a picture. Apparently I have really yummy ear wax!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Second Floor: Before and After

I promised I'd post some pics of our second floor. I just didn't realize it would take me this long to do so! Keep in mind, like the third floor, it's not completely finished. We still need new flooring in the dining and kitchen and will eventually be replacing all the doors in the house to raised panel doors and painting them white to match the trim! So without further ado, here's the living room:

I'm really hoping that our next house won't have wall paper that we'll have to painstakingly scrape. At least I think it looks a lot better now!

Our kitchen was what I'd like to call a "hot mess". I'll just let the pictures do the talkin'

Actually, it doesn't look quite that bad from the pictures. But believe me, if you saw it in person, you'd agree that it needed some work. All of the appliances were missing, including the garbage disposal. Needless to say we survived with a big gaping hole on one side of our kitchen sink for at least a month. There was just a cut out above the kitchen sink with a two by four and another two by four was used as the support to the ceiling. (You'll see it in the before pics of the dining room). Then, on the far South wall was a lone random cabinet. Very strange. It now has a more appropriate home in our upstairs bathroom above the toilet. It makes much more sense there. And, I mentioned before that my awesome husband turned the oven connection into a gas line for me so I could get a gas stove! I really love it! Here's the after pics. It's hard to tell, but the walls are painted a chocolate brown. Unfortunately, most of my decor I had on hand to decorate above kitchen cabinets was also brown, so the decore kind of fades into the background. It'll get worked on eventually, but first we need to focus on the house itself!

What can I say? I LOVE my sink! The head of the faucet pulls out so I can rinse all the way around the sink, and it also has a button for a vegetable sprayer. It's oversized, so my crock pot can sit on one side with room left over. Even Greg loves it! (Why yes, Kohler, I'd love to be your new spokesperson!)

Had I known that my camera was going to pick up all the smudges on my stainless fridge and microwave I probably would have cleaned them first. Key word: probably.

See? Doesn't a wall of cabinets and countertop space make much more sense than one random cabinet? I think so!

As you'll see below, the dining room had a ton of nasty wall paper. Yuck! Thankfully, that's all gone now! I've never had an actual dining room before, we've always just had a little breakfast nook in the kitchen. So needless to say our dining room table looks a little lonely in there. We'd love to add a china cabinet soon so I can display all of my beautiful crystal! Also, remember the cut out above the kitchen sink I mentioned before? Greg turned that into an actual bar. I think it looks great, the only things it's lacking is barstools!

So there you have it! Now, don't be expecting any pictures from the first floor anytime soon. There's a LOT of work to be done down there, but we are probably going to focuse on the top two first. I can tell you that downstairs is a den, utility room, bathroom, and guest bedroom/sewing room/Greg's jam session room. Another fact I can tell everyone, is that I've been a horrible blogger. So, as a teaser, here are some of my upcoming posts:

* Are you smarter than a fifth grader?
* Snowboarding weekend with friends
* A visit from my parents
* My Colorado Baby Shower!
* A creative baby gift idea

So stay tuned!!! Hopefully I'll be a better blogger this week!